Infertility Blogger
Lee Trask is an advocate for women dealing with issues of infertility and miscarriage. Having struggled through more than six years of infertility, three miscarriages, and high-risk pregnancy, she is now happy raising her two…
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Blood Clotting During Your Period: Should You Be Concerned?
Posted in Pre-menstrual S... by Lee Trask on Jan 26, 2011
Here’s a gross topic, but one I felt compelled to write because it just happened, and it kind of freaked me out. Ever had a really unusual amount of clotting during your period? I mean the kind that makes you call your OB just for verification you aren’t going to bleed to death? I just did. I will spare you the graphics, but I was actually concerned, so I called my doctor’s office to speak to a nurse and here is what she told me:

Normally, the body produces anticoagulants to maintain a consistency of blood flow. Some months, the uterine lining is shed more quickly than others, and the blood flow is heavier, (especially on day one or two). If the blood flow is heavy, the anticoagulants may not have had a chance to thin the blood, so you may pass blood clots, and the blood may be brighter red than you are used to seeing. Passing clots larger than the size of a quarter on a regular basis is not normal, however, and could be caused by a number of factors.

A delicate balance of hormones controls the menstrual cycle. If the balance is disrupted, the uterine lining may be thicker one month than another, and this can cause heavier bleeding and clotting. Hormones can be effected many things, such as by menopause, certain medications, or drastic weight changes.

Another possible factor is a past pregnancy. After pregnancy, the uterus is supposed to shrink back to its normal size. If it does not completely return back to normal, blood may pool in the uterus before being passed, especially at night when the body is at rest. In the morning, the combination of gravity and movement passes that pooled blood, and voila! For the first few hours of the day, it seems like your entire uterus is coming out...

Endometriosis can also cause irregular periods, and excessive clotting. (Endometriosis is a condition caused by tissue that normally grows only on the inside of the uterus growing on outside of the uterus.) It can cause many reproductive problems, but is treatable with medication or, in some cases, surgery.

So, with my fears allayed, and while I was talking to the OB nurse, I scheduled my annual wellness exam and Pap smear. One of the best ways to make sure your reproductive health is maintained is with regular check ups!

- Lee



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Supplementing with vitamin A has shown to resolve heavy bleeding in over 92% of patients in a study done in South Africa. Here's a link to the study - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/...

Also, I've read that iron deficiency (which oftentimes occurs with prolonged heavy periods) actually exacerbates heavy bleeding. In this case, you may want to take both iron and vitamin A to increase your iron stores while resolving the heavy bleeding.
By fighting4change  Feb 05, 2011
3
Imagine going to your gastroenterologist because you experience diarrhea and bloating on a regular basis. Now imagine your doctor starting his or her dialog with you by saying, "Well, your diarrhea is a gross topic..."
After all the time you've spent with doctors, it would seem that by now you would feel that there is nothing "gross" about the human body; that when it does not function the way we expect it to then it is either healing itself, or it is in trouble and needs our help.
By nightbyrd  Jan 27, 2011
2
How adolescent girls and women feel about their bodies in general is intricately intertwined with how they feel about their menstrual cycles, or rather, how they have been TAUGHT to feel. Don't be part of the problem.
By nightbyrd  Jan 27, 2011
1
Ms. Trask, please read this out loud to yourself:
"Here’s a gross topic..."
Think about how that sounds! This is how you began your article above. Not only is this unprofessional, but it refers to one of most beautiful aspects of being a woman as "gross." Even if excessive clotting during a woman's menstrual cycle is found to be an indicator of a medical problem, it most certainly is NOT "gross." The subject is a good one, and you are doing women a service by providing this information but it's unfortunate that you tainted it by injecting your own feelings about it.
By nightbyrd  Jan 27, 2011
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