The average menstrual period comes once every 28 days, starts out somewhat heavy for the first two days, and then peters out over another few days, with most women bleeding for 3-6 days total. For the heavier days, women change sanitary pads or tampons every 2-4 hours, and during the remainder days, menstrual blood flow is substantially reduced. But what happens when your period is heavy – meaning soaking a pad or tampon (and sometimes both) within an hour – even lasting for days on end? What if you experience overwhelming menstrual flow, month in, month out? Are there solutions for heavy periods?
In a word, yes. First we will discuss who’s affected, and why, and then we will describe some medical solutions for heavy periods.
Heavy periods can affect any woman of menstruating age. Oftentimes girls experience heavy periods during the first year or so after beginning menstruation. At any time, any woman might have a month or two of a heavy period due to stress, change of environment, or dietary changes. These heavy-flow periods are considered normal and temporary, and therefore usually do not need any remedy. Nonetheless, if you experience more than two heavy periods in a row, it’s a good idea to consult your gynecologist.
Heavy periods are most common among women of perimenopausal (pre-menopause) age, i.e. in their 40’s and 50’s. Heavy periods in this age group are due to hormonal changes from the process of ovulation ceasing, as well as an increased chance of fibroids in the uterine or near-uterine areas.
In any of the above cases, the body responds by beefing up its endometrium, the innermost uterine lining, which is released during menstruation. Because the endometrium is thicker, heavy periods ensue.
What Can Be Done?
NOTE: The below list is meant only to give you an idea of what your gynecologist might discuss with you. DO NOT CONSIDER ANY OF THESE SOLUTIONS WITHOUT FULL CONSULTATION WITH YOUR TRUSTED GYNECOLOGIST. THERE ARE POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS RISK FACTORS FOR EACH.
There are medical solutions available to alleviate heavy periods. These include:
You should not have to suffer heavy periods. Consult your Miami Center for Excellence gynecologist for tailoring the most suitable solution for you.