Compensation was provided by Hologic via Momtrends. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of opinions of Hologic or Momtrends.
Do you know if your period is normal? Interesting question, isn’t it? While this may seem like a taboo topic, it’s one we as women need to get more comfortable talking about. Did you know that 1 in 5 women experience heavy periods that dramatically affect their life? 1 in 5. That means you probably know someone who is affected, but since we don’t talk about these topics, you may not know who in your circle may be suffering. But what if you did? What if it’s you? Wouldn’t you want to talk to a doctor, or find a treatment plan to help eliminate pain, embarrassment or fear?
A recent survey uncovered some misconceptions and confusion among women about what is considered normal vs. abnormal when it comes to their period, and what treatment options are available to them.
Most women often avoid seeking treatment for heavy periods because they don’t even realize what they are experiencing is abnormal or they worry about surgery or side effects from treatment. In fact, 85% of women surveyed agreed that heavy periods were “normal” and 69% agreed that their pain is something to be “expected”. Not only are heavy periods NOT normal, but you don’t have to accept them as your version of normal.
My period has always been the one thing I never look forward to. From my heavy period to the debilitating cramps that came along with it, that time of the month has always been an issue for me. There were times I didn’t get out of bed for the first day or two because of how bad the pain was. I was used to missing out on events or fun outings if they fell around the time I had my period, because I knew just how bad the pain could be, not to mention how heavy my period was.
I thought this was my normal and it was just a fact of life for me that I grew accustomed to. I only wish there had been studies and more conversations around what’s normal and what’s not years ago – I wouldn’t have had to suffer alone for all those years.
That’s why it’s important for me to share this with you. So you know you’re not alone and this doesn’t have to be your normal.
While most women are familiar with other uterine conditions like endometriosis, fibroids and PCOS, only 38% of women surveyed had heard of abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB) as a legitimate medical condition. I didn’t even know it was. I completely thought my heavy periods were normal.
Heavy periods not only keep women from living their life to the fullest, but they can significantly impact their health and wellbeing by causing nausea, cramps and in some cases, anemia.2
All women hate their periods, but for some women, their heavy periods can impact their ability to live life to the fullest.
But what if you could change that? There are a spectrum of treatment options that can help women find relief from heavy bleeding, including hormones (birth control, IUD), lifestyle changes, and minimally invasive procedures. Women who are finished having kids can talk to their doctor about a procedure called endometrial ablation. The quick, 5-minute procedure can help reduce or eliminate heavy periods.
While most women were familiar with other uterine conditions like endometriosis. fibroids and PCOS, only 38% of women had heard of abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB) as a legitimate medical condition. I didn’t even know it was. I completely thought my heavy periods were normal.
Heavy periods not only keep women from living their life to the fullest, but they can significantly impact their health and wellbeing by causing nausea, cramps and in some cases, anemia.1
If you experience heavy periods, you are not alone.
I’ve lived with heavy periods my whole life and always just thought this was how periods were – I assumed they were something that women had to put up with. I never realized that not everyone has a heavy period. Until now. Periods weren’t something I talked about with my girlfriends (who does right?), but I should’ve been, and we should all be!
It’s time to change the stigma when it comes to talking about women’s health issues. Women need to know what’s normal and what’s not so we can make informed decisions about our below-the-belt health symptoms and just become more comfortable talking about our health.
If you suffer from AUB or know someone who does, you’re not alone. In fact, over 10 million women experience abnormally heavy bleeding.2
Period Myth Busting
A heavy flow is totally normal
Answer: While common, heavy periods do not have to be any woman’s version of normal, and could be indicative of a treatable gynecological condition. In fact, 1 in 5 women suffer from a condition called abnormal uterine bleeding,2 defined as heavy, excessive, or extended menstrual bleeding.3 So if your period is so heavy that you are doubling up on hygiene products or missing work or time with friends and family, you should talk to your doctor about your options.
Birth control / IUD are the only ways to regulate your period
Hormones are only one method for managing your period. For women experiencing heavy or painful periods, they can explore minimally invasive options like endometrial ablation, which removes the lining of the uterus to control or eliminate menstrual bleeding.2 For women whose bleeding is caused by fibroids, they can explore hysteroscopic myomectomy, a minimally invasive way to remove fibroids and polyps.2
Women lose a lot of blood during their period
Nope – the average amount of blood loss should actually be 2-3 tablespoons.2 Anything more than that should provoke a visit to your OBGYN as you may be experiencing abnormal uterine bleeding. A simpler way to understand how much you should bleed – if you are changing your pad/tampon every hour, that is too much.
Some women have periods that last 14 days
True – On average, women who experience excessively heavy periods experience their period for 14 days a month.3
It’s important to know heavy periods are not normal and you don’t have to suffer in silence. Don’t wait and talk to your doctor now. Learn more about AUB and endometrial ablation by visiting www.wehateheavyperiods.com and use these tips to talk with your doctor.
- Hologic, Inc. Data on File; Custom Women’s Health Subscriber Study. January – February 2019. Survey of 884 women who subscribe to Women’s Health print publication
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Heavy menstrual bleeding. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/blooddisorders/women/menorrhagia.html . Accessed April 07, 2017
- Hologic, Inc. Data on File; AUB Patient Journey Research, conducted January 2017. Survey of 1,003 women who self-identified as currently or recently experiencing heavy bleeding with need to change feminine hygiene product every hour or more.