Periods on their own can be tough, but when your teen has an ultra heavy flow that they might not know how to manage, things could get messy. If you think your teen might have a heavy flow, or know they have a heavy flow and want to help them learn how to manage it, keep reading for our take on heavy periods, from what causes them, to how to deal with leaks and more.
Does My Teen Have A Heavy Flow?
On average, people on their periods will lose anywhere from 30-50 ml of blood during their monthly cycle – this is considered a “normal” flow. A person who suffers from a heavy menstrual flow, otherwise known as menorrhagia, typically loses more than 80 ml per cycle.
Each regular-sized pad or tampon can hold up to about 5 ml of blood. If your teen has a heavy period, they could be soaking through more than 16 regular tampons or pads per cycle.
The best way to figure out if your teen has a heavy period is for them to monitor the number of tampons or pads that are either full or have leaked through by the time they remove them throughout the day. If they have to change their protection after less than two hours, or go through 12 or more tampons or pads in a day, this may indicate they suffer from a heavy period. Additionally, if your teen finds their flow is super heavy for more than five days of their cycle, they could be suffering from menorrhagia.
While every period is different, here are some key signs that could indicate your teen is dealing with a heavy period:
- Their tampon or pad is completely full and needs to be changed every 1-2 hours for five or more days of your cycle
- They always need to use added protection to prevent excess leakage (i.e. pads, panty liners, or period panties)
- They always experience period clotting, or their clots are wider than 1 inch in diameter.
- They can’t partake in their day-to-day activities because of their period
- They're feeling extremely weak or tired throughout their entire period
If your child is experiencing one or more of the above symptoms on a regular basis, then they might be one of the many, many people out there who have a heavy period. If they're only experiencing some of these symptoms sometimes, or are still unsure whether or not their period is heavy, remember that periods are almost always heavier within the first three days of a cycle. The severity in a period flow can also change from month to month depending on lifestyle changes, eating habits, and hormonal factors.
What Causes Heavy Periods?
A lot of the time, a heavy period can just be an inconvenience as opposed to a serious medical issue. However, if your teen is experiencing some of the symptoms listed above or any of the ones listed in our blog post about extreme period symptoms, they should consult a physician. Even if it’s nothing, reaching out to a professional can offer peace of mind.
There are many reasons that don’t require medical intervention that could explain why their period is heavy. During puberty, hormone levels are still balancing out (they’re new to this whole maturity thing!) and this can cause an imbalance of progesterone and estrogen levels, which leads to excessive menstrual bleeding.
How Can I Help My Teen Manage A Heavy Menstrual Flow?
For some, having a heavy period flow is just a natural way of life and has nothing to do with an underlying medical issue. If your teen is one of the many people out there dealing with a heavy flow, know that there are plenty of ways to deal with heavy bleeding on a period. Read on for a list.
Heavy periods can be uncomfortable, embarrassing, and a little smelly. But with period panties, they can also be super manageable.
Women throughout history have used wood, wool, and even papyrus to manage heavy periods. Today, we use period underwear. When used alongside a tampon or pad, they can help manage excessive menstrual bleeding and prevent leaking. Your teen can walk, run and dance in their Leakproof Underwear Bikini and trust that they will keep them leak-free and feeling fresh.
Our period panties are made of an anti-odor fabric that keeps leaks and smells locked in. They can absorb up to 12 teaspoons of blood, and can be worn alone on lighter days of a cycle. However, if your child does have a heavy flow, consider rocking our Leakproof Bikini alongside a pad or tampon for extra protection.
Another way to manage heavy period flows is with birth control. While birth control is a contraceptive, that is far from its only use. Many doctors prescribe birth control to people who want to regulate their menstrual flow and reduce its severity. Speak to your doctor about this if you’re curious.
Using a menstrual cup instead of a pad or tampon could also be a good solution to heavy period flow. Most menstrual cups can hold up to three times more fluid than a super tampon, plus they’re better for the environment. And, of course, for extra protection, your teen can pair a cup with a pair of our Leakproof Period Underwear. Not only does it generate less waste, it’ll keep them feeling dry, fresh, and worry-free.
When it comes to heavy menstrual bleeding, you should also pay close attention to your teen's diet. Often, we’re told to stay away from caffeine and super-salty, high-fat food while we’re on our period. Not only can this kind of stuff make period cramps and bloating worse, it can actually make your teen's flow heavier. Swap out that bag of chips for a bag of carrots instead —seriously, vitamin A has been proven to decrease menstrual flow. Check out this blog post for more on food to eat during your period.
If none of these DIY fixes are helping your teen cope with their heavy flow: Call your doctor. It’s important to know your body and take charge of your health, and calling in a professional when you’re feeling unsure about a heavy period or need an extra hand is the best thing you can do. If necessary, there may be surgical options available for excessive menstrual bleeding, as well as medications they can take if at-home methods aren’t cutting it. Remember: Safety first.
Disclaimer: The blog writers at Kt by Knix are not medical professionals, and give this advice based on their own research and experience. If you have further questions or concerns, speak to a trusted medical professional.