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As many as 1 in 5 women suffer from heavy menstrual bleeding

Do you suffer from heavy menstrual bleeding? Do you look up to your period like a mountain? Unfortunately you are not alone. As many as 1 in 5 women suffer from heavy menstrual bleeding. The deadly serious campaign will focus more attention on this condition in November.

What is heavy menstrual bleeding?

You lose blood during your period. The amount does not only differ per woman, but is determined by many more factors. Think of your age, your hormones, the environment in which you live, stress and much more. It's not surprising that the amount of blood you lose doesn't always have to be the same. On average, however, you will lose 4 tablespoons of blood per menstruation.

Unfortunately, there are also circumstances where you lose a lot more blood. This then falls under the heading of heavy menstrual bleeding. It's a medical condition that goes just a little bit further than regular periods. When there is HMB, a woman loses a lot of blood. This can be a 3/4 full glass of long drink per period or more. Precisely because such large quantities are involved, this has an enormous impact on the life of the woman.

HBM occurs in premenopausal women. This means that especially women between the ages of 35 and 55 fall into the 'risk' group.

Where you get during a normal period with a sanitary towel or a tampon, you need several menstrual products during HMB. Changing these products every 1 – 2 hours is the rule rather than the exception. Because a woman loses so much blood, other things come into play, such as iron deficiency.

In addition, many women experience enormous problems in their daily lives. Social life is put on the back burner, especially around the period when your period is due. In addition, there are more frequent reports of sick leave at work. Especially if the woman is in a lot of pain and it is not possible to change the menstrual products on a regular basis.

Symptoms of heavy menstrual bleeding

Many women are shocked by the amount of blood they lose when they have their period. Still, in most cases, it's nothing to worry about. Are you dealing with heavy menstrual bleeding? Then pay attention to the following symptoms:

  • Long period (longer than 7 days)
  • A short cycle (a normal cycle lasts 21 – 42 days)
  • Severe period pain
  • Loss of large clots
  • Total blood loss is at least 3/4 glass full of long drink

Causes of heavy menstrual bleeding

Although 50% of cases cannot be explained, there are some causes that can cause heavy menstrual bleeding. Think of:

  • IUD
  • Uterine polyps
  • Meat trees
  • PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome; 1 in 5 women also suffer from this)
  • Adenomyosis
  • Pelvic inflammation
  • Hormonal disorders
  • Ovarian dysfunction
  • Menstrual cycle without ovulation
  • Hereditary bleeding disorders
  • Endometriosis

In a few cases, heavy bleeding during your period can indicate a very serious underlying disease. In that case, it concerns cancer of one of the female reproductive organs.

As many as 1 in 5 women suffer from heavy menstrual blood loss

Many women are ashamed, because HMB is not yet well known among women. And that's a shame, because as many as 1 in 5 women who are in the premenopause experience this. So there is a good chance that you know someone in your family or circle of friends who is dealing with this, without your knowledge.

Precisely because there is a taboo on it, much more needs to be discussed, according to After all, there is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, by talking about it and especially going to the doctor if you recognize yourself in the above complaints and symptoms, you can do something about it. And that is extremely important, especially if HMB has a serious impact on your life.

What to do in case of heavy menstrual bleeding?

Do you recognize yourself in the above? Then don't keep walking around with it. There are several things you can do if you suffer from heavy bleeding during your period. To start with, it is good to make an appointment with your doctor. He or she can suggest a follow-up study based on your story. This usually involves an internal examination performed by the general practitioner or gynaecologist to see whether, for example, you do not suffer from polyps.

If there are no major abnormalities, you can undergo various treatments to reduce or eliminate heavy menstrual bleeding. These treatments vary from short-term solution (hormone treatment) to permanent solution (uterine removal). Other treatments such as scraping away myomas (MyoSure), endometrial ablation (NovaSure), but also scraping the endometrium (dilation and curretage) can provide relief.

Which treatment you choose depends on, among other things, a possible wish to have children, but also other matters. You can always pass on your wishes to the attending physician/specialist.

More understanding for heavy menstrual blood loss

Unfortunately, there is still little understanding for women who suffer from heavy blood loss during their period. And that's a shame, especially when you consider that so many women between the ages of 35 and 55 suffer from this. That is why it is necessary to cultivate understanding and that can be done by talking.

Do you suffer from heavy menstrual bleeding? Then talk about it. Not only with people in your immediate environment, but also with friends and colleagues. Notify your boss of your condition and explain why you should regularly call in sick. If you always have to cancel appointments, simply because it doesn't work:tell people what is bothering you to create more understanding.

Make sure you're heard, but above all:make sure you don't keep walking around with it unnecessarily long. Heavy menstrual bleeding is a serious condition, which fortunately can be treated. So feel free to cross that threshold and visit your doctor. It can mean a turning point in your life.

Precisely because there is so little attention for it, November has been declared campaign month. Heavy blood loss wants to focus seriously on women who are dealing with HBM. Here  you will find the agenda for this campaign month.