You've probably heard that closely to menopause, periods become a rare event in your life.
Hormonal changes, which occur in female body in the middle age, cut down number of released eggs. Lack of ovulation makes it unnecessary to menstruate every month.
Most women experience irregular menses several years before menopause, when levels of estrogen and progesterone begin to decline gradually. This period is called perimenopause.
In addition to changes in menstrual cycle, you may suffer from mood swings, inexplicable weight gain, hot flashes and sleeplessness.
Despite decreased hormonal levels and rare ovulation, it's not uncommon that women have heavy menstrual bleeding on the mid-life.
First of all, let's understand, how much of blood is too much.
The average woman loses nearly 40 ml (or three tablespoons) of blood during the periods. If this amount is twice the normal (80 ml) or more, it's medically called menorrhagia.
Profuse bleeding may require you to change tampons or pads every two hours, or even more often.
Specialists say that it's OK, when your menses last five to seven days. But having longer periods is not normal.
So, why do you bleed so intensively before menopause or during it? Here are the most frequent causes:
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#1. Uterine fibroid – this benign overgrowth may appear anywhere in your womb. They may develop within the muscular layer (intramural fibroids), on the outer part of the womb (subserosal myoma) or inside the uterine cavity, under the lining (submucosal fibroids). They may exist for many years, without causing any symptoms. If fibroid is large enough, it may become apparent not only in heavy periods, but also in unbearable abdominal cramps, increased urge to urinate and constipation.
#2. Polyps – these small formations may grow on the uterine lining, causing prolonged menstrual bleeding.
#3. Hypothyroidism – your thyroid gland, located in the neck, keeps under the control numerous body functions, including menstrual cycle. If it fails to produce normal amount of hormones thyroxine and triiodothyronine, you may notice that menses last longer than usually. Moreover, hypothyroidism may result in unexplained weight gain, troubles concentrating, constant drowsiness and lack of energy.
#4. Medications – it was found that certain medicines, such as anti-inflammatory drugs, hormone-contained pills and anticoagulants may be responsible for too long and heavy menstrual bleeding.
#5. Cancer – if abnormal cells begin to propagate out of control in your uterus, cervix or ovaries, it may be a reason for heavy menstrual bleeding and spotting between periods. It's especially true for those, who have already entered menopause.
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