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How and Why to Manage Heavy Periods

Posted on November 21, 2023

Are heavy periods controlling your life? Does every outing during your cycle leave you anxious about leaking through menstrual products? We know that these considerations are emotionally draining. And that's already a concern. But did you know that an unusually heavy menstrual cycle can also compromise your overall health? Here's what you need to know.

Menstrual Products for a Heavy Flow many tampons on a blue background

In a minute, we'll highlight how heavy flow can compromise your well-being. But, as we just said, that flooding period also takes a toll on your daily life. After all, this study points out that most menstrual products underperform on absorbency, leaving you vulnerable to leaks.

So, what can you do if you quickly bleed through heavy-flow menstrual products? First, be sure to discuss this symptom with your doctor. Then, while you figure out why your cycle is heavy, and determine a treatment plan, many women suggest doubling up on products, using a tampon and pad or period underwear together so you don't have to worry about leaks.

When Heavy Bleeding Becomes Dangerous

Abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB) can lead to anemia, a condition in which your blood doesn't contain enough red blood cells. Additionally, studies suggest that a heavy period can take a toll on your mental health, leaving you  struggling with fear, anxiety, and even anger.

But how can you decide if your period flow is unusually heavy? We suggest talking to your doctor if you have to change your menstrual products in an hour or less. You should also discuss overnight bleeding that's heavy enough to stain your sheets.

What Causes Heavy Periods?

Long, heavy periods are often a symptom of fibroids. (These are non-cancerous tumors that grow in or around the uterus.) But heavy menstrual cycles are also linked to Pelvic Congestion Syndrome (PCS). With both concerns, you'll also have pelvic pain, pain after sex, constipation and painful period cramps. But with PCS, unlike fibroids, the pain is typically worse at the end of the day, or after long periods of standing. And your PCS risk increases after child birth, because of the pressure that labor and delivery place on the pelvic blood vessels.

Now, since heavy periods could be a sign of either of these conditions, it's important to discuss every unusual symptom with your doctor. Together, you can uncover what's causing AUB, to determine the appropriate treatment plan.

Treating Heavy Bleeding

If your AUB does not have a clear cause, you may be able to manage a heavy flow with birth control. But, since certain types of birth control can result in fibroid growth, you may prefer to seek other treatment options if these uterine growths are the cause of your heavy periods.

AUB Linked to Fibroids

When underlying conditions are the cause of your heavy bleeding, you'll have to treat the source of your problem to find relief. And, since many women with heavy periods also have fibroids, exploring treatment options for these uterine growths could be the key to managing your flow.

Just remember: you don't have to be embarrassed about AUB, but you do have to talk about it with your doctor. And, if you discover that fibroids are causing changes to your flow, we invite you to schedule a consultation with our Dallas fibroid specialists.

 

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