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    Heavy Menstrual Bleeding: Why Is My Period So Heavy?

    Updated 03 February 2023 |
    Published 15 January 2021
    Fact Checked
    Medically reviewed by Dr. Anna Targonskaya, Obstetrician and gynecologist
    Flo Fact-Checking Standards

    Every piece of content at Flo Health adheres to the highest editorial standards for language, style, and medical accuracy. To learn what we do to deliver the best health and lifestyle insights to you, check out our content review principles.

    As if mood swings, cramps, backache, and headaches weren’t enough to make your period your least favorite time of the month, there’s also the blood loss. 

    Because we are all so different, our periods are too. Some of us have a heavy start to our period which then tails off, while others have heavy or light bleeding throughout. Period length also varies from person to person. And 25% of women and people who menstruate have blood loss so severe that it’s categorized as heavy menstrual bleeding (HMB).

    Here, we’ll explain what HMB actually is and discuss the signs, symptoms, and causes. If you’re suffering from HMB, take comfort in the fact that there are plenty of treatment options available that can hopefully provide you with some relief.

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    What is considered heavy menstrual bleeding?

    HMB, which used to be called “menorrhagia,” is prolonged or excessive heavy bleeding during periods that can be so bad it can interfere with your daily life. It can be nerve-wracking when you’re just not sure why your periods are so heavy, and HMB can make you dread getting your period each month. 

    If you have HMB, your menstrual flow can be heavy enough to require changing your pad or tampon every hour for several hours in a row. You might also have cramps so severe it makes it difficult to do your usual daily activities. It can be hard to go to work, play sports, or even socialize because you’re in pain or worrying about leaking.

    It’s important to remember that HMB can affect anyone, and nothing you have done is causing this heavy bleeding. Though the causes can’t always be determined, it’s important to be aware of the condition because it could be happening as a result of an underlying issue. For example, HMB has been linked to iron-deficiency anemia, which can make you feel exhausted and short of breath, so figuring out if you have it can help you manage how you’re feeling.

    How can you tell if you have heavy