Heavy Menstrual Bleeding and Available Treatment for Teens

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The menstrual cycle is the hormonal process that occurs each month to prepare the body

for a possible pregnancy.

For most teens, they have bleeding that comes every 21 to 45 days and lasts for 2 to 7 days

in a row.

This is called a menstrual period.

Menstrual periods are not normal if they last longer than 8 days in a row or if they are

coming more often than every 3 weeks.

Bleeding is considered too heavy if there are large blood clots that come out or if

a pad or tampon needs to be changed every hour to stop bleeding onto clothes.

Heavy menstrual bleeding may cause a person to feel really tired or dizzy or lose enough

blood that they have low iron levels or anemia.

In preteens and teens, heavy menstrual bleeding most often happens because the body is not

having regular ovulation which can lead to an imbalance of hormones.

At the beginning of puberty, the ovary makes a hormone called estrogen.

Estrogen causes the lining of the uterus to grow thicker.

Around the middle of the menstrual cycle, ovulation occurs.

This is when the ovary releases an egg.

Following ovulation, the ovary makes a second hormone called progesterone.

Progesterone causes the lining of the uterus to become mature and stabilize.

Over time, the lining of the uterus becomes thick enough that it causes menstrual bleeding.

For many teens, ovulation does not happen regularly in the first several years after