There are certain issues that women face every day, and yet discussing these sensitive topics is still considered taboo by many. So I am putting on my proverbial "Big Girl Panties" and shedding all my inhibitions, and I am going to be 100% honest and open regarding one such topic: Heavy monthly bleeding. Gasp! Did she say heavy monthly bleeding? Why yes, yes I did. This is a problem that many, many women face every single month, and they often suffer in silence.
I personally have been experiencing heavier monthly bleeding after having my tubes tied in January. I was used to a period that came like clockwork, lasted 3 days, and was never overly heavy. Well, since having my tubal-ligation after Xander was born, the flood gates have opened, and I have been experiencing flows of an epic proportion, along with cramps that I have never had to deal with at such an extreme. I have found that during the first couple of days of my cycle, I am bleeding through a tampon in about an hour, where I was used to having a tampon last around 6 hours. I have found myself waking up at night to change my protection, and have even woken up with staining on my pajamas. (Told you I was going to be blunt!) It is not fun, but I have been assured by my fabulous OBGYN that this type of heavy menstrual flow can sometimes happen after a reproductive surgery such as a tubal-ligation. Will this craziness ever correct itself? Will my cycles ever return to normal? Maybe...And maybe not. Time will tell. I may just have to get used to the change in flow, since there are no underlying problem with my womanly parts.
But WHY does heavy monthly bleeding occur? There are many possible causes of heavy monthly bleeding. Some can be quite serious and require medical intervention and correction, and other causes are less serious and can often be managed at home with non-prescription remedies. If you're experiencing heavier than normal periods, it is essential that you discuss this with your health care provider and find the right treatment. Yes, it may be embarrassing. But trust me: Doctors have seen and heard everything. I actually had to be seen before because I "forgot" a tampon for over a week and wondered what that nasty smell and black discharge was. I never imagined it was a tampon, since I had tried to feel around for one and it was hiding. The little white string was ALL the way in there, too! I was mortified when my doctor fished it out. But you know what? My doctor said he's dealt with lost tampons several times per week in the office! I felt a little less stupid when he told me this. That's what doctors are there for. Nothing seems to phase them, and they are there to turn to when it comes to sensitive topics. Need suggestions on how to bring up your heavy monthly bleeding? Click here for tips on how to start this dialogue with your doctor. You'll be glad you did!
So since talking to my doctor about my more intense cycles, what am I doing to help combat my heavy periods? There are many treatments available to combat heavy monthly bleeding. I am currently taking Aleve, using ice-packs, taking a multi-vitamin rich in vitamin C to help aid iron absorption, and I am also taking an iron supplement to help keep my bleeding under control and avoid anemia. I am also making sure to stay very hydrated at all times and to get plenty of rest during that time of the month. These methods have really seemed to help a lot. Are my symptoms gone? No. But they have gotten to be more manageable. Hopefully in time, my body will figure things out and go back to "normal". I guess time will tell!
Can you relate? Does your period leave you going through tampons and pads at lightning speed? Welcome to the club! Countless women experience this right along with us.How common is it, really? Well, VERY common! We just don't like to talk about it! There was a recent study done with the participation of over 500 moms, and the results show:
Heavy monthly bleeding symptoms impact daily routines.
The vast majority (92%) agreed that the condition frustrates them, and more than two-thirds (68%) feel that their periods control them.
Women don't always know where to turn for help with heavy monthly bleeding symptoms.
More than 75% of women don't know help is available for their heavy periods. Less than half have spoken to their OB/GYN about their symptoms.
Information and persistence may empower women to seek the right help.
Of those who were satisfied with their treatment, 38% went to two or more visits with a health care professional before they found an option they liked.
For any woman who suffers from heavy bleeding, learning the symptoms of an abnormal period and discovering available treatments can prove transformative. HealthyWomen.org, the nation's leading independent health information source for women, has put together a series of online resources about heavy monthly bleeding, an issue affecting millions of women. The resource section includes a survey to determine if your symptoms align with heavy monthly bleeding, key questions to ask, and available treatment options to discuss with your physician.
I am glad that HealthyWomen.org is bringing a new understanding to this hush-hush topic. If you are experiencing heavy monthly bleeding, it is nothing to be ashamed about, and is a problem that needs to be addressed with a health care professional. If women choose to empower themselves and take proactive measures regarding their health, many diseases and issues can be treated or cured before it's too late. Why live with heavy monthly bleeding if you don't have to? Talk to your physician today! I'm so glad I did...even is it was a little embarrassing! At least I have the peace of mind knowing that there's no life-threatening issues and that there are steps I can take to help manage this monthly problem.
For more information and frequently asked questions about heavy monthly bleeding, please check out HealthyWomen.org.
***Disclosure: I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Ferring Pharmaceuticals and received a promotional item to facilitate my review.***