5 Signs of Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
The clinical definition of heavy menstrual bleeding is heavy bleeding that lasts for more than seven days. The bleeding is considered heavy if you need to change your pad or tampon more frequently than every two hours or if you pass clots larger than a quarter. The average woman loses six to eight teaspoons of blood per period, but total period blood loss can be much greater for women living with severe bleeding. In addition to monitoring your pad and tampon usage, here are five signs that can help you identify if you are suffering from heavy periods.
- You have to plan your schedule around your periods
You reschedule nights out with friends or have a family member take your child to their school dance because you’re afraid getting too far away from a bathroom would mean disaster. Your kids and partner know they need to pitch in more or give you some space when you have your period.
- You carry a change of clothes with you
When you do have to leave the house, you always have a change of clothes with you in case you bleed through what you’re wearing. You’ve been embarrassed more than once by visibly soiling your clothes, so you always keep an eye out for the nearest restroom or changing room where you can change clothes.
- You’ve missed work more than once in the past few months because of bleeding
Heavy periods can take a serious toll on both your physical and emotional health. You may have called in sick a few times because you were so run down from losing blood or just not up to the challenge of managing so many frequent trips to the bathroom while at work. Your coworkers may even know that when you call in sick, it’s more than likely due to your period.
- You use both tampons and pads at the same time
If you wear a pad as a backup to your tampon, you are probably bleeding more than the average woman. A soaked tampon or pad each hold around 5 ml of blood. If you are soaking both a tampon and pad, then your heavy bleeding is about twice what the average woman would experience.
- You suffer from anemia
Most women who suffer from heavy menstrual bleeding will also have a low red blood cell count, also known as anemia. This condition can make you lethargic, sluggish, pale and unable to tolerate activity. Anemia from heavy bleeding causes an insufficiency in iron, so your blood is not able to carry enough vital oxygen to your organs.
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