Every woman's periods are different, and it can be difficult to assess whether or not your bleeding is heavier than it should be. Periods are obviously a personal subject, and most of us have no way of knowing if our bleeding is the same as that of our friends or anyone else. How do specialists gauge it? Well, thanks to a number of women who sent their sanitary towels and tampons to a lab for analysis, we now know what is considered to be 'normal'.
On average, we lose about 6-8 teaspoons (35ml), or about half an eggcup, over the course of a period. Some women lose more and others less, but this figure acts as a benchmark for an average woman in an average cycle.
Are your periods heavy? The easiest way to gauge whether your periods are unusually heavy is to work out how often you are changing whatever form of protection you are using. For example, if you have to change your tampon or pad every hour or sooner, or if you frequently leak in the night, chances are your periods are abnormally heavy.
For some women, symptoms are so extreme that they will actually flood to the point of haemorrhaging. I have had women describe flooding through their clothes and all over the car seat while driving. The blood may also contain clots that look like pieces of liver, which can be alarming. Some women have said that their flow has become so unpredictable and intense that they cannot stray far from a toilet. Many women reach the point where their lives are being planned around their periods.
When your period begins to affect the quality of your life and your ability to work, it's undoubtedly something that must be addressed.
Are there other symptoms? Depending upon the cause of the heavy periods (also called menorrhagia), you may experience cramping or other symptoms. Heavy periods that cannot be medically explained often have no other symptoms.
What are your choices? For many women with heavy periods, there is nothing wrong from a gynaecological point of view, except for the fact that there is excess bleeding. You may be building up more womb lining than necessary, which needs to be shed every month. Furthermore, your womb, which functions as a muscle, may be poorly toned, causing more bleeding than normal.
One of the aims of the natural approach to heavy periods is to ensure that your hormones are balanced. If you have excess oestrogen, your womb lining can build up. Not only is what you eat important but supplements are added to make the dietary changes more effective in a shorter period of time. Some are recommended because they have definitely been found to be deficient in women who have heavy periods and others have been recommended because they can work on balancing hormones and hormone-like substances in your body, which may be causing the heavy bleeding.
Marilyn recommends that you follow a plan of action designed specifically for dealing with Heavy Periods.
By clicking on any (or all) of the 4 sections below you can get a plan of action and find out all you need to know about Heavy Periods. From how to identify the problem and discovering the cause, to knowing what your choices are and what to do next.
Click on a section below to start your journey back to good health and feeling better again:
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