What causes heavy and long periods?

With a healthy menstrual cycle, you should expect your bleed to last 3-7 days and involve around 6-10 pads or 10-20 tampons. If your period is much longer or much lighter than that, it’s a red flag that something is going on. 

People with heavy periods flipping well know that their periods are heavy, but to clarify, a person is considered to have a heavy period when:

  •   They lose more than 80ml blood per cycle, which is more than 16 tampons/pads
  •   Period lasts 8 days or longer
  •   You experience flooding (a sudden gush when you stand up) or need change your products every 2hrs or during the night

Heavy periods are most common during teenage and perimenopause years, as well as the first few cycles postpartum, as you have irregular ovulation and therefore sporadic progesterone production. This causes oestrogen levels to be higher in relation to progesterone.

As side from these life stages, what are the most common causes of heavy periods?

  • Hormonal imbalances – as I’ve just mentioned high oestrogen is the main culprit and so working on your diet, stress levels as well as liver detoxification is very important when you have high oestrogen. Making simple changes like ensure you’re pooping well everyday, regulating your blood sugar with a protein-rich brekkie 60-90 mins after you wake up, and having a daily practice to empty your stress bucket, can honestly make a huge difference to heavy periods. Another hormonal imbalance which can impact heavy periods is also low thyroid function or hypothyroidism so definitely ask your doctor to run a full thyroid panel blood test.
  • There are uterine conditions which cause heavy periods – endometriosis, uterine fibroids, adenomyosis, uterine polyps, as well as miscarriage/ectopic pregnancy
  • Other factors which can cause heavy periods include – some birth control like copper IUD (Paragard) and progestin only birth control (depo-provera injection and nexplanon implant), as well as bleeding disorders which is a very common cause of heavy bleeding but little talked about. If you’ve always, always had heavy periods, experienced excess bleeding after childbirth, when you cut yourself or have dental work there is a lot of blood, these things could indicate you may have a bleeding disorder that impairs the way blood clots (most common is Von Willebrand disease).

Many people with heavy and long periods join Embrace Your Cyclical Power to get to the root cause of their period woes and love how the super simple tips I share make a HUGE difference to their periods. Join the waitlist here to solve your heavy and long periods! 

“PMS kind of switched me into a Mr Hyde every month and I was very upset about it - I felt I was fighting a losing battle of self-control. Now I have learned to be kinder to myself and I can handle PMS and perimenopause much better”.

Christel Ong, Massage Therapist, Singapore