While women’s periods may vary between individuals — or even over time — keeping track of how long you bleed and how heavy your bleeding is can help you keep on top of your reproductive health. Heavy or abnormal bleeding is almost always a sign that something is off-kilter, either hormonally or structurally. Luckily, heavy bleeding can be treated.
Caring and expert OB/GYNs Daniel McDyer, MD, FACOG, and Julian Stephen Suhrer, MD encourage you to contact them if your bleeding is heavy, abnormal, or painful so that they can evaluate and treat your condition. Here are a few guidelines to help you determine if your heavy bleeding is within the normal range or if it needs evaluation and treatment.
Do you change your tampons and pads often?
One clear sign that your bleeding is too heavy is when you need to rush to the bathroom every hour or two to change your pads or tampons. You may be using super-sized tampons and full-sized menstrual pads and still leak through. You might not even be able to sleep through the night without needing to change them.
Your period shouldn’t take over your life when you’re menstruating. If a tampon or pad alone can’t keep you comfortable and leak-free for more than two hours, contact us for an evaluation.
Do you pass large clots?
Clots in your menstrual blood could be a sign that you have uterine fibroids or another functional problem with your uterus. Generally, any clots you pass should be smaller than a quarter. If they’re larger, we can evaluate you for conditions that could be responsible for your clotting.
Do you bleed for more than a week?
A normal, healthy period lasts between 4-7 days. If you’re bleeding for longer than that, unbalanced hormones or another condition could be prolonging your period.
Commonly, women start to bleed for two weeks or longer once they enter a phase of life called perimenopause. That's the time in your reproductive life when you’re passing from your fertile phase into menopause. While perimenopause is natural, prolonged bleeding isn’t.
Bleeding that lasts for more than a week isn’t just uncomfortable; it may also cause you to become anemic. Your OB/GYN may give you hormonal therapy, such as oral progesterone, to stop your excess bleeding.
Do you feel tired or short of breath?
Losing too much blood during your period could cause a range of symptoms that impact your health, including fatigue. While most women feel a little bit of discomfort or a dip in energy during their periods, menstruation shouldn’t adversely affect your life or your mood.
If you’re cutting back on activities or find it difficult to motivate yourself during your period, you may be losing too much blood. There’s no reason to “soldier through” the fatigue. Getting treatment and restoring your bleeding to normal will help you live your life to the fullest.
To get help with your heavy bleeding, contact the nearest Florida Woman Care of Jacksonville office today. Call or book an appointment online.