Getting your first period can be a stressful experience. It can be hard to understand how your body is changing and why, especially as your hormones will be causing a variety of unusual feelings.
Unfortunately, as many as one in five women also need to deal with heavy periods, this complicates things further and it can be difficult to know what to do or who to talk to.
The first thing any teenager with excessive bleeding should do is book an appointment with an obstetrician Sydney.
They will be able to help you identify if there is an underlying issue and, equally importantly, they will be someone to talk to without needing to feel embarrassed.
What Constitutes Excessive Bleeding?
Excessive or heavy bleeding is known as menorrhagia and means you are bleeding more than the average amount during your period. Of course, when you first start having periods it can be difficult to know what is light, average, or heavy.
It is worth noting that most teenagers don’t suffer from excessive bleeding, it is more likely if you have irregular periods.
The Signs Of Excessive Bleeding
In basic terms, excessive bleeding means you are bleeding more than you should be. However, as you may not know what is normal or not, you may find it beneficial to know the following. These are all signs that you have excessive bleeding:
Using a Tampon Every Hour
Tampons are usually changed every four to eight hours, which allows you to get a good night’s sleep. If you are changing it every hour for several hours you have excessive bleeding.
Changing Tampon Overnight
Because a tampon can stay in for up to eight hours it should be okay to leave it in all night. If you wake up needing to change it you have excessive bleeding.
Doubling Up On Pads
An obvious sign of excessive flow is when you need to use more than one pad at a time.
Bleeding Lasts Longer Than A Week
Periods usually last 5-7 days and the bleeding gets stronger and fades. Therefore, if you are bleeding for more than a week you need to get yourself checked.
Signs Of Anemia
Anemia is when your iron levels are low. This can cause you to feel tired, light-headed, and even short of breath.
If you don’t feel you can undertake normal activities due to concerns over leakage then you are probably experiencing excessive flow.
As a teenager, your hormones are all over the place because your body is changing rapidly. An imbalance between levels of estrogen and progesterone in your body can cause heavy bleeding.
The most common reason to have a hormone imbalance as a teenager is due to the ovaries not functioning properly. if they fail to release an egg when they should your body will not create the right hormonal balance and excessive bleeding will happen.
The same is true if you have polycystic ovarian syndrome, are overweight, or have an issue with your thyroid. All good reasons to speak to an obstetrician.
There are several bleeding disorders that will also cause excessive bleeding during periods. The most common of these is Von Willebrand disease although platelet disorders can also cause an issue it’s best to get checked for them.
You probably won’t be surprised to learn that infections, especially pelvic infections and sexually transmitted infections, will increase the likelihood of excessive bleeding. Clear up the STI and your period bleeding should return to normal.
It is also possible that the heavy bleeding is a result of structural issues in your sexual organs. These include small growths known as polyps.
The growths are non-cancerous but grow on the inside of your uterus causing the period to be heavy and often last for longer.
It is also possible that benign tumors, known as uterine fibroids, can form in the uterus and cause excessive bleeding. In very rare cases it is possible to have cancerous growths in your uterus.
If you are currently taking any medication you should check the guide that came with it. You may find that the medications are causing the excessive bleeding. That means it should stop as soon as you finish the medication.
As a teenager experiencing periods your body is capable of carrying a baby. Naturally, if you do become pregnant and then subsequently miscarry, there will be an excessive amount of blood.
However, it is worth noting that this is likely to be a one-off event. A miscarriage is unlikely if you regularly get excessive bleeding during your periods.
Whatever the cause, it is essential that you get excessive bleeding during periods sorted. It will help you to deal with the issue and enjoy life.