Question:

Why do you have heavier periods as you get older?

PEER ANSWER

Light or irregular periods are very common for teens. With all the hormonal and physical changes that happen during the teenage years, your body simply needs a little time to regulate itself. As women age, their periods will usually find a groove and often become more regular in flow and schedule.

MOM ANSWER

As our body matures, we each discover our own unique period patterns that depend a lot on our hormone levels. I usually have two moderate-flow periods and then one heavy period. Continue to monitor just how heavy yours is, and keep in mind if you are bleeding longer than seven days, there might be another reason to reach out to your healthcare provider. You should contact them if you are soaking through your usual pads or tampons every hour for two or more hours. Let’s both take a look at what our health expert Dr. Molly has to share on this topic as well.

EXPERT ANSWER

The main reason periods are heavier or lighter is hormones. When you are first starting out with your period, you may or may not have high enough levels of the hormones that trigger the uterine lining to thicken up. Once you have had your period for a few years, these hormones are at your ‘normal’ adult levels, and your periods will be heavy or light depending on who you are. As women get near menopause, the hormone levels get really wacky again and some cycles can be super heavy while others are light. But what determines how heavily you flow is hormones. Depending on how many you have, you could have a thicker lining and a heavier period or a very light flow. Of course we can all have a weird month that is particularly heavy or light (this is hormone-driven too), but in general once you’ve had your period for a few years your cycles are pretty predictable.

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