Heavy periods are a common factor during your menstrual cycle. With heavy periods the blood may be bright red during those first few days of heavy flow, particularly in the first couple of days. However, you should expect this to thin out as you near the end of your cycle. Whilst everyone experiences their periods in different ways, there are many ways to manage a heavy flow, so it does not negatively affect your day-to-day life.
At Fab Little Bag, we believe that periods are not something to shy away from. They should be confidently and openly spoken about as we work towards them not being a taboo subject. The more we share our experiences then the more it helps to form a wider understanding of what makes a ‘normal’ period and if your experiences are common or something you need help with.
How To Know If Your period is ‘Normal’
Most females will have a monthly menstrual cycle, but this does not mean everyone will have the same experience. Does ‘normal’ even exist?
This is what is so fascinating about the human body, even though we all technically go through the ‘same’ thing, everyone has a unique experience. Some people will be able to track their period and will be regular like clockwork with a four-day bleed and no cramps. Whereas someone else may experience cramps and symptoms leading up to their period, with symptoms throughout, as well as having a heavy flow and the length of their period may vary every month, for example, soem women bleed for 7 days, others for 3, with the cycle varying from every 24-32 days.
So, how can you know if your period symptoms are ‘normal?’
The best thing you can do is get to know your body, track your cycle and symptoms but most importantly keep yourself educated. Knowledge is power and this can help you to notice and realise if what you are experiencing is healthy or maybe you should talk to a healthcare professional.
What Causes Heavy Periods?
There are many reasons that can cause heavy periods. When periods are regularly heavy, it could be due to your hormones or birth control.
Your hormones play a vital part in your period and if you notice that from time to time your flow is heavier then this could be caused by an increase in your hormone levels and this can cause changes in your cycle.
This is the same for birth control because it is directly affecting your hormones which can play a huge part in how heavy your period is.
If heavy periods are accompanied by a lot of pain, this is not ok and we urge you to seek advice from your GP and if they tell you this is “normal” then ask to be referred to a gynaecologist - many women suffer with crippling pain from Endometriosis, which takes 7 years on average to be diagnosed, so be strong and ask to be referred.
How To Stop Heavy Periods
Stopping your heavy periods is not necessarily possible, it is all about what works and is healthy for your body. Experiencing heavy periods every month is a very common symptom that many women experience. As previously mentioned, it is best to talk to your doctor to rule out any underlying health issues, but some people’s bodies naturally will produce a heavy flow during their menstrual cycle.
However, there are ways to help alleviate and manage your heavy periods:
Try Different Period Products
When you have a heavy period, you will need to use different period products to make sure that you don’t experience any leakage. When you have a heavier flow you will need to think about the period products you use, because if you are out of the house all day you don’t want to have to be changing your pad or tampon every 1-2 hours.
You may want to opt for thicker pads, maybe wear night time pads throughout the day or try a menstrual cup as they will be able to absorb more blood before having to change your pad or empty your cup. Remember to always responsibly bin your period pads and products to not pollute the ocean. Try combining products too; wear period pants as back up with your tampon or pad for example
Hormones can wreak havoc on your body as a female and it can be hard when you are dealing with an imbalance. This can seriously affect your periods and how heavy your flow is as well as the symptoms you may experience.
Try and regularly take supplements such as evening primrose oil throughout the month as they are great for female health. Evening primrose oil helps to regulate your hormones which helps to reduce period symptoms such as cramps and helps you to have a regular cycle, hopefully aiding in a lighter flow.
Stay away from white!
For peace of mind, wear darker clothing just in case you leak!
Consult Your Doctor
If you are experiencing heavy periods that affect your life, with or without pain, then talk to your doctor and see what they can offer you in terms of help or medications.