1. You've switched birth control
If you've recently switched birth control methods, this can seriously affect your periods. While hormonal birth control bills often regulate and lessen periods, if you switch to a non-hormonal method of birth control, you might notice that your periods are heavier than what you're used to. The same is true with non-hormonal IUDs. In fact, copper IUDs tend to cause heavier periods in most women.
2. You're pre-menopausal
Did you know that women as young as 30 can become pre-menopausal? This category, known as perimenopause, is the fourth-to-ten month transition that leads up to menopause. Typically the first signs are changes in your periods, such as heavier flows.
3. You have a uterine fibroid
Fibroids are small, non-cancerous tumors that form in the wall of the uterus. Most women will develop uterine fibroids at some point during their lives, and heavy menstrual bleeding is usually a sign. You might also experience cramps, spotting between periods, and lower-belly pain.
4. There's a hormonal imbalance
If any of your hormones are out of whack, it can cause heavier bleeding during your period. Estrogen builds up the lining of the uterus while progesterone stabilizes it. Hormone therapy can help to correct a hormonal imbalance.
5. You're on anticoagulants
Anticoagulants are blood thinners that are taken to reduce and break up blood clots. A common anticoagulant, aspirin, allows blood to flow through your body more easily. But because of this, you might also notice your periods are heavier than usual.
6. You have a blood disorder
If you notice that your periods are way heavier than usual, you might have a blood disorder. While there are tons of different blood conditions, millions of Americans are diagnosed with Willebrand disease each year, a condition that doesn't allow your body to make a specific blood-clotting protein.
7. You have polycystic ovarian syndrome
Around 10 percent of American women have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), and almost 50 percent don't even realize they have it. Women with PCOS get a cluster of cysts on their ovaries, which could leave to heavier periods.
8. You have an STD
Many sexually transmitted diseases, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea, can cause heavy menstrual bleeding. If you've been having unprotected sex, and you've started noticing that your periods are heavier than usual, you should go get tested to be on the safe side.
9. You have pelvic inflammatory disease
Pelvic inflammatory disease happens when there's a bacterial infection in the womb or fallopian tubes. Usually, a heavy period is one of the first signs. Other signs of pelvic inflammatory disease include painful sex, an ache in the lower abdomen, and strange green vaginal discharge.
10. You have endometriosis
Endometriosis occurs when uterine tissue grows outside the uterus into the pelvic cavity. One of the first signs is a heavy period. Other symptoms include pain during sex, lower back pain, and severe menstrual cramps.
Get it checked out
If you notice that your periods are heavier than usual, the best thing you can do for your health is to get it checked out. Schedule an appointment with your OBGYN to address any concerns and make sure there's nothing serious going on.
- "7 Reasons Your Period May Be Heavier Than Normal," Bustle, March 14, 2016.
- "5 Reasons You Shouldn't Assume Your Unusually Heavy Period is Normal," Prevention, November 15, 2016.
- "7 Reasons Your Period is Heavier Than Usual," Women's Health, May 24, 2017.
- "7 Reasons Why Your Period is So Damn Heavy," Self, May 11, 2016.