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Heavy periods

Heavy periods are when you lose a lot of blood during your period or your periods last a long time.

You may have heavy periods if you lose a lot of blood during your periods, pass large blood clots or your periods last more than 7 days.

Common treatments for heavy periods include contraceptives and medicines to help reduce the amount of blood you lose.

It's not always clear why some women get heavy periods. Sometimes it's linked to conditions like fibroids or endometriosis.

Read more on the NHS website.

You may have heavy periods if you lose a lot of blood during your periods, pass large blood clots or your periods last more than 7 days.

How much is heavy bleeding?

It's difficult to define exactly what a heavy period is because it varies from woman to woman. Heavy for 1 woman may be normal for another.

Most women will lose less than 16 teaspoons of blood (80ml) during their period, with the average being around 6 to 8 teaspoons.

Heavy menstrual bleeding is defined as losing 80ml or more in each period, having periods that last longer than 7 days, or both.

But it's not usually necessary to measure blood loss. Most women have a good idea of how much bleeding is normal for them during their period and can tell when this changes.

A good indication that your periods are heavy is if you:

Read more on the NHS website.

Common treatments for heavy periods include contraceptives and medicines to help reduce the amount of blood you lose.

Medical treatments

There are various treatment options for heavy periods. These depend on what's causing your heavy periods, your general health and your preferences.

They include:

  • an intrauterine system (IUS) – a small device that contains the hormone progestogen is inserted in your womb by a medical professional (often the first treatment offered)
  • medicines without hormones – such as tranexamic acid or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS)
  • medicines with hormones – such as the combined oral contraceptive pill or progestogen tablets
  • endometrial ablation – a procedure to remove the lining of the womb
  • myomectomy – surgery to remove fibroids
  • uterine artery embolisation – a procedure to shrink fibroids
  • hysterectomy – surgery to remove to the womb

Read more on the NHS website.

It's not always clear why some women get heavy periods. Sometimes it's linked to conditions like fibroids or endometriosis.

Read more on the NHS website.