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Q&A

Heavy Periods & Menstrual Clots

Question:

When I'm having my periods, I pass large blood clots on my heavy days. Is this normal? My periods are rather regular they come every 26 days or so but often quite painful. I'm 24 and I'm worried something might be wrong.


Menstrual clots can be perfectly normal. Many women get them during their menstrual period on days of heavy bleeding and cramping. Blood has natural clotting ability, so whenever blood gets retained inside the uterus it is likely to clot. If the blood is accumulating faster than what can be passed out of the body, like on heavy-flow days, clots are the result.

If you routinely have some clotting during menses, these are likely normal for you. However, if you notice a significant change in the amount of duration of clotting, especially if the change persists, you should bring them to the attention of your physician. They might indicate some changes in uterus such as adenomyosis, fibroids or polyps.

Adenomyosis is a condition where the uterine lining tissue (endometrium) becomes embedded in the uterine muscle, and is commonly associated with heavy, crampy periods and a reduced ability of the muscle fibers in the uterine wall to contract, which in turn can result in clotting.

Fibroids are benign growths of the uterine wall muscle. If they interfere with the ability of the entire uterus to contract, bleeding will increase and clots are likely to form.

Polyps or growths inside the uterus can act as an obstruction to the outflow of blood during menstruation and increase clotting.

In any case, pay your gynaecologist a visit if you are experiencing very heavy and painful periods. He will be able to conduct a physical exam and give you a specific diagnosis and treatment.

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