It is very common that women with heavy menstrual bleeding develop anemiaiAnemia is defined as a decrease in the number of red blood cells or the amount of hemoglobin in the blood., due to the excessive period blood loss.
What is anemia?
Anemia is a decrease in the total amount of red blood cells in the blood. Since red blood cells are responsible for carrying oxygen in the body, symptoms include tiredness, weakness, shortness of breath and poor ability to exercise.
What you should know about periods and anemia:
Periods can cause anemia
depending on the amount of blood loss during menstruation. The average period blood loss is around 30-40ml per cycle (up to 8 regular tampons per period)
Regular heavy blood loss during your period increases the chance of anemiaiAnemia is defined as a decrease in the number of red blood cells or the amount of hemoglobin in the blood.
because heavy periods cause an excessive loss of blood cells, and the body might not be able to produce enough new red blood cells to make up for the lost ones. Over time the number of red blood cells in the body will decrease. This is anemia. A period is considered as heavy if blood loss is above 80ml per cycle
The symptoms of anemia evolve slowly
and are not necessarily noticed for a long time
Feeling tired and weak, getting quickly out of breath (for instance while taking the stairs), lacking focus and concentration and lightheadedness are some of the typical symptoms of anemia
If you feel exhausted and quickly out of breath during your period set an appointment with your gynecologist. Anemia can be diagnosed with a simple blood test. More importantly, the doctor will help to identify the cause of the heavy period blood loss and prescribe a suitable treatment which ultimately positively effects the iron metabolism over time.