Our periods are a sign of a healthy menstrual cycle. But if it is irregular, heavy or hurts too much, it’s time to see a doctor. If you find yourself having a heavier flow than usual, or using more pads than usual, here’s what you need to know.
How to determine if you have heavy periods
Dr Aruna Muralidhar, an OB-GYN at Fortis La Femme Hospital, Richmond Road, Bangalore, says, “The menstrual cycle in women plays an essential role in reproduction. Although bleeding or period is visible at the end of the cycle, there are changes taking place in the ovaries and uterine lining throughout the cycle. The cycle length, duration of period and amount of flow are variable in women. The perception of the amount of flow is very subjective.
One may assume that the periods are heavy if:
– flow is for more than 7 days
– flow is heavy with flooding and clots
– fatigue and palpitations during and after the flow
– drop in the haemoglobin
Adds Dr Raju Manmohan, Gynecologist, Apollo Spectra Hospital, Mumbai, “If you use one or more pads or tampons an hour, you have heavy menstrual bleeding (HMB). This is also known as Menorrhagia, and affects 30% of women who are of reproductive age.” If you don’t treat heavy menstrual bleeding, it could lead to anemia. It is important to note that your menstrual cycle history will also be taken into account. Your gynac will ask you the following questions:
– Nature of Bleeding
– When you got your first period
– Associated symptoms, such as intermenstrual bleeding, pelvic pain/pressure symptoms, that might suggest adenomyosis or fibroids
– Impact on the quality of life
What could heavy periods be a sign of?
Dr Aruna Muralidhar says that heavy periods could be a sign of quite a few ailments such as uterine polyps, fibroids, endometriosis or adenomyosis, ovulation dysfunction, coagulation problems, thyroid imbalance, rarely cancer.
What should I do?
You should visit your gynac to get a diagnosis and she will then prescribe a treatment for you. “It could range from oral contraception, oral progesterone or hormonal IUD like Mirena,” says Dr Raju.
Image Credits: iStockphoto.com
Article Written By: Karen Alfonso