Answers to Questions About Heavy Menstrual Clotting

A woman who is worried about menstrual clotting

If you are experiencing heavy menstrual clotting, you are likely concerned. Is it normal? What is causing it? Should you go to the doctor? These questions and more will be explored in the following article.


Is Menstrual Clotting Normal?

Menstrual clotting can, indeed, be quite normal during your period. Anti-clotting agents are normally produced by your body during menstruation to allow menstrual blood to flow out freely, but even with this defense, clots can form.

An unusually heavy period lasting from 7 to 10 days is known as menorrhagia. In a heavy period like this, you may not have enough of these anti-clotting agents to last through to the end of your period. This will result in the formation of clots that, although sometimes uncomfortable and even painful, are not usually a reason for concern.

What Causes Menstrual Clotting?

Often menstrual clotting has no known reason. Other times, clotting is caused by common methods of birth control such as the IUD or Depo Provera. However, there are other times when clotting is caused by certain disorders.

The Disorders

  • Endometrial Hyperplasia--Excessive cell growth in the endometrium, possibly caused by too much estrogen, causing heavy bleeding.
  • Endometriosis--A painful condition when the uterine lining grows outside the uterus.
  • Fibroids--Non-cancerous growths that usually have no symptoms.
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)--A fairly common infection of the uterus, fallopian tubes, and other reproductive organs.
  • Polyps--An abnormal growth of tissue in the cervix or uterus.

About Heavy Menstrual Clotting

Should You See a Doctor?

If you are suddenly experiencing heavy menstrual clotting, a visit to your doctor is advised. Heavy menstrual clotting can mean serious problems.

A potentially serious concern is pregnancy. You could be experiencing pregnancy complications, an ectopic pregnancy, or even a miscarriage that is causing your clotting. In any of these cases, prompt medical attention is important.

Hormonal imbalance is another possible concern. While this is not nearly as serious as the pregnancy complications mentioned above, hormonal imbalances can be a serious issue to you if you want to become pregnant. This is because these imbalances can stop you from ovulating. Naturally, if you don't ovulate, you can't conceive and have a baby.

When you don't ovulate, you accumulate a build-up of endometrium (the lining of your uterus) within your uterus. When you finally have a period, it will be heavier and you are likely to have heavy menstrual clotting.

While most menstrual clotting is normal, albeit uncomfortable and inconvenient, heavy menstrual clotting can be very serious. It may be a complication of an abnormal pregnancy or it may be a sign of a problem that could prevent you from becoming pregnant.

If you are concerned, you should consult your health care provider. At the very least, you will be reassured. If there is a problem you will be taking precautions to protect your health.

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Answers to Questions About Heavy Menstrual Clotting