When it comes to menstruation, not all periods are created equal. Any Mean Girls fan knows that some women just have a heavy flow and wide-set vagina! And while you shouldn’t worry if you typically use “super” tampons while your friend’s always grabbing the “light” ones, something might be up if your flow has dramatically changed and is now heavier than it usually is.
From no-biggie birth control changes to serious medical problems, here are 5 reasons why you might be bleeding more than usual.
You’ve changed birth control
Considering that hormonal birth-control pills often regulate and lessen periods—in fact, some doctors prescribe it specifically to lighten up heavy flows—it makes sense that if you switch to a non-hormonal pill or stop taking oral contraception completely, you’re going to be going through your tampons faster. While this is generally normal, see a health care professional if your heavy bleeding continues three months after insertion.
While many younger women might not think that they qualify for this category, perimenopause—a.k.a. the four- to 10-month transition leading up to menopause—can begin when women are as young as 30. You can’t predict exactly when you’re going to become menopausal, however, it has been made known that menstrual changes are the first sign that there are changes related to menopause.”
You have Uterine Fibroid
Uterine fibroids are small, non-cancerous growths inside the uterus. And while they may sound scary, they’re actually much more common than you’d think. One study from the Birmingham Women’s Hospital found that 70 percent of women will have at least one before the time they reach 50—and one of the main symptoms of uterine fibroids is heavy bleeding, sometimes with blood clots or bleeding in between periods.
You have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
According to the Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) Foundation, up to 10 percent of women have PCOS — and approximately 50 percent of those women don’t even realise they have it. Women with PCOS can get a cluster of cysts on their ovaries that could lead to heavier periods.
You have an infection
Yes, this includes infections of the sexually transmitted variety. Gonorrhea, chlamydia, or any infection on the lining of the uterus can cause heavy bleeding. So if you have been having unprotected sex and are noticing unusual menstruation, it’s a good idea to see a doctor ASAP. If you do have an STD, there are many medications that can help you out.