Can you lose too much blood during your period?

Can you lose too much blood during your period?

What is considered too much bleeding?

Menorrhagia is menstrual bleeding that last more than 7 days. 

If you are having to change your pad or tampon less than 2 hours or have blood clots that are the size of a quarter or larger then this would be considered heavy bleeding.

  • Uterine Fibroids: Uterine Fibroids are benign tumors that originate in the muscle part of the uterus called the myometrium. They are the most common solid benign growth within the reproductive tract. Many women are unaware that they may have fibroids during some part of their lives.
  • Uterine or cervical cancer
  • IUDs can cause heavy bleeding
  • Problems relating to pregnancy. Heavy bleeding can be caused by an ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage.
  • Hormone-related issues
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
  • Liver, kidney or thyroid disease

Signs of menorrhagia:

  • Menstrual period that soaks through more than one sanitary napkin or tampon for numerous consecutive hours
  • Having to double up on pads
  • Changing tampons or pads during the night
  • A menstrual period longer than 7 days
  • Quarter sized blood clots
  • Constant lower stomach pain during period
  • Tired, lack of energy and/or short of breath.

It is typical to have menstrual bleeding for about 4 to 5 days with the amount of blood being around 2-3 tablespoons. Although, women who suffer from menorrhagia will most likely bleed more than 7 days and lose double the blood.

Questions you may be asked by your OB/GYN if menorrhagia is a possible diagnosis for your heavy bleeding:

  • Age of your first period
  • Average days on period
  • Average days of heavy bleeding during period
  • Is your quality of life affected by heavy periods and how
  • Family history or heavy bleeding

You may be asked to track your periods prior to your examination. A pelvic exam may be performed for other disease diagnosis. 

Blood test: This blood test may be done to check for anemia, thyroid problems or even the way your blood is clotting.

Pap Test: Testing the cells from your cervix can show an infection, inflammation or changes in your cells that can possibly cause future cancer.

Endometrial biopsy: Tissue from the endometrium are sampled to test for abnormal cells. 

Ultrasound: This is a painless test that evaluates blood flow.

The type of treatment you get will depend on the cause of your bleeding and how serious it is. Your doctor also will look at things such as your age, general health, and medical history; how well you respond to certain medicines, procedures, or therapies; and your wants and needs. For example, some women do not want to have a period, some want to know when they can usually expect to have their period, and some want just to reduce the amount of bleeding. Some women want to make sure they can still have children in the future. Others want to lessen the pain more than they want to reduce the amount of bleeding. Some treatments are ongoing and others are done one time. You should discuss all of your options with your doctor to decide which is best for you. Following is a list of the more common treatments. Source: CDC

Drug Therapy

  • Iron Supplements
  • Ibuprofen/Advil
  • Birth control pills
  • IUC
  • Hormone therapy
  • Nasal spray
  • Anti-fibrinolytic medicine
  •  

Endometrial biopsy: Tissue from the endometrium are sampled to test for abnormal cells.

Sonohysterogram: This is when fluid is injected into the uterus via the vagina and cervix. This allows the doctor to look for uterine lining problems.  

Hysteroscopy: This procedure allows doctors to look inside the uterus in order to diagnose and treat causes of abnormal bleeding. 

Dilation and Curettage (D&C): This simple procedure lets doctors scrape the inside of the uterus to see what may be causing the bleeding.

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