Menstruation is the monthly cycle wherein women experience vaginal bleeding. This blood comprises endometrial tissues, vaginal secretions, mucus, and blood. A woman can experience a menstruation cycle, also known as the ‘period cycle’, between 21 to 35 days, and can bleed between three to seven days.
The Channel 46 collaborated with Dr Sushma Tomar, Consultant – Obstetrician & Gynecologist, Fortis Hospital, who explains the signs, causes, and treatment for heavy bleeding.
What Is Heavy Period Bleeding?
Normal periods do not last for more than seven days. Hence, if you bleed for eight days, it is considered heavy bleeding. While using two to three sanitary napkins in a day during menses is usual, having to use more than four napkins a day may imply that you experiencing heavy bleeding. At times, heavy bleeding may even affect a woman’s quality of life as she would feel restricted to pursue certain activities due to the discomfort or pain they may experience.
5 Symptoms Of Heavy Period Bleeding
Some signs of heavy bleeding include:
- Severe abdominal pain
- Coin-size blood clots or even bigger
- Blood colour appears pink, brown, etc.
- Extreme exhaustion and shortness of breath
- Using two sanitary napkins at a time to manage the menstrual flow
If the bleeding is so much that one shows signs of Anaemia (a medical condition caused due to iron deficiency), then you should consult an expert, as it could be life-threatening if not treated.
6 Possible Causes Of Heavy Periods
There are many causes attributed to heavy bleeding and it varies on the basis of age, marital status, the severity of the pain, and clots. It can be because of hormonal imbalance or intrauterine pathology like IUD, Endometriosis, Endometrial Polyps, Fibroids, Cancer, bleeding disorders, post-delivery or post-abortion, post-medical termination of pregnancy (MTP), Menopause, etc.
1. Hormone Imbalances
Oestrogen and Progesterone that are produced in the body help to regulate periods, but if there is an imbalance of these due to Thyroid, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), Obesity, and other reasons, it can cause heavy bleeding.
In this disease, there is a formation of tissue on the outside lining of the uterus. During periods, blood flows out not just from the uterus but from the tissues lined outside the uterus as well. Because there is no other outlet for the blood inside these tissues. This leads to excessive bleeding during periods among women with this condition.
3. Growth In The Uterus
The growth can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous) due to which the cells grow improperly. These growths can be Endometrial Polyps, Fibroids, Endometrial Hyperplasia, Cervical Cancer, and Uterine Cancer, among others.
4. Complications During Pregnancy Or Post-Delivery
If you experience heavy bleeding while you’re pregnant or after you’ve delivered, it might be because of a miscarriage, Ectopic Pregnancy, or caesarean scar niche. An ectopic pregnancy occurs when the fertilised egg grows outside the uterus, while a caesarean scar niche refers to the formation of a pocket filled with blood created due to the scars from the c-section.
5. Medical Issues
Heavy bleeding could be a symptom of health conditions like Liver disease, kidney disease, and platelet disorder, among others.
Failing to remove the contraceptive at the given period, and instead using it for longer
Treatment Options Available For Heavy Period Bleeding
The line of treatment depends on the cause of the heavy bleeding, its severity, the age of the patient, and their medical history. So, the treatment can be medical–prescribing medications, or surgical, depending on these factors.
It is important that you do not ignore their health if you are experiencing heavy period bleeding and consult a doctor immediately to rule out any serious disease or complication.
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