FROM debilitating cramps to crippling spasms, millions of British women put up with agonising period pains each month.
But heavy and painful periods, should never be ignored, and can be a sign of underlying health issues.
An NHS test can help reveal why your periods are so heavy and whether it's worth seeing your GP.
The test asks a series of questions on how your period affects your day-to-day life.
It then suggests how best to take your issue forward including whether to book an appointment with a GP.
Nine out of 10 women in the UK suffer from period pains and over half (57 per cent) of them say it impacts their ability to work.
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The standard medical advice is to take a painkiller and wait for it to pass – and then it happens all over again next month.
But what many women don't know is the use of certain medications can have an affect on periods, as can several health conditions, and even stress.
Endometriosis and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are some of the most common reasons for painful and heavy periods.
Both conditions cause hormonal imbalances which cannot be cured but symptoms can be eased with various treatments.
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What does a heavy period mean and what causes it?
On average, the amount of blood lost during a period is roughly less than 80ml, Dr Shree Datta a gynaecologist at King's College Hospital, London explained.
"Heavy periods can and affect people's overall health and lifestyle so can be beneficial and is important to monitor."
Signs to watch for include:
- Periods lasting longer than seven days
- Using two forms of sanitary products together and having to change every 1-2 hours
- Bleeding through clothes and bedding
- Passing blood clots larger than a 10p coin
Dr Shree added: "There are many causes for heavy periods including medical problems such as polyps, fibroids in the womb, PSCOS and thyroid disorder or blood clotting disorders, which are all things your gynaecologist would investigate."
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