Our periods are a sign of a healthy menstrual cycle. But if it is irregular, heavy or hurts too much, it’s time to see a doctor. If you find yourself having a heavier flow than usual, or using more pads than usual, here’s what you need to know.
How to determine if you have heavy periods
Dr Aruna Muralidhar, an OB-GYN at Fortis La Femme Hospital, Richmond Road, Bangalore, says, “The menstrual cycle in women plays an essential role in reproduction. Although bleeding or period is visible at the end of the cycle, there are changes taking place in the ovaries and uterine lining throughout the cycle. The cycle length, duration of period and amount of flow are variable in women. The perception of the amount of flow is very subjective.

One may assume that the periods are heavy if:
– flow is for more than 7 days
– flow is heavy with flooding and clots
– fatigue and palpitations during and after the flow
– drop in the haemoglobin
Adds Dr Raju Manmohan, Gynecologist, Apollo Spectra Hospital, Mumbai, “If you use one or more pads or tampons an hour, you have heavy menstrual bleeding (HMB). This is also known as Menorrhagia, and affects 30% of women who are of reproductive age.” If you don’t treat heavy menstrual bleeding, it could lead to anemia. It is important to note that your menstrual cycle history will also be taken into account. Your gynac will ask you the following questions:

– Nature of Bleeding
– When you got your first period
– Associated symptoms, such as intermenstrual bleeding, pelvic pain/pressure symptoms, that might suggest adenomyosis or fibroids
– Impact on the quality of life
What could heavy periods be a sign of?
Dr Aruna Muralidhar says that heavy periods could be a sign of quite a few ailments such as uterine polyps, fibroids, endometriosis or adenomyosis, ovulation dysfunction, coagulation problems, thyroid imbalance, rarely cancer.
What should I do?

You should visit your gynac to get a diagnosis and she will then prescribe a treatment for you. “It could range from oral contraception, oral progesterone or hormonal IUD like Mirena,” says Dr Raju.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Aruna Muralidhar is a practising Obstetrician and Gynaecologist and is presently Senior Consultant in a reputed hospital. She has 17 years of experience in the field of Obstetrics and Gynaecology both in United Kingdom ( UK) and India.
She is a compassionate and non-judgmental doctor with empathetic and ethical approach for holistic health.Her special interests include Maternal Medicine, High risk pregnancy and Adolescent Health.
Since her relocation from UK to Bangalore, she has been very active in spreading awareness about various health issues including Menstrual problems in adolescents and women in general, cancer screening and prevention and safe sex and contraception etc.She is a Rotarian and is an active member of Bangalore Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (BSOG) and Bangalore RCOG Trust ( Forum of members and fellows of Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, UK). Through these platforms, she has delivered many lecture and presented papers in National and International conferences.
She has published studies is peer-reviewed journals and is a reviewer for British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology ( IJOG).
She also enjoys teaching and training of postgraduates for the MRCOG examinations. Her passion lies in training nurses as well in Obstetric emergencies and counselling and Evidence based practice.
Her hobbies and interests include painting, art, poetry, and tennis.
Vision and Mission
Having been educated and trained in both Bangalore, India and the United Kingdom ( UK), I have had the fortune of seeing a wide range of clinical challenges in women’s health. From providing quality healthcare in high- end tertiary hospitals to providing accessible simple and cost-effective solutions to the lower economic strata, I have realised that a lot of expertise and information can be dissipated amongst both health care providers, allied health workers and the general public to improve community health to a large extent.
My vision is to provide holistic, quality- care in an approachable, non-judgemental and woman-centred manner in order to improve the quality of life of the woman.