Heavy / Excessive bleeding during period
If your period has always been on the intense side, that might just be your normal. But if your flow goes from a trickle to something that actually has you considering canceling your plans, there might be something else going on. If you’re changing your tampon or pad every hour or so (annoying and expensive!), you might have a condition called menorrhagia. Beyond seeing lots of blood, you may also see clots that are larger than a quarter, which can be kind of freaky, and can potentially lead to low iron levels and anemia. Not to mention, you’re probably also dealing with next level cramps and pain. Sure, it’s occasionally helpful to have a valid excuse to cancel plans and veg out on the couch, but none of these symptoms make for a relaxing night! So, what’s going on here? One potential cause is a common hormonal disorder called polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). You might be dealing with uterine fibroids, pelvic inflammatory disease, or endometriosis, all common conditions which can cause pain, heavy periods, and possibly fertility issues. (Interesting to note how "common" female pain is, right?). More rarely, thyroid disorders can cause heavy periods, as can some cancers. Chances are your heavy period is not a big health thing, but there’s still no reason to be stoic and suffer in silence. Talk to your practitioner ASAP, because you deserve answers to what’s happening to your body. You'll also learn solutions—from herbal remedies (talk to an experienced herbalist to choose the right one for you!) and supplements (Vitamin B1 and magnesium may help relieve painful menstrual cramps) to medications like oral contraceptives and surgery—that can help you feel better and get your monthly cycle back on track. And remember, if you’re not sure whether your period is acting normally or not, it doesn’t hurt to ask! Your practitioner is there to answer these kinds of questions, and if you’re in pain or discomfort every single month, it’s definitely worth bringing up.
- U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Uterine fibroids. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Uterine fibroids.
- Mayo Clinic. Endometriosis. Mayo Clinic. Endometriosis.
- NHS. Heavy periods. NHS. Heavy periods.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Heavy menstrual bleeding. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Heavy menstrual bleeding.
- Mayo Clinic. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Mayo Clinic. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
- Mayo Clinic. Menorrhagia (heavy menstrual bleeding). Mayo Clinic. Menorrhagia (heavy menstrual bleeding).