Heavy periods are not normal. Here’s how to recognize and treat them.

Heavy periods are when it lasts for more than a week, and despite being common, it's not the norm. It can worsen your quality of life.

What is heavy periods?

Heavy periods, also known as menorrhagia or abnormal uterine bleeding, is a fairly common disorder characterized by prolonged or heavy menstrual bleeding. Approximately 9-14 out of 100 women have heavy periods all the time, and up to 30% experience them at some point in their lives.

I will provide information about normal menstrual blood loss, and I urge you to share this article with other women. It is crucial to break the cycle of accepting chronic monthly blood loss as a normal part of a woman’s life.

How much blood loss is considered normal?

Normal menstruation lasts no more than seven days, without lumps, and a normal or three to four drops pad is enough for three to four hours. If you have to change your menstrual hygiene product at night, this may be a sign of heavy periods.

If you feel weak or drowsy during your period and want to lie down, it’s possible that your menstrual blood loss is too heavy for you personally. If you’re changing your pads every hour for several hours, you should contact your gynecologist or go to the emergency room. You can also take tranexamic acid on the way to the doctor.

If you experience a lack of vital elements, including fatigue and shortness of breath even when you’re not exerting yourself, this may indicate iron deficiency. Be sure to consult your doctor, and if he or she doesn’t respond to these symptoms, change the doctor.

Causes of heavy periods

Heavy periods don’t always indicate a problem. For example, menstruation may be more abundant for one or two cycles during the first periods, after pregnancy, or during the menopausal transition. However, if the situation does not improve, it is abnormal uterine bleeding (menorrhagia).

рясні менструації обильные менструации heavy periods

There are many reasons why heavy periods may occur, including:


In addition to the symptoms of anemia, heavy periods are manifested by the following signs:

  • Your period lasts more than seven days;
  • You feel constant pain during your periods;
  • You change one pad every one to two hours;
  • When you go to the restroom, blood pours out of your vagina in a single puddle on the bottom of the toilet bowl;
  • During menstruation, blood clots more than 2-3 cm in diameter are discharged;
  • Bleeding between periods, after sex, or after menopause;
  • You have to change your lifestyle because of your periods;
  • You use additional means of “safety”: change pads at night, use two at the same time;
  • You use a large pad and a large tampon at the same time.

Heavy periods can really throw a wrench into your life. They can make you feel all kinds of uncomfortable and sluggish, and don’t even get me started on the lack of productivity! Typically you just want to curl up in bed and pop painkillers for a whole week during this time.

рясні менструації обильные менструации heavy periods

What examinations should you undergo if you have heavy menstruation:

  • It is important to have a transvaginal ultrasound in the first days after the end of your periods;
  • Also have a complete blood count, ferritin, coagulogram, liver tests, TSH, prolactin. Liver dysfunction can also cause heavy menstruation;
  • Do a cervical examination by a doctor with mirrors, take a PAP smear test and a test for human papillomavirus;
  • I advise some women to undergo a Pipelle Endometrial Biopsy to exclude chronic endometritis.

How are heavy periods treated?

There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for heavy periods. Treatment options vary depending on the underlying cause and individual circumstances.

Some gynecologists and family doctors prescribe combined oral contraceptives, also known as “birth control pills.” Other doctors may recommend intrauterine contraceptives with levonorgestrel.

If you have anemia, you may need iron supplements, preferably a course of iron infusions, which can rapidly improve your general condition.

Your treatment plan will also depend on your reproductive plans. If you do not plan to get pregnant in the near future, you may be offered combined oral contraceptives or mini-pills (pills with progesterone only).

Based on my 20 years of experience, I’ve noticed that not many patients actually benefit from taking purely progestin pills. These pills contain an analog of the hormone progesterone, which is dominant during pregnancy. So, a lot of women who take them often feel like they’re basically pregnant all the time.

IUD benefits

One of the most effective methods for heavy menstrual bleeding is an intrauterine device containing the hormone progesterone. IUDs not only provide respite from heavy menstrual flow but also alleviates the symptoms of endometriosis.

It’s crucial to emphasize that several medical websites purporting information have falsely claimed that IUDs infused with levonorgestrel hormone can cure uterine endometriosis. Unfortunately, this isn’t accurate. Nonetheless, these IUDs work remarkably well in suppressing endometriosis, which is why they are highly sought-after by women grappling with abnormal uterine bleeding.

Drug treatment options include prostaglandin inhibitors and tranexamic acid. Your doctor will prescribe the specific drugs, dosage, and duration of therapy.

It is also necessary to treat any underlying diseases that may cause menorrhagia.

Just a friendly reminder that you don’t have to suffer through the discomfort and inconvenience of your periods. Reach out to your gynecologist and work together to find the best treatment for you. Remember, taking care of your health is key to staying healthy always!

Contact the Lior Medical Center for help if you experience any symptoms, or for routine examinations. This is the best way to identify the problem at an early stage and prevent complications.

Learn more about your health and body in our courses: A girl becomes a womanAll about you. What it’s like to be a WomanAll about you 35+.

I’m eager to offer these courses in English. Please send a request to dr.silinaeducation@gmail.com.

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