Many women in perimenopause find they not only have to manage the symptoms of approaching menopause, they also suffer from heavy bleeding each month. The connection between perimenopause and heavy bleeding is becoming more understood by doctors and physicians.
Perimenopause is a period of transition which begins several years before menopause as the ovaries temporarily produce more estrogen before declining during menopause. This can cause an embarrassing and potentially dangerous condition – heavy menstrual bleeding.
How to Define Heavy Bleeding
Heavy menstrual bleeding, known as menorrhagia, is usually defined by a loss of at least double the amount of blood than during a normal menstrual flow. Instead of losing around two tablespoons (30 ml) of blood during the period, sufferers of perimenopause and heavy bleeding may lose as much as two cups (540 ml). This unusual amount of bleeding can lead to embarrassing leaks and unexpected flooding.
This heavy bleeding often includes large clots and may cause a sudden heavy flood. It may also be marked by more frequent periods, occurring every 21 days, or it may last far longer than the usual five to seven days.
Related: Defining Perimenopause
Perimenopause and Heavy Bleeding
Heavy menstrual flow is most common in teenage and in perimenopause. Both these times of life are when estrogen levels are higher and progesterone levels are lower, leading to estrogen dominance. Estrogen makes the lining of the uterus (endometrium) thicker and more likely to shed after ovulation; while progesterone makes a thinner endometrium. Estrogen dominance during perimenopause is the cause of the thicker lining and subsequent heavier blood flow.
During the perimenopause, heavy bleeding affects around 25% of women who will have at least one heavy period. Those who have persistent menorrhagia are likely to suffer the effects of losing large quantities of blood each month. This can include some or all of the following symptoms:
- Anemia (low blood count)
- Iron deficiency
- Weakness and lack of energy
The answer to the problem caused by perimenopause and heavy bleeding is to correct the hormonal imbalance. There are several informative articles about perimenopause and how to balance hormones safely and naturally, helping to manage the perimenopause and heavy bleeding safely and naturally.