How to Cope With Heavy Menstrual Bleeding/Flooding Periods / Heavy Periods / Menorrhagia
A number of our team all struggle with period flooding due to medical conditions or that wonderful perimenopause causing heavy menstrual bleeding! Between us we have tried many options and have come up with some practical solutions instead of being tied to the toilet!
What is considered menorrhagia?
As all cycles have different characteristics it can be hard for someone to understand whether their "normal" period is actually considered a very heavy period. It is normal to have some heavy flow days during your menstrual cycle, this is often in the first day or two of your period. Many suffering with menorrhagia never realise they are suffering a menorrhage.
Generally menstrual bleeding takes between 4 and 5-day but blood loss is relatively small at around an egg cup full. However, women suffering from menorrhagia have excessive menstrual bleeding having to change their pads or tampons almost every hour or prolonged menstrual bleeding of more than 7 days.
Heavy menstrual flow and passing blood clots can be really debilitating. Not only can you feel drained, have an iron deficiency or become anaemic, but you also feel limited to where you can go when you feel at risk of leaking after an hour.
Causes of heavy bleeding
Hormonal imbalances and hormone related problems can cause heavy and painful periods. Your body normally balances oestrogen and progesterone which play a big role when you are menstruating. Other conditions that affect the uterus or hormone levels like polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) or uterine fibroids can also lead to heavy bleeding.
Perimenopause often leads to serious bleeding and passing large clots. In combination with perimenopausal symptoms such as hot flushes which can negatively affect your daily life.
There are treatments available so it's important to visit your Doctor to discuss the causes of your heavy bleeding and the options available to you.
How do I stop perimenopause floods?
It is important you visit your Doctor to discuess treatment options.
For chronic abnormal bleeding hormone therapy might provide options. Hormone treatments are usually used to relieve the bleeding problem while reducing the symptoms resulting from perimenopause, including cold flashes or sweating.
Oral contraceptive or an intrauterine device (IUD) may help with a patient's needs.
Endometrial ablation is also sometimes considered.
Are pads better for heavy periods?
Pad has the advantage of having an easy use but it is impossible to swim and can be seen under certain types of attire.
The Period Lady Solution
When you have flooding or heavy periods one sanitary product defence barrier is not enough, reinforcements and backups are required!
We attack flooding as a three prong attack!
Step 1: Internal protection
We recommend a menstrual cup or menstrual disc rather than a tampon, not for environmental reasons but because cups hold more than tampons! Check out our menstrual cup comparison chart, the chart can be sorted by capacity. One of the favourite for our team is the Merula cup which has the highest capacity and is well known for being great for heavy periods. The MeLuna Classic XL is another very popular high capacity choice.
Menstrual discs are a relative new sanitary product and not everyone has heard of them. The Nixit menstrual disc has the highest capacity of our discs at a huge 70ml. The Nixit disc is fantastic if you pass large clots as blood clots can quickly fill smaller menstrual cups.
A Menstrual cup or disc is the first flood barrier and was life changing for our ladies who suffered with flooding. Even if you’ve never got on with tampons you should really give them a go they are really going to significantly increase your flood defence capacity if you have abnormally heavy bleeding.
Your menstrual cup, menstrual disk (or tampon) will need the back up of a sanitary pad.
A backup pad isn’t normally required for “average” periods but for heavy periods we want you protected and not worrying about leaks.
The best fabrics for reusable pads to deal with flooding periods are minky or bamboo velour, we have a selection of high capacity pads designed for nights/post partum but if you flood they can be used in the day as well. Some favourites of the team are Red Rags, Mini Vivi, Eco Rainbow. Menstrual pads will also be offering you around 70ml of absorbency.
Period Pants! These are your final flood barrier and ideally aren’t going to have to deal with any blood as your first two defences are absorbing everything, however the absorbency of the period pant is there just in case!
We stock a big range of period pants, the Cheeky Mama or Love Luna are nice economical while still absorbent options, or Wuka are fabulous quality and include a super heavy option but they are more expensive. Wuka superheavy pants can also hold up to 70ml.
This three level defence is going to give you the best santiary protection against heavy menstrual bleeding and leaks.
For very heavy periods you’ll still be changing frequently but will be free from leaks.
This method freed one of our ladies from changing every hour on the hour and suffering leaks to changing every 2 hours and she was always leak free.
If you need any help working out the right combination for you, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Written by Wendy Top Cat @ The Period Lady