Did you notice that once you passed your late teens and early 20s, your periods started to become lighter and more manageable? But once you enter your 50s or even your 40s, you may have experienced a major jump in menstrual flow and period pain.
If you resonate with this, you’re not alone. It’s incredibly common for women to start having heavier periods once they reach perimenopause.
At the Center for Women’s Health Richmond in Sugar Land and Richmond, Texas, our team of women’s health experts understands that heavy periods can be frustrating to deal with and can even lead to complications like anemia.
In this blog, we discuss why getting older affects your periods and what to do about it.
Defining heavy periods
Heavy periods, or menorrhagia, refers to heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding. If you lose more than 80 milliliters of blood or your period lasts longer than a week, it’s considered a heavy period.
Other characteristics of heavy periods are:
- Going through a tampon or pad every hour throughout the day
- Needing to wear two or more sanitary products to manage the heavy flow
- Passing blood clots larger than 2.5 centimeters
- Needing to change your tampon or pad during the night
- Experiencing fatigue and weakness due to blood loss
You may also need to limit your activities due to heavy flow and other period symptoms such as cramping and tiredness.
How does age increase your risk of heavy periods?
Getting periods that are heavier or longer-lasting is incredibly common when you start transitioning to menopause. In fact, 90% of women between the ages of 40-50 report having a period that lasts longer than 10 days, and 78% report a heavier flow. But why is this?
As you age, you’re less likely to release an egg each month. The release of the egg is what triggers your body to make progesterone, the hormone responsible for period regulation. So, your body produces more estrogen to try and keep up. But, this ends up thickening your uterine lining even more, resulting in a heavier period.
This is more likely to happen if you’ve entered perimenopause, the stage that comes about 3-10 years before menopause.
How to manage heavy periods
If you do find yourself struggling with heavy periods, don’t feel like you have to live with it. Our team at the Center for Women’s Health Richmond offers a variety of treatment methods to keep your period regular.
When hormones are the culprit of irregular and heavy periods, hormone replacement therapy is a great solution. Hormone replacement therapy can restore your hormonal balance and make the transition to menopause much more seamless.
Don’t let heavy periods keep you from living your life. Schedule an appointment for expert care with our team by calling your nearest office location or booking online.