periods bleeding: causes, treatment and advice

A third of women have significant periods . Up to 15% suffer from periods haemorrhage. The causes can be numerous. Fortunately, there are solutions to regulate menstrual flow. Elia tells you more about this disabling phenomenon.


What are periods haemorrhages?

Hemorrhagic periods results in a very copious flow of blood, which is difficult to controlwith conventional sanitary protection such as tampons or pads. This is a restrictive form of periods . To designate a hemorrhage of periods, we speak of menorrhagia.

How can I tell if my periods is bleeding?

periods are said to be hemorrhagic when blood loss exceeds 90 ml, the equivalent of a full coffee cup. The volume of blood lost then becomes embarrassing. Typically, the women concerned have to change their sanitary protection very often (sometimes every hour for several consecutive hours), day and night.

L periods hemorrhage can also be distinguished by its unusually long duration: 7 days or more. Loss of large blood clots is also common.

Types of bleeding and periods haemorrhages

There are three types of menorrhagia. There are :

  • Hypermenorrhea: menstrual flow is very abundant (over 90 ml), but the duration of periods is normal (between 3 and 7 days maximum);
  • Macromenorrhea: menstrual flow is normal to abundant (between 35 and 90 ml), but the duration of periods is too long (more than 7 days);
  • Polymenorrhoea: the menstrual flow is both very abundant and very long.

How to tell the difference between periods hemorrhagic and periods abundant 

periods are considered abundant when the total volume of bleeding exceeds 40 ml.

To calculate their menstrual flow and see whether their periods are normal (35 to 40 ml), abundant or hemorrhagic, women can refer to the Higham score. The principle is to fill in a menstruation evaluation grid over a given period of periods , indicating :

  • Total number of lightly, moderately or heavily soaked pads or tampons;
  • The total number of small or large blood clots lost (smaller or larger than 1 cm).

A number of points is awarded for each pad, tampon or clot. A total score of 100 or more is indicative of periods bleeding.

What are the different causes of bleeding at periods ?

Women can experience periods bleeding for a variety of reasons.

The copper coil

The copper intrauterine device (IUD) can causeinflammation of the uterus, resulting in thickening of the endometrium (the mucous membrane lining the inner surface of the uterus, where periods originates). The result? When, in the absence of fertilization, theendometrium disintegrates, bleeding is heavier than usual.

In most cases, the body eventually s'gets used to the presence of the IUD. A few months after insertion, the flow tends to diminish, even if s'it often remains abundant.

The presence of a uterine fibroid or ovarian cyst

A fibroid is a tumor located in the muscle cells of the luterus. It is benign, so cannot degenerate into cancer. Often silent, this pathology is symptomatic in 20-50% of cases. Symptoms include menorrhagia, pain and frequent urination.

Also benign, ovarian cysts are fluid-filled tumours. In 90% of cases, it resolves on its own. This is known as a functional ovarian cyst. Organic cysts, on the other hand, usually require treatment.


Particularly painful, endometriosis is characterized by the presence of endometrial fragments outside the uterus. It's not uncommon for people affected by this chronic gynaecological disease to experience abundant, even haemorrhagic periods .

Other causes

Lhemorrhage of periods can also be the consequence:

  • Hormonal imbalance (excess estrogen or deficiency of progesterone, or both - these imbalances sare particularly common at puberty or during the premenopause);
  • Uterine polyps (benign growths);
  • Early miscarriage;
  • Adenomyosis (a particular form of endometriosis affecting lthe uterus or myometrium, i.e. the uterine muscle);
  • Endometrial hyperplasia or hypertrophy (an increase in the volume of the lining of the luterus caused by hormonal imbalance);
  • A coagulation disorder (hemophilia or Von Willebrand disease, for example);
  • Certain diseases or conditions, such as lupus erythematosus, kidney failure, liver dysfunction and other endocrine disorders;
  • Or endometrial cancer l.

Rest assured: endometrial cancer is associated with heavy bleeding in less than 1% of menorrhagia cases. l

What are the treatments for periods bleeding?

The treatment of a hemorrhage from periods depends directly on its cause. For this reason, the cause must be systematically investigated by a specialist.

Medical treatments

When the copper IUD is the cause of periods bleeding, the problem can be solved by replacing it with a hormonal IUD containing levonorgestrel (a synthetic hormone similar to progesterone). The latter will have the effect of limiting endometrial thickening, thus reducing menstrual flow.

A progestin-only pill, i.e. one with a low progesterone content, may also be considered. This contraceptive treatment will also regulate endometrial growth. Alternatively, progesterone-based hormone tablets can be taken. This treatment should be taken for 10, 15 or 20 days a month, but preferably for a short time, due to the risk of associated meningioma (benign tumour of the meninges). It is therefore preferable, for example, while waiting for surgery.

Ultrasound, a non-surgical treatment

Ultrasound destroys benign tumors, cellular lesions or low-risk localized cancers by heating, without damaging surrounding healthy tissue. No incision or anesthesia is required.

Surgical treatments

Ovarian cysts, fibroids or uterine polyps may require surgery, depending on their size and number, and their impact on the periods. The same applies to adenomyosis or endometrial hypertrophy. Several surgical techniques are available.

Loperative hysteroscopy

Also known as gynaecological endoscopy, hysteroscopy involves operating inside the uterine cavity via the natural route. Lhe procedure is performed outside the periods period - or outside the bleeding period for premenopausal women - ideally in the first part of the menstrual cycle. At this time, the uterine mucosa is thinner. This facilitates the surgeon's work.

For polyps or fibroids, operative hysteroscopy is only indicated if the tumour(s) is/are located beneath the uterine lining. Indeed, when they are interstitial (i.e. located inside the uterine wall), it is impossible for the surgeon to access them with the hysteroscope.


Lhysterectomy is a radical operation. LThe entire uterus is removed. In the same operation, the surgeon may also remove other organs, such as the cervix, ovaries or fallopian tubes. In women approaching menopause, only the ovaries are usually removed.

Patients may opt for hysterectomy, even if they have not tried medical treatment or light surgery beforehand.

Luterine embolization

The aim of this minimally invasive procedure is to block the uterine arteries that irrigate fibroids or endometriosis lesions (in the case of adenomyosis, or endometriosis inside the uterus). It is used as an alternative to hysterectomy for women wishing to retain their uterus.

There is, however, a risk of failure. The risk of uterine necrosis, although rare, cannot be ruled out.

Why do you need to check your anemia regularly if you are bleeding from periods ?

Hemorrhage from periods can lead to iron deficiency anemia. Iron is an essential element in the production of red blood cells, which play a vital role in oxygen transport. That's why it's important tohave regular blood tests to assess your state of health. If necessary, your doctor can prescribe an iron supplement.

Liron-deficiency anemia causes fatigue, paleness, headaches, shortness of breath on exertion, dizziness or vertigo.

period pants for periods bleeding

Pads and tampons, even for very heavy flows (super plus), are not always enough to control a very heavy blood flow. Much more absorbent menstrual panties can absorb lthe equivalent of 3 to 4 conventional tampons. They are therefore particularly recommended for periods bleeding.

As well as being effective (maximum absorption for the "haemorrhagic" range, a sufficiently wide band to prevent the risk of leakage), these panties are comfortable, but also refined.

The secret? They incorporate a layer of eucalyptus fiber (Tencel) with anti-odour, antibacterial and ultra-absorbent properties, guaranteeing dry protection all day and night long. In addition to this layer s'is a waterproof PUL membrane, for enhanced anti-leak protection.

At just two to three millimeters thick, Elia's briefs from periods go unnoticed under your clothes. It's almost as if you were wearing classic lingerie! Our entire collection is made from organic cotton. More respectful of the environment, the cultivation of organic cotton consumes 91% less water than traditional cotton. So when you wear Elia menstrual panties, you're also doing your bit for the planet!

Bleeding FAQ periods

When do we talk about periods haemorrhagic?

Lhe bleeding from periods is characterized by very heavy bleeding (over 90 ml), sometimes accompanied by clots, a flow that is difficult to control with conventional sanitary protection (tampons, pads, etc.) and an abnormally long duration (over 7 days).

How to stop the hemorrhaging of periods ?

Menstrual flow can be reduced in the first instance by taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), but only on medical advice and prescription. If you suffer from coagulation disorders, you may be prescribed anti-fibrinolytics.

How can you tell the difference between periods and a hemorrhage?

periods are said to be abundant when blood flow is between 40 and 90 ml. Above this level, they are called periods hemorrhagic. To find out how much menstrual blood they have, in order to determine whether periods is abundant or hemorrhagic, women can refer to the Higham score.

What are the remedies for bleeding from periods ?

Several solutions can be offered to women suffering from periods haemorrhage, including hormonal contraceptive treatment, ultrasound or surgery (operative hysteroscopy, hysterectomy and uterine embolization).