Wondering why your period is so heavy? Menorrhagia, also known as hypermenorrhea, is one of the main reasons menstruating people reach out to their doctors with questions. Is it normal to experience heavy menstrual blood loss during your period? How much is too much?
Those kinds of questions can be hard to ask, and we get that. That’s why we put together this little guide to better understanding your menstrual cycle. Learn about what causes heavy menstruation, and check out a few tips for better living while you’re on your period.
What exactly is a heavy period?
First, it’s good to understand that everyone who menstruates has a different experience with it. How much menstrual blood is too much for you? That’s the question. What should you consider a normal flow, and what should you worry about?
Generally speaking, the menstruation part of your cycle lasts 3 to 7 days. The average amount of blood lost during menstruation is about 4 tablespoons, or 2 ounces. Are you experiencing heavier periods? Menorrhagia occurs when you lose more than 2 ounces of blood in 7 days. When you lose less, the condition is called oligomenorrhea, but it’s actually not that common.
Since it’s tough to keep track of how much blood you’re losing, it might help to use your period protection as a gauge. If you replace your tampons, menstrual cup or sanitary pads every hour or two throughout a single day, you’re experiencing a heavy period. Heavy menstrual periods are also often accompanied by blood clots.
Don’t wait to find out the cause of your heavy vaginal bleeding on your own. Take a bit of time to see a doctor. They can make sure nothing serious is going on.
Possible side effects of heavy menstruation
Intense bleeding isn’t the only symptom of menorrhagia. There are actually quite a few. No matter what’s causing your heavy bleeding, the effects of it often include:
- Dizziness and shortness of breath;
- Iron deficiency;
- Difficulty accomplishing daily tasks;
- Abdominal pain.
What causes heavy periods?
Let’s look at some of the things that influence your menstrual cycle.
- The presence of abnormalities like cysts, benign tumors, polyps, and fibroids in your uterine wall or lining;
- Hormonal imbalances;
- The absence of ovulation;
- The presence of an intrauterine device, like an intrauterine device IUD.
Treat heavy periods : what should you do about heavy menstruation?
At Mme L’Ovary, we get that larger flows are tough to manage, and constantly changing pads and tampons is a huge pain, especially when you’re out of the house for hours at a time, like when you’re working or going to school.
That’s why we recommend menstrual undies and removable washable pads. You can easily and discreetly change washable pads in public bathrooms. No need to play ninja ten times a day, trying your best to quietly open a plastic package for a single-use pad. Washable pads are also a more economical option in the long run. No matter how heavy your flow is, period undies and washable pads are easy to clean with specially designed laundry capsules.
It’s normal to menstruate, but if you’re having a hard time completing daily tasks, the best thing you can do is talk to a doctor. Whatever’s causing your heavy menstrual bleeding might not be anything to worry about. But if you’re not sure, an ultrasound can easily reveal if anything’s going on inside.
No matter the cause of your heavy periods, there are always solutions that make life easier. If you need help choosing menstrual protection suited to your flow, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our specialists will happily guide you through our various kits of menstrual undies and washable pads.