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Is It Normal To Have Heavy Periods Before Menopause

What Is Heavy Bleeding

Heavy bleeding during perimenopause / menopause

Heavy menstrual bleeding is excessive and/or prolonged menstrual bleeding. The amount varies from woman to woman and can change at different stages in your life for example, in teenage years or approaching menopause. It is defined as blood loss greater than 80ml per cycle, or periods lasting more than seven to eight days. Heavy menstrual bleeding affects about one in five women and is a common problem in the 30-50-year-old age group.

Heavy bleeding fact sheet

How Much Progesterone Should You Use

The basic recommend dose of progesterone for use during perimenopause would contain 450 to 500 milligrams of progesterone per ounce. However, with extreme symptoms such as the heavy, flooding periods, some physicians recommend as much as 1500 milligrams per ounce of progesterone for approximately 3 months in order to get your symptoms under control. Once the symptoms are managed and controlled you can cut back to 750 milligrams per ounce or even go as low as 450 to 500 milligrams.

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.

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Menopause Symptoms Can Feel Like Pms

Some women develop symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome for the first time or have more acute levels of their normal PMS. These symptoms can be physical, psychological, or emotional. Most of us will have had some level of PMS during the second half of the monthly cycle over the years. Symptoms may have been getting stronger during your 30s and 40s, approaching menopause. Most common symptoms are irritability, aggression, tearfulness, mood swings, breast pain and fluid retention.

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Dropping Progesterone Levels During Perimenopause Create Estrogen Dominance

Perimenopause: WTF?!  Rosemont Wellness Center

During a womans normal menstrual cycle the two hormones primarily at work are estrogen and progesterone. At the beginning of the cycle, estrogen is the dominant hormone and works to prepare the body for fertilization by promoting the buildup of the inner lining of the womb, called the endometrium.

At approximately mid-cycle, around the 14th day, ovulation occurs and the levels of progesterone rise to prepare for implantation of an embryo.

If fertilization and implantation does not occur, progesterone levels drop and trigger menstruation. Provided there are no significant health issues, most women will experience this same cycle hundreds and hundreds of times during her years of fertility, usually without a hitch.

However, once a woman begins to enter perimenopause, this well oiled and fine tuned cycle is radically disrupted when her progesterone levels begin to fall, creating what is called an estrogen dominant environment.

Subsequently, it is the estrogen that is responsible for the long list of commonly known symptoms of perimenopause which includes heavy, flooding, cramping periods.

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Do All Menopausal Women Experience A Decrease In Sexual Desire

Not all women experience a decreased sexual desire. In some cases, its just the opposite. This could be because theres no longer any fear of getting pregnant. For many women, this allows them to enjoy sex without worrying about family planning.

However, it is still important to use protection during sex if not in a monogamous relationship. Once your doctor makes the diagnosis of menopause, you can no longer become pregnant. However, when you are in the menopause transition , you can still become pregnant. You also need to protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections . You can get an STI at any time in your life.

When Are Heavy Periods Considered Too Heavy

So when is this in a situation when you’re bleeding too much? Normal periods for most women are probably roundabout five days, four to five days. Some women find that at the beginning of their period, they might have a couple of heavy days and then the last two or three days tend to get lighter and lighter. For some women, it’s the opposite way, their period start to come on gradually and then they may start to get periods a little bit heavier on the last maybe two or three days.

If your periods start to increase by another couple of days, that’s usually considered okay. Some women also find that instead of getting periods every 28 days, they start to come every 23 or every 24 days roundabout that mark. Again, that is usually fine. But it’s when things start to change more that there can be problems.

If you are getting heavy bleeding for more than seven days at a time, if you find that the time between your periods is getting shorter and shorter, then you need to go and get this checked out by your doctor. What we have found is that some women will be bleeding practically continuously for weeks at a time, sometimes even months at a time, and they’re sitting worrying about what’s going on.

So bleeding for more than 7 days at a time, periods coming closer together less than maybe 20 days in between, you really need to go and seek medical advice.

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How Long Should You Use Progesterone

If you are getting close to actual menopause, you might be concerned that if you used hormones such as progesterone that it will prolong perimenopause or interfere with actual menopause. However, this is not the case. Women can safely use low levels of progesterone to manage symptoms without promoting monthly cycles.

How Is Menopause Diagnosed

How to Deal with a Heavy Period during Perimenopause

There are several ways your healthcare provider can diagnose menopause. The first is discussing your menstrual cycle over the last year. If you have gone a full year without a period, you may be postmenopausal. Another way your provider can check if you are going through menopause is a blood test that checks your follicle stimulating hormone level. FSH is a hormone produced by the pituitary gland this gland is located at the base of your brain. However, this test can be misleading during the beginning of menopause when your body is transitioning and your hormone levels are fluctuating up and down. Hormone testing always need to be interpreted in the context of what is happening with the menstrual period.

For many women, a blood test is not necessary. If you are having the symptoms of menopause and your periods have been irregular, talk to your healthcare provider. Your provider may be able to diagnose menopause after your conversation.

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Are There Herbal Remedies To Help Me

Heavy periods at the start of the menopausal phase in your life can be treated using the herb Agnus castus which has the ability to stablise your hormones. This is especially so if you also suffer from irregular periods.

Agnus castus is a herb that is best known for treating the symptoms of PMS in younger women, but can also be useful for helping balance the hormones during the early stages of menopause, especially if symptoms such as breast tenderness, bloating or irritability are present.

If you have been experiencing heavy and prolonged periods for some time, and if you are beginning to feel fatigued and weak, it is important to seek the attention of your doctor.

Abnormal Uterine Bleeding In Peri

When should you see a clinician about excessive or unexpected bleeding?

Abnormal uterine bleeding is a common problem for women of all ages, accounting for up to one-third of gynecologic office visits. The two main types are heavy bleeding that occurs at an appropriate or expected time, such as a heavy menstrual period , and any type of bleeding that occurs unexpectedly . The absence of regular menstrual periods for several months is also considered an abnormal bleeding pattern. AUB can be tricky to identify, because what’s normal depends on a woman’s reproductive age.

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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.

Hot Flashes & Night Sweats

Heavy Menstrual Cycle With Blood Clots Uterus Pre Cancer ...

Hot flashes and night sweats are common symptoms of perimenopause and menopause, with over 85% of women reporting hot flashes. Hormone changes affect your bodys internal thermostat. A hot flash feels like a wave or sensation of heat across your face, neck, and chest. It can last for several minutes. Hot flashes can happen a few times a day, a few times a week, or less often.

Hot flashes that happen at night are called night sweats, which can cause women to wake up drenched in sweat and disturb sleep. Women are more likely to report hot flashes at night.

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Diagnosis Of Uterine Bleeding Disorders

A thorough medical evaluation will often include a review your health history and a physical exam. Your doctor may order various tests to diagnose the cause of the abnormal bleeding. This might include testing for certain hormone levels and possibly blood tests, including thyroid tests or coagulation studies to identify clotting abnormalities. Most women will need to have the endometrial lining assessed as well. This is commonly done in an office setting with a biopsy instrument with minimal discomfort. If the diagnosis is still uncertain, vaginal pelvic ultrasound and/or a hysteroscopy may be recommended. A hysteroscope is a lighted instrument that is passed through the vagina into the uterus.

Can I Figure Out How Much Im Bleeding

The easiest way, knowing that one soaked, normal-sized sanitary product holds about a teaspoon of blood loss. Keeping the Menstrual Cycle Diary or Daily Perimenopause Diary is a convenient way to assess the amount and timing of flow using either a count of soaked regular sized sanitary products or a measuring menstrual cup. . To accurately record the number of soaked sanitary products each day you need to recall the number you changed that were half full and multiply that to give the number of fully soaked ones. A maxi or super tampon or pad holds about two teaspoons or 10ml of bloodtherefore record each larger soaked sanitary product as a 2. In addition, record your best judgment about the amount of flow where a 1 is spotting, 2 means normal flow, 3 is slightly heavy and 4 is very heavy with flooding and/or clots. If the number of soaked sanitary products totals 16 or more or if you are recording 4s you have very heavy flow. To measure your flow using a menstrual cup with measurements, just add up the approximate amounts from each time you emptied it and record on the “# of pads/tampons” line.

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Carolyns Periods Had Always Been Irregular So She Didnt Really Notice The Menopause Had Started

My periods had always been fairly irregular certainly as I got older, and so I didnt really think, I never really knew if I was going to have one or not it just happened, when they came they came. So the fact I hadnt been having any didnt really register either until eventually I began to think well it must be getting on for about a year which I know is the time that they say. And I was having some blood tests done for something else so they threw in the a hormone check as well and I was decreed that I was through it and I have to say I dont think Id had any adverse effects at all.

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

What happens to your periods & whatâs normal during menopause

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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What Happens To Your Body When You Go Through Menopause

Every woman is different but you are generally considered to be fully through the menopause after not having a period for at least two years. Alongside the often irregular periods, many women often experience a whole number of symptoms in the lead up to the menopause as oestrogen begins to drop, this can be anything from hot flushes to joint pain.

The road to menopause comes with many changes. Night sweats, hormonal imbalances, and vaginal dryness are a few of the well-known symptoms of perimenopause. Heavy, painful periods are also a symptom thats quite common roughly 25 percent of women report experiencing them.

Treatments For Menopausal Symptoms

Your GP can offer treatments and suggest lifestyle changes if you have severe menopausal symptoms that interfere with your day-to-day life.

These include:

Your GP may refer you to a menopause specialist if your symptoms do not improve after trying treatment or if youâre unable to take HRT.

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An Introduction To Heavy Periods And Menopause

In the lead up to the menopause, known as the peri-menopause, many women experience changes to their normal menstrual cycle, including unusually heavy bleeding. This symptom is usually accompanied by irregular periods. A woman may go for several months without a period and then experience particularly heavy bleeding, or may find her periods coming thick and fast.

Aside from the obvious inconvenience of this, heavy bleeding may also lead to further health problems, such as anaemia. This is when there is not a high enough level of iron in the body. This can lead to extreme exhaustion and weakness.

While many women suffer from heavy periods in the lead up to their menopause, it is important to remember that prolonged bleeding should be checked by your doctor. Bleeding for longer than 1 week per month is not healthy.

Missed Periods Intermittent Spotting Heavy Bleeding And Flooding

Listen Up Ladies: This Is What Its Like To Deal With ...

Changes in periods vary widely as hormones adjust. As mentioned in other parts of this site this is a time to really tune into your body and trust your instincts. As you can see from this list it’s hard to define what perimenopause periods are like:

    Periods can disappear for a year and then return.

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