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“Help, My Period Won’t Stop!” What’s Happening When Your Period Won’t Stop?

Written by Elizabeth Buescher, Gynecologist

We usually get questions about women health concerns, and one of the often-asked questions concern that of the length of menstrual flow and other symptoms that they experience during their period. It is normal for women to be ridden with questions concerning their reproductive health and the sensitive issue of menstrual health is something that indeed needs to be addressed.

“Help, My Period Won’t Stop!” What’s Happening When Your Period Won’t Stop?

“Help, My Period Won’t Stop!” What’s Happening When Your Period Won’t Stop?

With this, we took a look at some of the often asked questions concerning the reasons why women experience prolonged periods of menstrual flow, especially those that claim that their period won’t stop bleeding.

What Does It Mean When My Period Won’t Stop?

Different kinds of women experience their menstrual periods differently. The consistency of the menstrual flow may vary. There are some that experience blood clots, while others don’t, experiencing freely flowing liquid blood for most days. Others may experience changes in the color of the menses, while others don’t. Women also have different lengths of menstrual flow or menses. On the average, a period usually lasts for six to seven days. But in some cases, there may be women that experience their menstrual flows for more than a week and with a much heavier flow. There was one question asked often about what happens when the menstrual period does not seem to stop.

As a safe gauge, it may be said that your period is not stopping when it has exceeded the normal duration, which should be from five to seven days. This means when you are having your period for ten days, then you might want to have yourself checked as this is beyond what is considered normal. In some cases your period won’t stop brown discharge from coming out during the last few days. This may be normal but you should keep you eye out for prolonged bleeding – be it red or brown in color.

Secondly, you need to consider too if the flow is heavier. Normally, a regular flow would mean you have to change pads twice on regular days, and maybe three times on heavy flow days. During regular nights, you may need to change once, but during excessive heavy flowing days, you might need to change two to three times. If this is the case, then you might also consider having yourself checked. There may also be instances when the period flow is normal but the duration has exceeded the average five to seven days.
Combining the factor of both duration and heaviness of flow will give you a fair gauge as to whether your period is normal or if it seems to not be stopping. In short, profuse and prolonged bleeding during your menstruation is called menorrhagia.

What Steps Can I Take to Gauge If My Period Is No Longer Acting Normally?

What Steps Can I Take to Gauge If My Period Is No Longer Acting Normally?

What Steps Can I Take to Gauge If My Period Is No Longer Acting Normally?

The best way to monitor your normal cycle versus an abnormal one is to keep track of your red days. Some things you should note are as follows: number of days, type of flow per day – if it is light, medium, or heavy flow, consistency or thickness of the flow – such as, is it light or do you have blood clots. Some key metrics to measure this would be keep track of your tampon and/or napkin consumption. You can note how many pads were you able to use, and what kind of pads these are. Knowing the usual characteristics of your menses will help you note better if there are any abnormal changes in your menstrual flow. Should there be changes, the first thing you would notice would be the length of your period and heaviness of the flow. If you are mostly mobile, you can check out different kinds of applications that you can download to help you monitor your period.

What Does It Mean When Your Period Won’t Stop?

Here are some symptoms that will tell you that your period seems to not be stopping. Firstly, you change your pads more often. If you are changing almost every hour, then your period is definitely not stopping. Secondly, if your heavy flow pad at night gets full, and you need to change regularly through the night. There are even reports when some women have to wear adult diapers to handle the amount of blood coming out of them. Some other grave symptoms would be the sudden gush of heavy flowing blood at the slightest movement. You can imagine how scary this must be to some women who experienced this. Thirdly, you might be feeling dizzy or nauseous from all the blood loss.
If you are experiencing these symptoms, then your period seems to not be stopping, and it is time to see the doctor.

So, Why Won’t My Period Stop?

There are various reasons why your period is not stopping. The best way to determine the cause and the corresponding proper treatment is to ask yourself checked by your gynecologist. For purposes of this article, here are some of the probable reasons.

The most cited cause is hormonal imbalance. The right balance of female hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone contribute to the proper functioning of the endocrine and reproductive system of a woman. Hormonal imbalance can cause you to bleed much longer than usual. The uterine lining can thicken excessively if you have hormonal imbalance, causing you to shed more blood than usual.

Adenomyosis could also be a possible reason. This is a nonmalignant disease. Adenomyosis is characterized by the growth of the endometrium into the muscular layer of the uterus. This growth can cause prolonged and profuse bleeding during the menses. Endometrial cancer is a common disease that might cause prolonged and profuse bleeding, but can be arrested through regular check-ups. So the best way to rule these out is to get yourself examined.

Fibroids can also cause prolonged and profuse bleeding. The reason for this is that fibroids can restrict or hinder the uterine lining from contracting properly, causing blood clots to form. These blood clots can come out as heavier mens flow that usual. Fibroids are also related to abnormal estrogen levels, which is again, hormonal in nature.

I’m on Birth Control and My Period Won’t Stop, Is This Normal?

I’m on Birth Control and My Period Won’t Stop, Is This Normal?

I’m on Birth Control and My Period Won’t Stop, Is This Normal?

If your period won’t stop on birth control, then it is definitely time to see your gynecoogist. Your doctor can properly advice you on the right kind of birth control to take, or whether you should stop taking it and for what reasons. The birth control bill is hormonal in nature, and if you have hormonal imbalance that has caused you to bleed profusely or over a prolonged period of time, then your doctor is best to decide if you should stop taking it.

In one case, the patient had prolonged and profuse bleeding for almost a month already. This has caused her to stay in bed for almost two weeks. Upon checking with her doctor, she was given hormonal treatment to stop the bleeding. So in some cases, hormonal treatment could also be used to stop the bleeding, but only your doctor can prescribe this. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) could also be prescribed, but again, this depends on the diagnosis of the case, and only the doctor is best suited to decide on this. Some doctors might also prescribe oral progesterone, such as Provera. Progesterone is a hormonal drug that aims to correct hormonal imbalance to help reduce the chances of menorrhagia.

What to Do When Your Period Won’t Stop?

See your doctor. This cannot be stressed enough. Only your doctor can properly diagnose you and recommend the proper treatment. You may be given hormonal treatment, medication, or in extreme cases surgical treatment for menorrhagia. The most extreme kind of treatment would be the latter, wherein your doctor will perform several surgical options such as — Hysterectomy, Endometrial resection, or myomectomy, to name a few.

But if you must do something while waiting to go to the doctor then a safe advice would be to supplement yourself with iron to avoid getting anemia. In fact, if you already anemic, it is best to take iron supplements regularly. You can also eat iron-rich foods, such as green leafy vegetables, and liver.

You can also explore alternative treatments to profuse and prolonged bleeding. There are emerging alternate practices in holistic health that promote acupuncture as a possible way to arrest menorrhagia. The basic principle of the treatment is that the body is ridden with illnesses when the energy or life force or chi of the body is not properly distributed to the organs and extremities. As a result of this blockage in the flow of chi, certain systems in the body get sick. So the way to heal this is to stimulate the key meridians (or energy highways) in the body so the chi can flow more properly. If you are the type who is not comfortable with taking in medicine and going through surgery, then this alternative is something that you might want to explore. You can ask your doctor about possible alternatives such as this.