What are the common causes of a heavy period with clotting?

The most common causes of a heavy clotting period are hormonal changes, fibroid tumors, miscarriage, an abnormally large uterus, and some medications. One or two abnormal menstrual cycles are not a cause for concern. If heavy menstruation with coagulation occurs for several months, is accompanied by fatigue, pale complexion, or dizziness, a gynecologist should be consulted to assess the cause and treat the problem.

Hormonal changes are one of the most common causes of a heavy clotting period. Normally, the hormones progesterone and estrogen work together to control the menstrual cycle. If the levels of these hormones change, the result can be an intense period of clotting. Some of the reasons your hormones can get out of balance are the onset of menopause, weight gain or loss, and some medications.

Fibroid tumors and endometrial hyperplasia are two other common causes of a heavy period with clotting. A fibroid tumor is a benign growth found in the uterus. These growths can cause excessive menstrual bleeding and clotting by physically interfering with the normal clotting of uterine blood vessels, or growing fibroid tumors can influence the growth and size of blood vessels in the uterus, causing more uterine bleeding. Endometrial hyperplasia is the formation of a thick, dense lining of endometrial cells in the uterus and is usually caused by too much estrogen. A thicker lining can cause heavier bleeding and blood clots.

A miscarriage is another cause of a heavy clotting period. When a miscarriage occurs, bleeding can range from light to heavy depending on the stage of the pregnancy and the cause of the miscarriage. Coagulation is usually the result of normal shedding of the accumulated uterine lining and fetal tissue. A miscarriage is often accompanied by cramps. When the bleeding and cramping are severe, a doctor should be seen.

During pregnancy, the uterus enlarges, stretched by the growing baby. Shortly after birth, the uterus normally shrinks to its pre-pregnancy size, but in some cases the uterus may remain enlarged. When this occurs, heavy periods with clotting can occur due to shedding of excessive surface area on the enlarged uterus. An expanded uterus can also trap blood, forming large clots that are eventually expelled.

Some medications that can act as blood thinners, such as aspirin, and blood thinners can cause heavy bleeding with clotting. During menstruation, the uterine blood vessels become exposed as the endometrial lining sheds, causing blood to be released. Towards the end of menstruation, the blood vessels gradually close. Aspirin and blood thinners can interfere with the constriction of blood vessels, causing a heavier and longer menstrual flow.

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