What is Heavy Period: When Is It Alarming?

It is fairly common to experience heavy menstrual bleeding, but severe complications may occur. A heavy bleeding period is when you have to change your tampon or pad after less than two hours, or when you pass clots the size of a quarter.

heavy period representation

When you experience weakness, dizziness, shortness of breath, or chest pain with heavy menstrual bleeding, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. You may not be able to live your life to the fullest if you suffer from heavy or prolonged bleeding.

This can also lead to anemia. Fatigue and weakness can be symptoms of anemia, a blood disorder. You might develop other health problems if you have heavy periods.

Menorrhagia: Health Concerns

While menorrhagia is not life-threatening, it can have a profound impact on a woman's social, personal, and professional life. A menstrual cycle with excessive flow which lasts longer than seven days is considered menorrhagia.

A woman with menorrhagia can experience menstrual bleeding exceeding 80 mL in each cycle. Blood loss is not severe enough to be defined as menorrhagia for most women. 27% to 54% of women with periods experience heavy menstrual bleeding.

Having so much blood loss and cramping makes it impossible to go about your regular activities when you suffer from menorrhagia. Losing a lot of blood can interfere with sleep and activity.

Talk with your doctor if you fear your period because of such heavy menstrual bleeding. Menorrhagia can be treated effectively.

period cup

How Do Long Periods Occur?

There are many reasons why people suffer for long periods. Few are listed below: 

Changes in hormones and ovulation

An extended period may be caused by hormonal changes or ovulation. During puberty or perimenopause, you may experience hormonal changes when you get your period for the first time. Other health conditions may also cause hormonal imbalances, such as thyroid disorders or polycystic ovarian syndrome.

During your menstrual cycle, your uterine lining can become very thick if your hormones aren't at their normal level or if you don't ovulate. You may experience a longer-than-normal period when your body finally sheds the lining.

Medical Treatments

Due to the medications you take, you may have long periods. Among these are: Aspirin and other blood-thinning medications such as intrauterine devices and extended birth control pills or anti-inflammatories

Pregnancy

In addition to not being a period, prolonged vaginal bleeding may indicate an unsafe or nonviable pregnancy, including an ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage.

If you have a condition like a placenta previa, you may also experience prolonged bleeding in pregnancy. Whenever you experience vaginal bleeding following a positive pregnancy test, see your doctor.

Thyroid disorder

If your thyroid is underperforming, you may experience a long period of fatigue. Hypothyroidism is a condition characterized by this.

Condition of bleeding

You may have a condition that keeps your body from clotting blood properly, causing your long periods. You might have other symptoms as well.

Fatness/obesity

Long periods may be caused by excess weight. Your body produces more estrogen when you have fat tissue. The excess estrogen can cause your period to change.

Cancer

If your period lasts for a long time, you may have uterine or cervical cancer. Some women can experience this symptom as an early sign of one of these cancers.

Symptoms And Impact Of Menorrhagia

The easiest way to know if you are experiencing heavy menstrual bleeding is to note, How often your napkin or tampon becomes soaked?

If your Period is heavy enough, you have to change a napkin or tampon every few hours, or if vaginal bleeding continues for more than a week, you face heavy periods.

Another sign of a long Period is that blood contains clots a quarter or larger.

  • Abdominal pain.
  • Period not stopping lasts more than seven days.
  • Discharge of a blood clot one-quarter or larger. Blood may be red, pink, brown, or rusty looking.
  • Bleeding per hour for two or more consecutive hours.
  • Losing more than 80 milliliters of blood during menstruation, usually 35 to 40 milliliters.

Diagnosing Menorrhagia

First, it is important to know how much blood is lost during the menstrual cycle. While measuring the exact amount may not be possible, it is at least possible to estimate. 

One way to do this is to check each day of your Period to see how many napkins or tampons you need. It is good to keep a diary or otherwise record this information for a month or two.

The uterus is usually examined first to determine the cause of heavy periods. The doctor will palpate the uterus and observe it with an ultrasound. Occasionally, a hysteroscopy is also recommended. A small video camera is inserted into the uterus.

A blood test can tell if heavy periods are causing anemia. This test can also measure the number of certain hormones in your blood affected by your uterine lining and menstrual cycle.

Your situation and the types of symptoms you notice can give your doctor useful clues about possible causes. Therefore, you should tell your doctor about any illnesses you are suffering from, illnesses in your family, medications you are taking, weight problems, psychological stress, etc.

When to See a Doctor

Menstruating women report heavy bleeding in 1 out of every 20 cases, according to studies. These are usually caused by uterine fibroids or hormonal imbalance.

If heavy bleeding is not treated, iron deficiency anemia may result.

You probably have a self-care routine that you follow when you're on your period which can include adoption of a menstrual cup to manage heavy period flows or use of period underwear. Perhaps you'll stock up on supplies, chocolate, and pain medications so you can microwave a heating pad when they're needed.

But, identifying the cause of heavy bleeding is the first step in managing it. There are numerous medications and treatments available once the cause has been identified.

You should seek medical attention if you feel dizzy, weak, short of breath, or have chest pains and heavy menstrual bleeding.

It is fairly common to experience heavy menstrual bleeding, but severe complications may occur. A heavy bleeding period is when you have to change your tampon or pad after less than two hours, or when you pass clots the size of a quarter.

heavy period representation

When you experience weakness, dizziness, shortness of breath, or chest pain with heavy menstrual bleeding, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. You may not be able to live your life to the fullest if you suffer from heavy or prolonged bleeding.

This can also lead to anemia. Fatigue and weakness can be symptoms of anemia, a blood disorder. You might develop other health problems if you have heavy periods.

Menorrhagia: Health Concerns

While menorrhagia is not life-threatening, it can have a profound impact on a woman's social, personal, and professional life. A menstrual cycle with excessive flow which lasts longer than seven days is considered menorrhagia.

A woman with menorrhagia can experience menstrual bleeding exceeding 80 mL in each cycle. Blood loss is not severe enough to be defined as menorrhagia for most women. 27% to 54% of women with periods experience heavy menstrual bleeding.

Having so much blood loss and cramping makes it impossible to go about your regular activities when you suffer from menorrhagia. Losing a lot of blood can interfere with sleep and activity.

Talk with your doctor if you fear your period because of such heavy menstrual bleeding. Menorrhagia can be treated effectively.

period cup

How Do Long Periods Occur?

There are many reasons why people suffer for long periods. Few are listed below: 

Changes in hormones and ovulation

An extended period may be caused by hormonal changes or ovulation. During puberty or perimenopause, you may experience hormonal changes when you get your period for the first time. Other health conditions may also cause hormonal imbalances, such as thyroid disorders or polycystic ovarian syndrome.

During your menstrual cycle, your uterine lining can become very thick if your hormones aren't at their normal level or if you don't ovulate. You may experience a longer-than-normal period when your body finally sheds the lining.

Medical Treatments

Due to the medications you take, you may have long periods. Among these are: Aspirin and other blood-thinning medications such as intrauterine devices and extended birth control pills or anti-inflammatories

Pregnancy

In addition to not being a period, prolonged vaginal bleeding may indicate an unsafe or nonviable pregnancy, including an ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage.

If you have a condition like a placenta previa, you may also experience prolonged bleeding in pregnancy. Whenever you experience vaginal bleeding following a positive pregnancy test, see your doctor.

Thyroid disorder

If your thyroid is underperforming, you may experience a long period of fatigue. Hypothyroidism is a condition characterized by this.

Condition of bleeding

You may have a condition that keeps your body from clotting blood properly, causing your long periods. You might have other symptoms as well.

Fatness/obesity

Long periods may be caused by excess weight. Your body produces more estrogen when you have fat tissue. The excess estrogen can cause your period to change.

Cancer

If your period lasts for a long time, you may have uterine or cervical cancer. Some women can experience this symptom as an early sign of one of these cancers.

Symptoms And Impact Of Menorrhagia

The easiest way to know if you are experiencing heavy menstrual bleeding is to note, How often your napkin or tampon becomes soaked?

If your Period is heavy enough, you have to change a napkin or tampon every few hours, or if vaginal bleeding continues for more than a week, you face heavy periods.

Another sign of a long Period is that blood contains clots a quarter or larger.

  • Abdominal pain.
  • Period not stopping lasts more than seven days.
  • Discharge of a blood clot one-quarter or larger. Blood may be red, pink, brown, or rusty looking.
  • Bleeding per hour for two or more consecutive hours.
  • Losing more than 80 milliliters of blood during menstruation, usually 35 to 40 milliliters.

Diagnosing Menorrhagia

First, it is important to know how much blood is lost during the menstrual cycle. While measuring the exact amount may not be possible, it is at least possible to estimate. 

One way to do this is to check each day of your Period to see how many napkins or tampons you need. It is good to keep a diary or otherwise record this information for a month or two.

The uterus is usually examined first to determine the cause of heavy periods. The doctor will palpate the uterus and observe it with an ultrasound. Occasionally, a hysteroscopy is also recommended. A small video camera is inserted into the uterus.

A blood test can tell if heavy periods are causing anemia. This test can also measure the number of certain hormones in your blood affected by your uterine lining and menstrual cycle.

Your situation and the types of symptoms you notice can give your doctor useful clues about possible causes. Therefore, you should tell your doctor about any illnesses you are suffering from, illnesses in your family, medications you are taking, weight problems, psychological stress, etc.

When to See a Doctor

Menstruating women report heavy bleeding in 1 out of every 20 cases, according to studies. These are usually caused by uterine fibroids or hormonal imbalance.

If heavy bleeding is not treated, iron deficiency anemia may result.

You probably have a self-care routine that you follow when you're on your period which can include adoption of a menstrual cup to manage heavy period flows or use of period underwear. Perhaps you'll stock up on supplies, chocolate, and pain medications so you can microwave a heating pad when they're needed.

But, identifying the cause of heavy bleeding is the first step in managing it. There are numerous medications and treatments available once the cause has been identified.

You should seek medical attention if you feel dizzy, weak, short of breath, or have chest pains and heavy menstrual bleeding.