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Do Periods Get Heavier Or Lighter Before Menopause

What Are Some Other Causes Of A Light Periods

Heavy bleeding during perimenopause / menopause

While perimenopause is the most likely reason in older women, it is possible for light menstruation to occur because of other factors. Some of the most common reasons for light, irregular periods include:

  • Pregnancy. It is widely known that periods tend to stop if you become pregnant however, some women do experience some light bleeding – or spotting – particularly during the early months. This can sometimes occur at the time when a period was expected, causing alarm or confusion in some women.

  • Stress. When a woman becomes stressed, it can impact on the functionality of the hypothalamus – the portion of the brain that influences the behavior of reproductive hormones. In some women, it is possible to have lighter, or even no periods at all.

  • Birth control. There are a number of hormone-affecting contraception’s such as the pill, which can impact on flow. Women with a particularly heavy period are often prescribed such medication in order to lighten the bleed.

  • Weight loss or gain. Women who lose or gain a significant amount of weight can often find that their periods are affected. Those who suffer with eating disorders in particular can encounter light – or even vanished – periods, due to the changes of hormonal activity that occur when underweight.

  • Polycystic ovary syndrome . This condition is unfortunately relatively common, and involves the development of small cysts in the ovaries. One symptom of it can be light or fewer periods, because ovulation occurs less frequently.

Could It Be A Coagulation Problem

Although most women with a coagulation problem are likely to have had menorrhagia at a young age and therefore be diagnosed, it is possible for clotting problems to occur later in life. Bleeding disorders can occur during perimenopause and women that do have sudden heavy bleeding should be investigated.12 Medication such as warfarin, heparin, or steroids can also effect your clotting, as can disorders of the liver, thyroid, bone marrow.

Besides the causes stated above, there are many other causes of heavy periods that occur in younger women that still apply to menopausal women such as pregnancy and infection. If you are having periods, it is possible to become pregnant no matter your age.

Heavy periods are becoming more common due to the rise in body mass index of the general population. Adipose tissue produces oestrogen which has the same effect on your endometrium as the oestrogen from follicles. If heavy bleeding is new to you, you should see your doctor. Endometrium exposed to prolonged periods of oestrogen can result in a condition called endometrial hyperplasia which can be a precursor to cancer. However, the risk of developing endometrial cancer with simple hyperplasia is low less than 5% over 20 years.13

When Does Menopause Occur

Most women reach menopause between 45-55 years of age, and the average age for women in Australia to reach menopause is 51-52 years. Some women will have a later menopause, at up to 60 years of age, especially if there is a family history of late menopause.

Menopause sometimes occurs earlier than expected as a result of cancer treatment, surgery or unknown causes. This is discussed further in ‘Causes of menopause’.

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My Experience Of Periods Changing Prior To Menopause By Aisling Grimley Founder My Second Spring

“At 47 I missed my period one month and thought I might be pregnant as I also experienced some hormone surges that reminded me of pregnancy. I had some red rage moments and very tender breasts.

During the following 5/6 years of perimenopause, I went through times of having regular monthly periods in my classic pattern for a few months. Then I might skip up to 6 months only to have periods return to normal again. During the gaps with no period, I sometimes had PMS like symptoms and mild cramps when I reckon I should have had a period. Sometimes my cramps were very painful, at other times I had no pain at all. My last periods were quite light and I never experienced flooding but I know it is very usual to have one or two very heavy periods before they stop altogether.

At 53 I had my last period and I am now period-free for 15 months so I declare myself to be in The Menopause!” Aisling

Irregular Periods In Your 40s Is It Perimenopause Or Something Else

Irregular Periods and Pregnancy

If youre in your mid- to late 40s and your periods are becoming irregular, you may be in the menopausal transition, or perimenopause. This is the natural stage your body goes through as you approach menopause.

This stage lasts about four years on average, although some women may experience only a few months or many more years of symptoms. It is characterized by fluctuations in hormones as your ovaries are nearly out of eggs. Your estrogen levels drop and you may have markedly irregular menstrual cycles. On top of irregular periods, hormonal changes can lead to weight gain, hot flashes, trouble sleeping, vaginal dryness, mood changes, and depression.

Perimenopause ends with menopause, at which point you have not had a period for 12 months.

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Maggies Periods Have Become Increasingly Irregular In The Past 16 Months

My periods were fairly regular up till September, not last year, the year before, 2007, so at that point I just stopped having periods for about a period of six months, and again I wasnt too concerned about it, I thought perhaps, I started to think then, I started to do a bit of reading about the menopause about the perimenopause, as I realised thats probably what was happening. And sorry Ive lost the train of thought now. So yes I didnt have periods for six months and then I started a relationship and I got one period in the same month that I started the relationship, and then again a gap of about eight months, and again some light bleeding for about two or three days, and that was a couple of months ago. So I think in the period of time of about sixteen months Ive had two lots of quite light bleeding.

Perimenopause Periods: Causes And How To Manage Them

If you wonder how long does perimenopause last, you should put different questions. You ought to review the issue from different angles because this condition may lead to various health complications. Thus, you should define the causes of the problem and how to manage it. If you wonder is it normal to bleed for weeks during perimenopause, or how long does a period last, we can help you. There are certain reasons why you bleed abnormally and certain measures can help with your problem.

Firstly, you should be aware of the factors that lead to how long does a period last. They are various and not all will necessarily happen to a woman. These may be:

  • Polyps
  • Heat packs if you have cramps, etc.

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How Long Does A Period Last

One of the frequently asked questions is related to the lengths of periods during the perimenopause state. Before women reach this stage, their cycles take place every 21-35 days and the length of periods is about 2-7 days. The question of how long does a period last for the later years is more important because the perimenopause periods become changeable and unstable.

This is caused because of the loss of estrogen and the aging of the body. A special survey that was conducted by the University of Michigan answered the question of How long does a period last? It commonly lasts for 10 days or longer. However, women have different hormonal flows. Thus, the answer can be divided into the next categories:

  • Less frequent
  • Irregular
  • The change of menstrual symptoms.

As you can see, periods have different intensity and a lot depends on the natural peculiarities of a woman. Its remarkable that the length of your perimenopause periods can be manifested by several categories mentioned above. For example, they may be less frequent and in time, become more durable and heavier. Therefore, its always vital to keep in mind how long does a period last and if you feel that something is abnormal, consult a doctor. For example, you should wonder Is it normal to bleed for weeks during perimenopause? Do periods get heavier before menopause? How long is too long for a period during perimenopause? Too frequent or intensive bleeding isnt normal and safe for your health.

What About Conventional Medicine

When do periods stop during menopause?

Your doctor will discuss which treatment would be most effective for you. He may suggest a contraceptive pill or HRT which would influence your hormones in order to regulate your periods. However, it is important to be aware of the side effects of these treatments. He may also give you medication to stop flooding quickly, if your periods are very heavy or prolonged.

If you are worried that your heavy periods are caused by an underlying health issue or are resulting in anaemia, then it is also important to visit your doctor. Heavy periods are not something which should be ignored, as loss of blood can be detrimental to health.

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Heavy Bleeding Flooding And Perimenopause

Very heavy bleeding occurs when your oestrogen levels are high relative to progesterone causing the lining of your womb to thicken more than usual. During perimenopause, your body’s main systems are working hard to adjust to the changing hormone levels that are taking place in advance of full menopause. The most difficult situation to handle is probably very heavy, extended bleeding, or flooding cycles. Some women find they are changing tampons every hour, sometimes having a very heavy bleed during inopportune times for example, at a formal dinner. This often happens at night as well as during the day. Make sure to wear liners and change tampons or pads very regularly.

If you have recurrent heavy and prolonged periods you may become anaemic as the body doesnt have time to make up for blood loss before the next period. You can end up feeling weak, exhausted, and maybe even depressed as a result of the anaemia, which then becomes associated with the menopause. Make sure to get help early on and don’t the situation develop.

Very heavy bleeding can also be caused by fibroids. If you experience prolonged heavy bleeding, seek professional advice from your GP, homoeopath or another health expert. Vaginal bleeding is not normal after the menopause so again get professional advice if this occurs.

Perimenopause: Its A Process

Officially, menopause occurs when you havent had a period for 12 months. Alas, its not quite as simple as, Now its here, now its gone.

Perimenopause, the stage before the main event, can take a few months or even up to a decade. On average, perimenopause starts in your 40s and lasts about four years.

During this phase, the ovaries gradually pump out less estrogen. Your reproductive system starts to run out of gas, explains Ob/Gyn Judith Evans, MD.

This means your menstrual cycles change thanks to your hormones fluctuating. Periods may get closer together or farther apart. Bleeding may be heavy one month and lighter the next. Eventually, periods will stop completely.

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Other Causes For Period Changes

The regular monthly period is not the only reason why people may bleed.

Because a persons periods are often irregular during perimenopause, they should pay extra attention for any abnormal symptoms particularly as some uterus-related conditions are more common during and after perimenopause.

People may bleed because of:

  • Endometrial atrophy. Low estrogen in perimenopause and menopause can cause the tissue of the uterus to get very thin, which can cause irregular bleeding.
  • Uterine polyps. These are benign growths that can grow inside the uterus and cervix. Polyps do not always cause symptoms, but some people notice bleeding after sex.
  • Endometrial hyperplasia. Hormonal shifts can cause the lining of the uterus to thicken in perimenopause. When the body has too much estrogen without enough progesterone, this thickness may cause bleeding. Bleeding is its most common symptom. Endometrial hyperplasia is treatable but can increase a persons risk of cancer.
  • Uterine Cancer. Uterine cancer happens when abnormal or atypical cells progress into cancer. Though rare, it generally presents with heavy bleeding or postmenopausal bleeding.

Perimenopause is not a disease and does not require treatment. It can, however, increase peoples risk of developing certain diseases. Moreover, the menstrual cycle can change for reasons other than perimenopause.

Anyone experiencing changes in their menstrual cycle should see a doctor for a diagnosis.

Cause Of The Menopause

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A number of hormones are responsible for initiating your menstrual cycle each month. These are controlled by other hormones which are released from the pituitary gland in the brain. When a woman reaches a certain age, your pituitary hormones begin to decline, which in turn means that the ovaries stop producing their sex hormones as efficiently this means ovulation will stop. As ovulation stops, so do your periods.

However, this process often happens very gradually and hormone fluctuations along the way are common this means the irregular periods and other symptoms as described below are often a part of the experience.

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Karens Heavy Bleeding And Clotting While On Hrt Was Totally Inconvenient And Interfered With

Was it heavy bleeding?Not all the time. It was clotted at points, which I think thats when it started really getting to my brain that this was totally inconvenient. If you went anywhere you had to go prepared so it was actually interfering with my general life. It affects almost everything you do, as I say, even going shopping, youve got to go prepared. I needed to know where the nearest loo was. Even going out for meals with friends, everything like that, it does affect you and it affects how you feel. And your moods, your tempers and not wanting to go out and holidays become even more difficult, youve got small children who want to go swimming.And then I think it must have been, Im trying to think when it was, must have been after about six years it became that my periods were going on and they were forced periods because of the HRT, but they were lasting longer than the days that I had off and I was feeling generally unwell and the doctor was still quite happy that I should stay on HRT. All that he really checked was my blood pressure and my weight and they seemed to be okay. Eventually he referred me to a gynaecologist at it was quite quick and they did a scan and said that Id got quite large polyps and fibroids. And they whipped me in the hospital quite quickly.

Stop Suffering And Get Help For Abnormal Perimenopausal Bleeding

Over your reproductive years, youve come to expect a certain degree of predictability with regard to your menstrual cycle. Whether its timing, length or amount of flow, there is generally not much variation from month to month. But as you enter perimenopausethe three to five years leading up to menopauseall of this changes. And while some of these changes are manageable, some are not.

Just as every womans menstrual cycle is different, so is her experience of perimenopause, says Beverly M. Vaughn, MD, a gynecologist at Lankenau Medical Center, part of Main Line Health. Many women are caught off guard by the many changes that occur during these premenopausal years and I see a lot of women suffer through heavy bleeding even though there are very effective and minimally invasive treatments for it.

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Lorna Could Set The Clock By Her Periods When Her Periods Became Irregular She Knew The

Menopause. I think the first time I was aware was about when I was about 51, 52. 51 probably. When my periods started to not be as regular as they were. Now you could set a clock by my periods. Okay. Twenty eight days more or less to the hour, almost to the minute I mean it was amazing, and just as regular as clockwork. And they started to not be the regular twenty eight. And there were delays, the period extended. So I knew that this was the start of the menopause because Id been so incredibly regular for so many years.

If You Are Having Very Difficult Symptoms Of Menopause Including Irregular Periods You Should Consider Some Changes To Your Lifestyle As Necessary

How heavy is too heavy for peri-menopause periods?

Please visit our Treatments page and Lifestyle pages for some information and inspiration on a wide variety of topics from Nutrition to Exercise, Sex and your changing home and wardrobe at midlife. Here at My Second Spring, we’re interested in chatting to you about all things midlife not just the pesky symptoms of menopause. We hope you’ll find lots of cool articles to read there and also on our blog.

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Charlottes Heavy Periods And Potential For Flooding Are Scary And Embarrassing Once She Was

I remember having sort of heavy periods but they might have been more clotty periods early on and them being difficult to manage and not very nice but certainly this potential for flooding is scary. Its scary. And Ive been caught out. Ive been in a situation where I drove to the Trafford Centre shopping with my daughter and I had tampons and pads on and I stepped out of the car and there was this woosh and fortunately my daughters a doctor so shes quite comfortable, she wouldnt have been embarrassed or anything by that. But I was terribly embarrassed. I couldnt move, I couldnt walk forward or backward and of course I had to send her into Marks & Spencer to get me some clothing, all of that. So it could be as bad as that standing up from sitting down somewhere at work and then realising your skirts or your trousers and got to deal with that kind of thing. Being kind of anxious about that possibility. Yeah, so yeah it can impinge on what you do. I tried not to let it impinge on things. I said I liked walking I try not to let it impinge on things like that but Id be talking about stacks of supplies going round here there and everywhere with me that kind of thing. So, yeah, I think you perhaps know that other people struggle like that but you almost dont say anything, sort of feel Ive got to manage it, Ive got to cope with it. I cant say Im going home now, Im having a terrible day of it. Youve got to just keep going.


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