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HealthInfo Canterbury

Overview of heavy periods

When you've had several periods where the blood loss is excessive and causes problems in your daily life, it's called getting heavy periods. The medical term for heavy periods is menorrhagia.

Menorrhagia is very common, particularly when you have just started getting periods, or you're coming up to menopause. They're not usually a sign of anything serious.

Causes of heavy periods

In most cases there's no cause for the heavy bleeding. Occasionally there is a cause, which can include:

Symptoms of heavy periods

The amount of blood that's lost during your period varies a lot from person to person. If your periods are heavy, you may:

The loss of blood might make you feel very tired. This could mean you have low iron in your blood which can cause anaemia.

Getting help with heavy periods

If you're concerned about your periods, or if period problems are disrupting your life, you should make an appointment with your GP.

It's important to see your doctor if you have heavy periods and any of the following are true:

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed September 2021.

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Page reference: 884819

Review key: HIHPE-15976