Heavy periods, also called menorrhagia, are no fun. While they're quite common, how do you define if your period is heavy or not?
The average woman loses 30-40ml – equivalent to approximately two tablespoons. Heavy bleeding is considered to be 60-80ml, around four tablespoons.
How do I know if I have heavy periods?
Common signs you have heavy periods are:
- Having to use a high number of towels or tampons
- Bleeding onto your clothes
- Waking up in the night in order to change your tampon, pad or menstrual cup
You may not have always had heavy periods. “Periods can change with age and after pregnancy or miscarriage” says Kavita Singh, Consultant Gynaecologist at BMI The Priory Hospital in Birmingham. “Heavier periods are not abnormal. If the menstrual flow becomes too excessive, which means there is flooding with clots or the periods are lasting more than 7-8 days then they do need medical attention.”
Various health problems can cause heavy periods so if you’re worried it’s best to visit your GP to get checked out.
How do I make a heavy period more bearable?
Take an iron supplement: A Finnish survey found that many women with heavy periods were either anaemic or iron deficient. The right foods or supplements could help increase your energy levels and also help with any anxiety or depression.
Equip yourself to deal with the pain: Heavy periods can mean painful cramps so ensure you’re stocked up on painkillers and have a hot water bottle nearby.
Be prepared: Keep a large supply of sanitary towels and tampons nearby. You could always keep a stash in a cosmetic bag or use the free bag that comes in your Pink Parcel!