Why Do Some Women Have Heavy Periods?
So it's that time of the month again, your period is here and seems to be heavier than other women you talk to. Why is it that some of your friends have lighter periods, while others experience heavy bleeding for longer amount of days? On average a period cycle is about 28 days, with a period of about 4 days - Add or take a few days. You may not know you experience a heavy menstrual cycle because you are used to it, but for those of you who go through these menstrual struggles, here are a few reasons why your period may be heavier or lighter than other women.
Yes, what you eat can affect your period. Women who eat more junk food tend to suffer more from premenstrual symptoms. On the other hand, eating nutrient filled foods can help reduce period pains. With that being said, not eating enough and depriving yourself of nutrients can make your body assume you're not ready to carry a pregnancy and can affect your period.
Your weight can be a significant factor in the heaviness or lightness of your period. Overweight women tend to have worse PMS, and irregular or heavier periods. While women who are underweight may be too thin causing their body to skip or lose periods because their bodies don't seem fit for child bearing.
Too Little or Too Much Exercise
Some ladies have really bad cramps during their periods, exercising can be a great way to ease your cramping. For example, cardio can improve your flow and possibly even lighten your period. Keep in mind that exercising too much can suppress periods or cause an absence of your period - this can be seen in athletes or women with a body mass index (BMI) of 18-19.
The important take away here is moderation, keep a healthy level of exercise as part of your everyday life, not just for a more manageable period but for your over all health and benefit.
Contraceptive pills are not only used to prevent pregnancy, but it helps make periods more manageable and not as heavy. Many women use birth control for this reason, especially if they have long and heavy periods. A heavy period can be one in which pads or tampons are full every hour, and occurs for many days. Some birth control pills offer a dose of hormones for women to only experience a few periods a year! So it's a great solution for menstrual struggles.
Mirena IUD is the only contraceptive device FDA approved to treat heavy or painful periods and lasts up to 5 years.
For younger ladies who are in the beginning years of their menstrual cycle, it may not always be the same every month and its normal to see irregular patterns. It can take years for a regular menstrual cycle to develop. Over time, a woman's period becomes shorter and more regular.
For more mature women verging onto their 40s to 50s, irregular period patterns may begin to develop again once they near menopause. Women may experience missed periods and even lighter or uncomfortable heavier periods.
Stress or even anxiety about a specific problem in your life can wreak chaos with your hormone balance, causing a missed period and irregular cycle.
Could It Be More Serious?
In rare, but still possible occasions, uterine, ovarian, and cervical cancer can be causes of heavy menstrual bleeding, or signs of Menorrhagia. If you feel that your bleeding goes beyond the points mentioned above, it's important to consult with a doctor. Remember it's important to schedule regular visits to prevent and detect any abnormalities.
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If you are concerned about your period, remember to keep track of it next time you are on it. Be aware of the end date, the flow, any abnormal bleeding in between periods, pain, or other changes and behavior. Knowing this information can help in determining causes for these irregularities in your cycle.