9 Things You Can Do About Your Heavy Periods

If your monthly flow has you paranoid about leaks, constantly running to the bathroom, or feeling exhausted for days, talk to your doctor about these treatment options.

Getting your period every month may be a bit of a hassle, but it shouldn’t shut down your normal activities or leave you totally exhausted. But for many women who have abnormally heavy periods, that’s exactly what it does. A heavy menstrual flow can leave women feeling weak, tired, and paranoid about leaks and constant bathroom breaks. Some even cancel plans and stay home on days their bleeding is heaviest.

There’s actually a technical definition for excessive menstrual bleeding, says Linda Yang, MD, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Loyola University Medical Center: It’s often defined as a woman losing more than 80 milliliters of blood over the course of her period. “Of course, that’s not very practical,” she says. “Most women can’t exactly quantify how much blood they’re losing, so as doctors, we ask about other things.”