Some people always have painful periods, but the degree of pain, the location of the pain, and when that pain happens can be the result of treatable gynaecological problems like endometriosis, pelvic infection and fibroids (which can also affect fertility), so if your normal period pain is getting worse then come to see us.
Girls and women with heavy periods tend to have more cramping that is typically worst on the heavy days. If you need a surgically attached hot water bottle and regular painkillers, miss work or social engagements on a monthly basis then we can probably help… lots!
Abnormally heavy periods are usually associated with:
- Symptoms and signs of iron deficiency anaemia
- Fainting easily
- Shortness of breath with mild exercise
- Being susceptible to colds and flu
- Poor sleep
- Being a pale colour
- Passing clots whilst sitting on the toilet
- Changing sanitary protection overnight
- Changing tampon and or pad more than 3 hourly on a heavy day
- Being aware of the blood running away from you when you stand up
- Regularly staining clothes or bed linen
Periods get heavier when you gain weight, and lighter when you lose weight.
Heavy and long periods can be the result of blood that doesn’t clot properly, or when someone is taking injections or tablets to thin the blood.
Periods get heavier as fibroids grow, or in the presence of a disease called adenomyosis which also usually makes the period very painful.
Periods that are irregular can sometimes be very heavy and long. This is usually because of hormone disturbances including thyroid issues and the menopause.
We can easily diagnose the cause of heavy periods through blood tests and a scan. Both medical and surgical treatments might be recommended.
The normal age to start periods is 10-15 years. The average age is 13 in the UK, but we tend not to worry too much unless there is nothing by 17 years of age.
Periods can stop coming for lots of reasons. It is important to find out why.
Reasons for periods to stop include:
- A change in weight
- Excessive exercise
- Hormonal problems including thyroid issues
- Breast feeding
- Damage to the womb after surgery or childbirth
- If the womb is absent or the exit is blocked
Most times periods stop temporarily and return in time, but it is so important to find out why your period has disappeared. You should come for investigation if your period has not started by 17, or if you have no period for 6 months or more. Even if your periods are normally irregular, it is healthier to make sure you have at least one every 3 months.