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close this bookWhere Women Have No Doctor - A Health Guide for Women (Hesperian Foundation, 1997, 600 p.)
close this folderChapter 22: Abnormal Bleeding from the Vagina
close this folderProblems with Monthly Bleeding
View the documentHeavy monthly bleeding, or bleeding that lasts a long time
View the documentLight monthly bleeding
View the documentMonthly bleeding that comes too often, or bleeding at other times
View the documentWhen monthly bleedings come too far apart, or have stopped

Heavy monthly bleeding, or bleeding that lasts a long time

· Monthly bleeding is heavy if a pad or cloth is soaked through in less than one hour

· Monthly bleeding is long if it lasts for more than 8 days.

· Blood clots (soft, dark red, shiny lumps in the blood that look like liver) are also a sign of heavy bleeding,

· Heavy bleeding that goes on for many weeks, months or years can cause weak blood (anemia).


· The hormones may be out of balance so the ovary does not release an egg. This is common for women under 20 and women over 40 years of age.

· An intra-uterine device (IUD) may be making monthly bleeding more heavy.


· Miscarriage, even if you did not think you were pregnant.


· If you have pain in the abdomen with bleeding, you may have a pregnancy outside the womb in the tube. URGENT. Go to a hospital right away.


· You may have a problem with the thyroid gland.

· You may have growths (fibroids or polyps) or cancer in your womb.


See a health worker trained to do pelvic exams if you have heavy bleeding and:

· blood gushes from your vagina.
· monthly bleeding has been heavy and long for 3 months.
· you think you might be pregnant.
· you have severe pain with the bleeding.