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heavy-periods

Heavy Periods: Everything You Need To Know

Heavy periods can be a real pain - both literally and figuratively. But here's the thing: you're not alone. In fact, 1 in 5 women experience heavy menstrual bleeding. At DAME, we believe in talking about periods openly and honestly. So, let's dive into everything you need to know about heavy periods, from identifying the signs to exploring your options for managing them like a boss.

What is a heavy period?

First things first, let's define our terms. A heavy period, medically known as menorrhagia, is characterised by excessively heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding. Here are some signs that your period might be heavier than average:

  • Bleeding that lasts longer than 7 days

  • Passing blood clots larger than a penny

  • Needing to change your pad or tampon every hour

  • Bleeding through your clothes or bedding

  • Symptoms of anaemia like fatigue, shortness of breath, headaches

If you're nodding your head to any of these, it's time to talk to your GP. They can help determine if there's an underlying cause for your heavy bleeding.

heavy-periods

Period care options for heavy periods

 Managing a heavy flow can be challenging, but having the right period care products in your toolkit can make a world of difference. At DAME, we're all about finding sustainable, comfortable, and effective solutions for every stage of your cycle. Here are some of our top picks:

  • Menstrual cups: 

Period cups are a game-changer for heavy days. Our DAME cups can hold 2x more than a tampon, so you can go longer between changes.

  • Period pants

Period pants provide leak-proof protection and can absorb up to 2-3 tampons worth of flow. They're also a lifesaver for overnight use or as backup protection.

  • Reusable pads

Reusable pads are more absorbent than disposables and are less likely to cause irritation. On super heavy days, pair them with a cup or period pants for extra peace of mind.

  • Organic cotton tampons

If tampons are more your style, choose organic cotton tampons. They're free from harsh chemicals and kinder to your body. Pro tip: set up a tampon subscription so you never run out and are left stranded.

Supplements and lifestyle options to consider

In addition to finding your perfect period products, making some simple lifestyle changes may also help ease heavy periods:

  • Iron supplements to prevent anaemia

  • Vitamin C and magnesium to boost iron absorption

  • B-complex vitamins and herbal remedies to replenish lost nutrients

  • Eating more leafy greens and less processed foods

  • Exercising regularly to maintain a healthy weight

  • Stress-busting techniques like meditation

  • Yoga to reduce your period cramps

Causes - Endometriosis, adenomyosis, fibroids

While heavy periods can be a normal variation of menstrual flow, they can also be a sign of an underlying health condition. Some of the most common culprits behind heavy menstrual bleeding include:

Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the uterus (the endometrium) grows outside of the uterus. This misplaced tissue can cause inflammation, pain, and heavy bleeding during periods. Endometriosis can be difficult to diagnose, as the symptoms can vary widely from person to person.

Adenomyosis is another condition that can cause heavy or prolonged periods. It occurs when the endometrial tissue grows into the muscular wall of the uterus. This can cause the uterus to become enlarged and can lead to painful, heavy periods.

Fibroids are non-cancerous growths that develop in or around the uterus. They're very common, especially in women of reproductive age. While many women with fibroids don't experience any symptoms, others may have heavy or painful periods, pelvic pain, or frequent urination.

If you're consistently experiencing heavy periods or have other concerning symptoms like severe pain, it's important to talk to your GP. They can perform a physical exam and may recommend tests like an ultrasound, MRI, or hysteroscopy to help diagnose any underlying conditions.

When to see your GP

While heavy periods are relatively common, there are certain signs that indicate it's time to seek medical advice. If your heavy bleeding is interfering with your daily life, causing you to miss work or social activities, or leaving you feeling exhausted and drained, it's definitely worth talking to your doctor. It's time to make an appointment with your GP if:

  • Your periods are impacting your quality of life

  • You're soaking through a pad or tampon every hour

  • Your bleeding lasts longer than 7 days

  • You're passing large blood clots

  • You suspect you may have anaemia

  • You have severe pain or other symptoms along with heavy bleeding

Remember, you are your own best advocate when it comes to your health. If something doesn't feel right or if you're concerned about your heavy periods, don't hesitate to bring it up with your GP.

Treatment options available through GP

If you're dealing with heavy periods, know that there are a variety of treatment options available. The best approach for you will depend on the underlying cause of your heavy bleeding, as well as your personal preferences and reproductive goals. Your GP can help you navigate the different options and find the one that's right for you. Some options your doctor might suggest include:

  • Hormonal birth control to regulate cycles

  • IUD (hormonal or non-hormonal) to reduce bleeding

  • Tranexamic acid (anti-inflammatory medication)

  • Endometrial ablation to thin the uterine lining

  • Hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus) in severe cases

Your doctor can help you weigh the pros and cons of each option based on your unique situation. Remember, the goal is to find a solution that allows you to manage your heavy periods effectively so you can live your life to the fullest.

You got this

Listen, we know heavy periods can be a lot to deal with. But you don't have to just grin and bear it. By finding sustainable period care products that work for you, making some lifestyle tweaks, and advocating for your health with your doctor, you can take control of your heavy flow. 

Remember, your period is as unique as you are. What works for your best friend might not be right for you - and that's totally okay. At DAME, we're here to support you with information and products to help you manage your period on your own terms.

To find the perfect period product for you, check out our range of organic and sustainable period products.

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