Surviving a Heavy Menstrual Period – Or Getting Help and Fighting Back

According to a national survey, one in four women nationwide suffers from a condition known as cyclic heavy menstrual bleeding (HMB). This uncomfortable condition is not only inconvenient; it can be downright incapacitating. The heavy monthly periods cause these women distress and discomfort, disturbing day-to-day life at work and at home, with family, friends, and social outings.

The survey “Living with HMB: A National Survey of 500 Women,” conducted online in June 2010 by Harris Interactive® on behalf of Ferring Pharmaceuticals, revealed that two out of three women suffering from heavy menstrual bleeding had a significant negative impact on their lives, including leisure, social life, and physical activities. More than 90% of these women said they are very frustrated and nine out of ten expressed that their lives would vastly improve during their period if they could reduce the flow. The study examined women ages 18-49.


Despite these ongoing health concerns, many women don’t talk to their physicians about the situation. Some of these women perceive their plight to be normal and may even feel as if their doctors have no control over the matter. Some are too embarrassed to discuss the heavy menstrual flow with their healthcare professionals. A number of women felt they would be more comfortable discussing the issue if greater awareness existed for heavy cyclic menstrual bleeding as a medical condition.

Thankfully there is hope for women beyond simply trying to “deal with it.” Various birth control pills have shown great success in regulating periods, reducing the symptoms of PMS, and even lessening the occurrence to only four times a year. Of course birth control is not an option for everyone, and with anything, there are certain risks involved. Another prescription medication on the market, FDA approved LYSTEDA (tranexamic acid), has shown reduced blood loss for women with heavy menstrual bleeding. It is vitally important to discuss the options with your own doctor or gynecologist if you are suffering from heavy menstrual bleeding and searching for a remedy.

What Some Women Had to Say about their Conditions
“I am unable to do any activity that will keep me away from a restroom for more than about 90 minutes–so most outdoor activities are out of the question, and doing things like seeing movies, going to plays, etc. are a serious challenge unless there is an intermission built in or I duck out partway through.”  Age 31, Very Heavy, Impact: A lot

“Sometimes I have to stay home from work.  When I can go to work I have to skip meetings or other events and stay in my office.  I visit the restroom up to 10 times during an 8 hour work day.” Age 46, Very Heavy, Impact: A Great Deal

“I usually have to call in to work. I can’t play in the park with my kids or go swimming with them because I’m afraid that I will soak through my pants and everyone will see.” Age 22, Very Heavy, Impact: A Great Deal

Signs and Symptoms of Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
Studies suggest that 22 million women in America may be suffering from cyclic heavy menstrual bleeding, yet only 11% are seeking treatment. Here are the signs and symptoms to consider in case you might be suffering from this condition as well:

–    Heavy menstrual flow that interferes with regular lifestyle
–    Feeling tired or short of breath – the symptoms of anemia
–    Using double sanitary protection to control menstrual flow
–    Requiring  one or more tampons or pads per hour

Cyclic HMB can negatively impact so many areas of a woman’s life, from social outings to romantic relationships and even productivity at work and at home. If you suspect you might be suffering from this condition, or even if you just find your own time of the month to be overly uncomfortable or unbearable, consider speaking with your doctor about options to ease the symptoms and return your body to a better state of balance.

2 thoughts on “Surviving a Heavy Menstrual Period – Or Getting Help and Fighting Back”

  1. I really can relate to this article. I suffer from heavy and uncomfortable cycles, and they really do upset daily activities. So far, I’ve just learned to live with them and continue on, but I’m looking forward to end of my monthly friend.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *