Around one-third of women ask for treatment for heavy bleeding during their periods, and likely many more don’t realize that they have heavy bleeding. Although it’s common, it’s not normal. In this post we discuss how you know if you have heavy bleeding or not, and when you should talk to Dr. Parisa Pourzand about it.
Dr. Pourzand can provide treatment for a number of menstruation problems such as irregular menses and endometriosis, both of which can be related to heavy bleeding during your period. One problem, though, is that some women don’t even realize that they’re experiencing heavy bleeding, or that it could be a problem.
The medical term for a menstrual period that lasts more than seven days or that is very heavy is menorrhagia. But what is “very heavy?” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it’s “If you need to change your tampon or pad after less than 2 hours or you pass clots the size of a quarter or larger.”
Other signs of heavy bleeding include things like having to double your pads or having to get up to change your pad or tampon during the night. If your period is so heavy you don’t feel comfortable doing things you’d normally do, it may also be considered heavy. Constant pain and being extremely tired or short of breath during your period can also be concerning symptoms.
Most women lose about two to three tablespoons of blood during a four to five day span of time. More than that may be considered heavy.
If you’ve always had a period that lasts longer than seven days, or you’ve always had bleeding that could be considered heavy by someone else, you may not be aware that anything unusual is happening. It’s a good idea to talk to Dr. Pourzand about your period if you suspect it may not be normal, or if things change and your menstrual flow becomes much heavier than it used to be.
You may want to track your menstrual period for a few months if you suspect things are changing but you’re not sure. Note the date it begins, how you feel, how many pads or tampons you use each day, and the date that it ends.
Dr. Pourzand will likely ask you questions about your overall health, any medications you take, what your cycle is normally like, and how your quality of life is affected by your period. She’ll also do a physical exam, and may do a pap test or blood tests.
Whether you’ve always had heavy periods, or it’s a new and unwelcome change, talking to Dr. Pourzand about it can help you understand why it’s happening. Depending on the cause of your heavy bleeding, effective treatments may help. Schedule your appointment at the location that works best for you.