Menstrual Concerns

Heavy Periods, Painful Periods and Irregular Periods

If you’re suffering from severe menstrual pain, menstrual cramps, heavy bleeding or an irregular menstrual cycle, our friendly team at Robina Town Women’s Health Clinic are here to help.

Whether you’ve just started to get your monthly period or have had it for many years, speaking to a professional can help to diagnose the symptoms that are causing you pain or discomfort.

Irregular periods/abnormal menstrual cycles

Menstrual cycles can vary from 21 days to 40 days with the average cycle being 28-32 days. An irregular menstrual cycle can be defined as an alteration from your normal cycle.

In most cases an irregular cycle is nothing to worry about.

Some examples of the causes of irregular periods include:

  • How long you’ve had your period for – it can take some time for your body to get into a regular monthly cycle
  • Contraceptives – these can change your regular cycle
  • Hormonal problems
  • Gynaecological problems
  • Breastfeeding
  • Stress
  • Excessive exercise
  • Significant weight loss or weight gain
  • Premenopausal
  • Medications

If you’re worried about your irregular cycle you can book an appointment with your doctor to discuss your concerns.

Heavy periods

Heavy periods, also known as Menorrhagia, can be described as excessive bleeding (e.g. blood loss greater than 1/3 cup per cycle) or bleeding for a prolonged length of time (more than 8 days). Heavy periods tend to more commonly affect women aged between 30-50 years old.

What causes heavy bleeding?

In many cases, heavy periods are closely related to hormone levels and there are no abnormalities in the uterus. In other cases,  endometriosis, polyps, fibroids or cancer may be related.

How do you know if your bleeding is ‘too heavy’?

Some signs of heavy bleeding include:

  • Needing to change your tampon or pad more than once an hour
  • Needing to change a pad during the night
  • Large clots, greater than a 50c piece
  • Bleeding for longer than 7 days

If this applies to you, we suggest you visit your doctor.

Treatment for heavy bleeding may involve medication, the pill, an intrauterine device (IUD) or referral to a specialist to discuss surgical options.

Painful periods

Do you suffer from severe period pain or menstrual cramps that affects your ability to do your day-to-day tasks? Period pain is more common for teens and women in their 20’s.

Period pain can be caused by the uterus muscles tightening or contracting. You may feel pain in the pelvic area, the lower back, along with symptoms like nausea or diarrhoea. Endometriosis is another cause.

How do you know if the pain is not ‘normal’?

Period paid could be classed as abnormal if:

  • The pain is there for more than the first two days of your period
  • It doesn’t go away if you take pain medications or you use the contraceptive pill
  • Your ability to carry out your normal day-to-day activities is affected.

Treatments for period pain may include:

  • Applying heat to the painful area
  • Warm bath
  • Pain relief medications
  • Some contraceptive methods may help 
  • Complementary therapies

If you are concerned about any aspect of your menstrual cycle, why not book an appointment with one of our friendly GP’s for advice.