Physical and hormonal factors can impact your menstrual cycle and create a heavy flow. Heavy flows increase your chances of developing menstrual clots. Conditions that enlarge or engorge the uterus can put extra pressure on the uterine wall. That can increase menstrual bleeding and clots. Obstructions can also interfere with the uterusвs ability to contract. When the uterus isnвt properly contracting, blood can pool and coagulate inside the well of the uterine cavity, and form into clots that are later expelled. Fibroids are typically noncancerous, muscular tumors that grow in the uterine wall. Besides heavy menstrual bleeding, they can also produce:
a protruding belly Up to of women will develop fibroids by the time they are 50. The cause is unknown, but genetics and the female hormones estrogen and progesterone likely play a role in the development of fibroids. Endometriosis is a condition in which the uterine lining grows outside the uterus and into the reproductive tract. Around the time of your menstrual period, it can produce:, vomiting, and abnormal bleeding, which may or may not include clotting The exact cause for endometriosis isnвt known, although heredity, hormones, and previous pelvic surgery are thought to play a role. Adenomyosis occurs when the uterine lining, for unknown reasons, grows into the uterine wall. That causes the uterus to enlarge and thicken. In addition to prolonged, heavy bleeding, this common condition can cause the uterus to grow its normal size.
Although rare, cancerous tumors of the uterus and cervix can lead to heavy menstrual bleeding. In order to grow and thicken properly, the uterine lining relies on a balance of estrogen and progesterone. If there is too much or too little of one or the other, you could have heavy menstrual bleeding. stress significant weight gain or loss The main symptom of a hormonal imbalance is irregular menstruation. For example, your periods may be later or longer than usual, or you may miss them entirely. As many as of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, with many of these pregnancy losses occurring before a woman even knows sheвs pregnant. When an early pregnancy is lost, it can lead to heavy bleeding, cramping, and clotting. Just because you ve been getting a period every month, give or take, since puberty doesn t mean that you have it all figured out. For example, why on earth do you sometimes have large, dark clumps of jelly sticking to your menstrual pad or tampon? Shouldn t menstruation blood be more of a liquid than a jam? Well, just like blood running throughout your body can clot, so can your period blood. But while a clot in your leg can be ominous, clots in periods are completely normal and generally nothing to worry about. Why are there clots in period blood? Susan Wysocki, a nurse practitioner and board member of the , explains, Our bodies are engineered in a way that blood, with the help of internal chemicals, clots so that we don t bleed to death.
Typically, anti-coagulants released by the body during menstruation fend off period clots. But sometimes, especially if you have a heavy flow, not all of your uterine tissue is able to be broken down, which leads to clots forming and being released during menstruation. These clots are typically red or dark in colour and appear during the heaviest days of a woman s period. Read more: Do all women get period clots? In short, no. It really depends on individual chemistry and whether they have a period, Wysocki says. It also isn t unusual to experience clots sporadically throughout your years of menstruation. Interestingly enough, women might notice period clots during the first and last years of their periods. It s not unusual for women to have heavy, heavy bleeding during puberty, which could likely involve clotting, Wysocki says. On the other end of the spectrum are women, whose ovulation and menstruation are beginning to occur further apart. When they finally do start bleeding, their periods might be heavier than they re used to and contain clots. Read more: What does this mean for your health? Usually period clots are nothing to worry about. But in some cases, it can be a sign of a bigger medical problem. According to Wysocki, it s possible a sudden change could be due to a , disease, or infection. (Although in these cases, clotting would probably be accompanied by pain and other symptoms. ) Clot-filled periods could also be a sign of uterine fibroids, or small, non-cancerous growths in the uterus that a out of the Women s Hospital of Birmingham found will be experienced by 70% of women before they turn 50.
Read more: When should you see a doctor? There are some instances when you should talk to a medical professional. For example, clotting that s accompanied by weakness and fatigue could be a sign of anaemia, a condition in which your body doesn t produce enough red blood cells to carry oxygen. Wysocki also says that teens who experience heavy, clot-filled periods which leave them pale and light-headed should consult a doctor to rule out von Willebrand disease (VWD), a condition that prevents blood from clotting properly. (She says women typically discover if they have VWD during adolescence due to how annoying and disruptive the periods are. ) Wysocki also notes that women should also consult a professional if they notice a sudden change in their period or if they re experiencing overall discomfort. Some people might think that normal is being miserable, which it doesn t have to be, she says. Hormonal contraceptives including the pill, patch and IUD are effective ways to alleviate heavy periods and the clots that go with them. This article was originally published on www. womenshealthsa. co. za