Every woman is different, and so are each woman’s periods. Some women hardly suffer from their periods, while others suffer greatly from it, so much so that it disrupts their normal lives. This is due not only to typical ailments such as abdominal cramps, bloating and headaches, but also to the abundant blood loss that many women suffer during this period of the month.
All too often, these women resign themselves to their fate or do not realize that there may be an underlying problem at the root of which there is a solution. A visit to the gynecologist is therefore definitely recommended if you yourself suffer from severe blood loss during your periods.
What are severe periods?
How do you know when your periods are more serious than average? Not really something you can measure, is it? According to medical standards, you can speak of severe bleeding (‘menorrhagia’) as soon as you lose more than 80 ml of blood in more than 7 days. Since that is difficult to measure, today it is judged on the basis of quality of life and symptoms. Do you have so much blood loss that it affects your physical, emotional and social life? Do you regularly have to report absent at school or work during your period? Can’t you go more than an hour without a new sanitary pad or tampon? Does the result of a blood draw indicate an iron deficiency? Then your periods are probably problematic and you should visit your gynecologist.
Periods are not a disease after all… Then why do I have to go to the doctor?
You’re not the only one asking this question. According to a study conducted in the UK, 74% of women wait more than a year before making an appointment with their doctor due to complaints of severe blood loss during menstruation. However, your doctor can help you identify the cause of the severe periods and thus look for a way to relieve or eliminate your symptoms. The most well-known causes of severe blood loss are the presence of polyps or endometriosis, but it may as well be that you have a blood clotting disorder. Such a clotting disorder, with von Willebrand’s disease as the most common, is a rare disease, but apparently still the culprit in 20% of all women who suffer from severe blood loss during menstruation.
What other symptoms may indicate a coagulation disorder such as von Willebrand’s disease?
Of course, not every woman with severe menstrual bleeding should immediately think of a clotting disorder, but if you also regularly suffer from other ailments, such as one or more in the list below, we do recommend that you talk to your doctor about it:
- You suffer from bruising very quickly and often.
- Your gums bleed heavily after a dental procedure.
- You had very severe bleeding after you gave birth.
- You suffer from very frequent nosebleeds.
- You are suffering from an iron deficiency
Since coagulation disorders are often hereditary diseases, it is best to also check whether there are family members with the same symptoms. That could be your mom or an aunt, who, like you, suffers from severe blood loss during their periods, but also a male relative who struggles to heal from bleeding on the nose, gums or after surgery.
I have some of these symptoms
Do you recognize yourself in what’s written here? Then don’t hesitate and visit your doctor to talk about your complaints. Too many women still do not dare to talk openly about their menstrual problems or do not realize that a solution can often be found, in the form of a therapy, a medicine or an operation that can help you get rid of the symptoms. Let a doctor’s visit be a first step in improving your quality of life.