Heavy periods: how to handle the flow?

Menstruation is a natural phenomenon that lasts between 2 and 7 days depending on the woman. The amount of blood lost during menstruation varies from one woman to another. And you, are your periods so heavy that they handicap you in your daily life?

What is a heavy period?

The amount of blood loss can often be complicated to assess. Periods can be heavy in terms of quantity, but also in terms of duration. In general, a woman is considered to be suffering fromhypermenorrhea when her period exceeds 7 days and/or when the amount of blood lost exceeds 80ml per cycle. Menstrual disorders, especially menorrhagia, can be a strain on women who suffer from them because they require women to change their sanitary protection every two hours and this can quickly become a mental burden and a daily strain. Some women who suffer from heavy flow will also have their periods every 3 weeks rather than every month.

The difference with bleeding periods

Having "heavy periods" is more of a descriptive term on the part of the woman. Hemorrhagic periods, menorrhagia, on the other hand, are medical terms for menstruation in which the volume of blood loss is greater than 80 ml per cycle over a longer or shorter period of time. They can hide a pathology or gynecological disorder. In general, any serious symptom such as discomfort or severe pelvic pain accompanied by menstrual bleeding should bring you to the emergency room.

How do I know if I have a heavy period?

If you are not sure whether your period is normal, heavy or even bleeding, there is a way to calculate the abundance of your flow: the Higham test.

Calculating your Higham score

The Higham test allows you to calculate the amount of blood you are losing.
It is very simple, you just have to start noting the number of sanitary pads you use per day, starting from the first day of your period. This will give you a number of points for each day, you then have to add them up to get your total score which will be your Higham score. A score of more than 100 points means that you are losing more than 80 ml, which indicates that you are suffering from a very heavy period.

For more information, we invite you to consult your doctor, midwife or gynecologist.

What causes heavy periods?

Heavy periods can result from several factors. It is important to identify the cause in order to receive appropriate treatment:

  • Pathologies of the uterus or the reproductive sphere: uterine polyps, fibroids, endometrial cancer, adenomyosis or endometriosis, cysts, tumors...
  • General illnesses such as coagulation problems, liver problems or thyroid disorders
  • Medical causes: anticoagulant drugs, copper IUD insertion...
  • Functional or idiopathic menorrhagia: once all the previous causes have been eliminated

Should you be concerned about heavy periods?

If you suffer from heavy periods, it is important to consult a health professional so that he or she can diagnose the cause of the bleeding. It is also important to make sure that the bleeding is not actually related to your period, such as a pregnancy. Bleeding that is not related to a period is called metrorrhagia.
When you suffer from heavy menstrual flow, the risk is to suffer fromanemia. The body does not have enough time to replenish its blood supply, which can cause a lack ofhemoglobin in the blood. Finally,hypermenorrhea represents a mental burden, an emotional and physical impact, professional but also social.

Our solutions and tips for treating heavy periods

Fortunately, there are solutions to help you live better with your heavy periods.

The first thing to do is to make sure you have an adequate iron intake. Indeed, when you suffer from a heavy menstrual flow, you are more prone to iron anemia. You can find iron in lentils, spinach, meat, etc. If your diet is not sufficient to provide you with iron, you can ask a health care professional to supplement you with iron.

Heavy periods can also be the result of a magnesium or vitamin deficiency. For magnesium, do not deprive yourself of dark chocolate!

Nettle can also help reduce heavy blood loss, as can cold compresses, which will reduce the volume of blood vessels.

To better live your cycles, you can use the menstrual panties in organic cotton Elia, breathable and without danger for your intimate zone, they will be able to accompany you during all the duration of your period and outside, without irritations.

The FAQ of heavy periods

Why are my periods so heavy?

There are many causes of heavy periods. They can be due to a gynecological disease such as adenomyosis, to coagulation diseases, but also to a hormonal imbalance for example. Talk to your health care professional to find out more.

Is it normal to lose a lot of blood during my period?

Blood flow during menstruation varies from person to person. Some will have a very light and short period, while others will have a heavy period in quantity and duration. To know exactly how much blood is lost and if it is pathological, it is possible to perform the Higham test.

How to stop heavy periods?

If it is idiopathic menorrhagia, some tips can help to better live with heavy periods, such as eating foods containing iron, magnesium etc... Otherwise, it is necessary to treat the problem at its cause if it is another underlying disease.

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