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Why are my periods so heavy?

Let’s talk about reasons why your period is so heavy & what a heavy period typically looks like.

 Hello, I am so thrilled to be here.

For those of you that don’t know me, my name is Michelle Cooke, Period & Hormone Naturopath, Natural Fertility Educator & Naturopathic Emotional Release Practitioner. I help women struggling with their menstrual cycles, have easy, pain-free periods, balanced hormones & emotional wellbeing. I’m the Founder and Director of Reproductive Wellness, a clinic located in Melbourne. I see patients online and face-to-face.

What does a heavy period look like?

 

*A heavy period (menorrhagia) is when you are losing more than 80ml of blood over your entire period.

That’s all well and good but if you are trying to imagine what that looks like:

  1. Quantity wise:

A shot of alcohol is usually 30ml. It is essentially 2 and a half of them. Or in terms of kitchen utensils, it would be more than 5 tablespoons of blood (a tablespoon is roughly 15ml). Or 1/3 of a cup.

This can be easy to measure when you use a period cup because they usually have the millilitres (mls) on the side of them so you can tally up the daily millilitres (mls) you lost that day to get the total over the duration of your period. It depends what model of period cup that you have as to how much millilitres in total it holds. Some hold more than others.

  1. Tampon wise:

  • Regular tampons hold about 5 millilitres of blood

  • Super tampons hold about 10 millilitres of blood

If your period was heavy, you would be using approximately more than 16 regular tampons or more than 8 super tampons over the whole time of your period.

  1. Pad wise:

  • Regular pads hold about 5 millilitres of blood

  • Super tampons hold about 10 millilitres of blood

If your period was heavy you would be using approximately more than 16 regular pads or more than 8 super pads over the whole time of your period

 

Day to day what would a heavy period look like?

You may get some of these, not necessarily all of them:

  • Getting up during the night to change your pad, tampon or menstrual cup because it is full

  • When you go to bed having to put a towel down because of heavy period leaks

  • The blood flow is so much that you have to change your pad / tampon every 2 hours or less (every 3-4 hours is considered normal)

  • You bleed through your clothing

  • Wearing large maternity pads to bed due to heavy flow

  • Having to double up on menstrual options because it usually over flows through both: menstrual cup & a pad, menstrual cup and heavy period underwear

  • Your period goes for more than 7 days

  • You pass blood clots larger than a 50 cent coin

 Why do I have heavy periods?

 

We need to remember that sometimes heavy bleeding can actually be due to reasons beyond the reproductive system.

Conditions:

  • PCOS – Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome: this is a syndrome where there 2 out of 3 things happening:

  1. Irregular periods or no periods

  2. Higher levels of androgens in the blood (reflected via blood test or symptoms: excess body or face hair, acne, head hair loss)

  3. Polycystic ovaries visible on ultrasound – more than 20 partly developed or the size of one or both ovaries is increased by more than 10ml

  • Endometriosis – when tissue similar to the uterine lining grows outside the uterus. Causes pain and immune dysfunction

  • Fibroids – non-cancerous growths that grow within the muscle of the uterus, they can also protrude into the uterine cavity via a stalk.

  • Adenomyosis – when tissue that normally lines the inside of your uterus also grows in the muscular wall of the uterus.

  • Uterine polyps – non-cancerous growths attached to inner wall of uterus

  • Hypothyroidism – underactive thyroid

  • Uterine cancer – cancer of the uterus

Other:

  • Perimenopause (the journey towards Menopause)

  • Anaemia – low iron (this can be a cause & consequence of heavy periods)

  • Blood disorders

  • Oestrogen Excess (relative to progesterone or true oestrogen dominance)

  • After covid

  • After covid jab

FYI: If you have experienced heavy blood flow after covid or the covid jab please check out my masterclass ‘Periods not the same after covid’ which covers the findings in the research of what has been happening to women’s periods & menstrual cycles, why it happens & tips to support healthy periods & menstrual cycles.

 

You can purchase the replay to the masterclass here: 

Have you been

 Experiencing period or menstrual cycle changes after covid or after the vaccination?

I have a masterclass for you:

‘Periods not the same after covid’

We will discuss what these changes are to periods and the menstrual cycle, why it is happening (for both after covid & the vaccine according to the reseach) & what can be done to help support your periods, hormones & menstrual cycles.

90 min Masterclass

for ONLY $29 (for a limited time)

What should I do if I have heavy periods?

 

If you are experiencing heavy blood flow during your periods, I would recommend going to a GP. They will generally refer you to a Gynaecologist for further assessment. Remembering that a GP / doctor’s range of knowledge is very broad on a whole range of general issues. Which is why it is important to be assessed and diagnosed by a Gynaecologist that specialises in all things reproductive health, periods, girly hormones & menstrual cycles.

 

My other additional suggestion is to see a Naturopath. Have a Naturopath on your health care team that specialises in Periods & Hormones like myself; to help support you with natural medicine, assess any nutritional deficiencies, make sure your pathology results are optimal, address the underlying root causes of the heavy bleeding or conditions that you have and whether that is contributing to your heavy periods. I also recommend seeing a Naturopath because sometimes the best way moving forward isn’t just to simply stop the bleed and that’s it. Yes of course that is part of it, but if you are just simply addressing the symptoms, it doesn’t address why it is happening in the first place.

 

I use a combination of herbal medicine, nutritional medicine, NER (Naturopathic Emotional Release) to look at underlying emotional contributors, diet & lifestyle advice to treat each individual based on the clues gained from the pathology testing.

 

If you are experiencing heavy periods, I would love to help you, go ahead and book a FREE 15 min discovery call to find out more about how we would work together and if we are a good fit.

Thank you so much for watching, if you have any questions or comments please pop them in the comments box below 🙂