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Articles on Menstruation

Heavy Bleeding

Excessive menstrual bleeding affects ONE in FIVE women!

What is considered to be heavy bleeding?

The amount of blood lost every month tends to remain constant and varies with age. It is unusual for a woman to lose a small amount of blood one month and then a large amount of blood the next. Each individual woman considers her own period to be normal and only worries when she feels that her periods have changed. Keep in mind that the amount of blood lost each period varies from individual to individual; therefore it is impossible to define a “normal” period in regards to amount and frequency of bleeding. A heavy period for one woman may be normal for another.

Doctors call heavy menstrual bleeding Menorrhagia. This is a condition when periods last longer than seven days and more than 80ml of blood is lost during a period.


Clotting can occur due to heavy menstrual bleeding. Losing large clots can be painful. Because of their size, they may cause cramping as they pass through the cervix. All blood contains a clotting factor. In order for blood to flow freely through the uterus, the uterus produces an anti-clotting agent. If your body experiences heavy bleeding, it is possible for your body to have used up the anti-clotting agent before your period has finished, thus the remaining blood most likely will clot.

Causes of Heavy Bleeding

  • Unexplained – for half of all cases no cause can be found

  • Contraceptive coil (IUD) – the coil can cause heavier & longer periods

  • Injectable contraception – can cause heavy or prolonged bleeding

  • Pelvic Disorders

    • Fibroids

    • Endometriosis

    • Endometrial Cancer

    • Endometrial Hyperplasia

      Hormone Imbalance
      is the most common cause of Heavy
      Menstrual Bleeding

    • Pelvic Inflammatory disease

    • Polyps

  • Blood & Hormonal Conditions

    • Hormone imbalance

    • Hypothyroidism

    • Blood clotting disorders

    • Anticoagulant drugs

Treatment with Progesterone

According to Dr. John Lee, heavy bleeding can occur when the uterus is exposed to high levels of estrogen that stimulate the excessive growth of the uterine lining. To relieve and balance the body, he suggested women use progesterone. He recommended women use higher doses of progesterone creme for approximately one month.

He advised: Use at least 1/2 tsp. twice daily from day 10-26 of your cycle, for 1-2 months.


John R. Lee, M.D.
Medical Newsletter, September 1998.