Heavy periods also known as menorrhagia, can happen at any stage of a woman's life.
Most of the time there is an identifiable cause such as fibroids, adenomyosis, endometrial polyps, endometriosis, ovarian cysts or hormonal imbalances.
Sometimes there is no apparent cause and doctors call the condition Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding (DUB).
The definition of what constitutes heavy or excessive bleeding may vary.
The most accepted description is an increase in blood loss compared to a woman's previous periods.
When women experience heavy bleeding they may notice bleeding that is not contained within a pad or tampon (flooding), require frequent pad changes during the day and overnight, pass clots or have long lasting periods.
Women may feel tired, short of breath, lack energy and the resulting bleeding may cause absence from work and affect their quality of life.
The treatment of heavy periods should aim at the treatment of any underlying cause.
In the case of DUB measures to decrease or stop the bleeding include hormone based medication such as the pill, Implanon®, progesterone injections, a progesterone containing IUD - Mirena®, Endometrial Ablation and in a few cases a myomectomy or hysterectomy.