If a woman loses more than 80ml of blood in one period, the bleeding is heavy. Although methods of quantifying the exact amount of blood loss are not usually accurate, most women know when their period is heavy and the heavy flow often come with blood clots.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), menorrhagia is menstrual bleeding that lasts more than 7 days. It can also be bleeding that is very heavy.
How do you know if you have heavy bleeding?
If you need to change your tampon or pad after less than 2 hours or you pass clots the size of a quarter or larger, that is heavy bleeding. If you have this type of bleeding, you should see a doctor before anemia take toll on you.
Here are the 9 collective causes of such excessive bleeding:
- Nearly 20 percent of women over 30 years have fibroids. They are of different types and may cause heavy menstrual bleeding. According to heathline, fibroids are abnormal growths that develop in or on a woman’s uterus. Sometimes these tumors become quite large and cause severe abdominal pain and heavy periods. In other cases, they cause no signs or symptoms at all. The growths are typically benign, or non-cancerous. Treatment depends on many factors but you are advised to see a doctor. Watch out for this!
- Infections like pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) can cause heavy periods often with abnormal vaginal discharge and lower abdominal pain. They can be treated with medications.
- Women who menstruate and are taking certain medications like warfarin and aspirin can have heavy menstrual bleeding. Any drug which encourages bleeding and needs to be given to a menstruating woman should be carefully weighed to check the risk.
- Polyps are non-cancerous growths. They may be attached to the inner wall of the womb (endometrial polyps) or cervix (cervical polyps). They can increase period bleeding, cause bleeding in-between your periods and after sex. They can be surgically removed.
- Women who use copper intrauterine contraception devices (IUCDs) to prevent pregnancy tend to have heavy menstrual flow. This might be due to blood vessel changes that affect blood flow to the womb. Heavy periods may warrant a review of your contraceptive method.
- Endometriosis (en-doe-me-tree-O-sis) is an often painful disorder in which tissue similar to the tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus — the endometrium — grows outside the uterus. Endometriosis most commonly involves ovaries, fallopian tubes and the tissue lining the pelvis. Rarely, endometrial tissue may spread beyond pelvic organs. This can cause a shorter amount of time in-between your periods, very painful periods and lead to heavy flows. See your doctor for full evaluation and treatment.
- Women with blood clotting disorders can experience heavy menstrual bleeding. For example, platelet disorders and clotting factor deficiencies can make it difficult for blood to clot properly leading to heavy periods. Your health care providers can help.
- Uterine cancer may cause brown vaginal discharge with bleeding in-between periods which may be heavy. Cervical cancer could cause irregular and heavy periods occasionally with blood-streaked vaginal discharge. Please see a doctor for early diagnosis and treatment.
- The thyroid influences the control of the menstrual cycle. Too much or too little thyroid hormone can make periods very light, heavy, irregular or even absent. Low thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism) may cause heavy periods.