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Heavy Menstrual Periods - Symptoms

When you have heavy periods, you may:

  • Pass large blood clots and soak through your usual pads or tampons.
  • Have severe menstrual cramps.
  • Bleed for more than 7 days. A normal period usually lasts 4 to 6 days.
  • Feel tired, weak, and short of breath. This can be a sign of anemia.

When to call for help

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You are passing clots of blood and soaking through your usual pads or tampons every hour for 2 or more hours.
  • You are dizzy or lightheaded, or you feel like you may faint.
  • You think you have anemia.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • Your heavy periods are disrupting your life.
  • You do not get better as expected.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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