For female nurses (the taboo: heavy periods)

  1. Hi everyone,

    Since I don't really find anything online about this issue, I'd thought I'd ask here.
    I've always had very heavy periods, since I was a teen. So heavy, I suffered as a 12 yo from iron deficiency and fainted sometimes on the first day. Bloodwork always came back normal, although the amount of blood I lost was nowhere near 'normal'+ I had large thick slimey bloodstrings and large bloodclots (sorry for the tmi).

    A bit before I started nursng school I went on the mini-pill aka progesterone-only pill (because history of breast cancer in the family), comparable to the Patch and to Mirena spiral.
    Anyway, my period halted. Completely. It caused me other serious issues, so I stopped with that.

    But now the question: I stopped after I stopped with the pill with being a nurse for a while, but now I'm on the verge of starting again as a nurse assistant.

    But I know how shifts are on the floor in hospitals. As a student nurse I had barely time to eat, I usually skipped the break, or did paperwork then, there's no time to sprint every hour to the restroom. And to be honest I need that on my heaviest days.

    Are there any nurses with heavy periods out there, and how do u solve it? I'm also so afraid I'll leak ... and scrubs being white usually, I would feel very embaressed. I'm thinking of trying to buy some period panties (for the first time) and pair them with a pad, what do u guys think/use/do?
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  2. 11 Comments

  3. by   smf0903
    A menstrual cup was a lifesaver for me when I was having heavy periods. You can get them just about anywhere anymore. Some people find them incredibly gross, but I thought they were about the best thing since sliced bread when I was dealing with ridiculous periods.

    I finally went and had an ablation done last year. What. A. Difference! We knew we were done having kids so that part was a non-issue for me.

    Good luck to you!
  4. by   xoemmylouox
    I have an issue with very heavy periods too. I have to say that when I am on, I make the time to use the bathroom. I also double up using a tampon and a pad for those really bad days. That buys me some extra time. You'll find what works for you. Hopefully you have at least a few coworkers that can cover your patients so you can go to the bathroom during your shift.
  5. by   VivaLasViejas
    Before my endometrial ablation, I had periods that required a tampon, extra large pad, and a Depends---sometimes I went through all that in an hour! At one point, I got so anemic that I almost needed a transfusion. I remember the time I passed a ginormous clot and fainted at work...that was when I finally went to an OB-GYN who recommended the ablation. My periods didn't stop entirely, but the bleeding was lighter than it had ever been, and within a year I went through menopause and never had to worry about it again. So if you're done having kids, you may want to consider an ablation; if not, there are birth control drugs that reduce the number of periods and may even decrease the flow. Ask your OB-GYN. I wish you well.
  6. by   Penelope_Pitstop
    Ditto to what everyone else has said. My other word of advice - have a few pair of extra scrub pants available in your locker or wherever. Do you know how many times I had to change into OR scrubs at work? It's a lot more than I care to admit.
  7. by   SmilingBluEyes
    Echoing the advice about endometrial ablation: it is ONLY for women who want to have NO more (or any) children. It does solve heavy menstrual bleeding in a majority of patients but is not for everyone. It fails in some. For a friend, it failed miserably and she wound up with a vaginal hysterectomy (again, she was done having babies).

    Talk to your GYN about this problem. For some, IUDs help. There are solutions out there that a GYN can possibly offer.

    I, too, suffered heavy periods off and on through the years. (strangely, they got better after having my babies-----but then got MUCH worse in the peri-menopause again). I just found wearing a tampon, plus underwear designed for urinary incontinence was a life saver. That and dark pants. Oh and I always had extra scrub pants in my locker.

    I feel for ya. Been there, done that. So glad I am " on the other side" now and it appears menopause is in my immediate future as periods have all but stopped for me. I don't miss em.
  8. by   martymoose
    Lupron shot bought me some time, Did end up doing iron infusions.
    Am hoping that mother nature will take over from here on out ( menopause)
    But if not, will consider the ablation. GYNO wants me to have hysterectomy. No thanks, Ill try other ways first
    Doesnt help to be on coumadin with all this baloney going on.
    I like the depends idea.
    Gawd, I hope aunt flo never returns.
    op i sympathize
  9. by   klone
    Would recommend looking into Depo-Provera or Mirena IUD.
  10. by   ashleykirsten112
    I ended up getting the Mirena IUD in March 2015 and haven't had a period since the day it was inserted.
  11. by   CKPM2RN
    Quote from ashleykirsten112
    I ended up getting the Mirena IUD in March 2015 and haven't had a period since the day it was inserted.
    Lucky! I tried the Mirena for my ridiculously heavy peri-menopausal periods. I feel within the 20% or so for whom periods don't stop. Mine kept going heavy and frequent but I did get the weight gain and emotional side effects!

    I would suggest that the person who posted this try it, especially since her age and family planning status wasn't mentioned and it is fully reversible.

    Also, do get an appointment for an ultrasound if you can, a lot of times this can be related to fibroids or other uterine problems.
    Last edit by CKPM2RN on Jun 20 : Reason: Misspelled word!
  12. by   HermioneG
    I had the Mirena put in and it was one of the most painful things I've ever experienced. And the pain didn't go away, I kept it in for a miserable 6 months until I finally had it taken out. If you haven't had children before, I would personally suggest (from my own experience) looking at other options first. I found out later that it's best to use it after you have children and your body has been through the childbirth process.

    I personally loved using the Nuvaring. I started using it when I was 15 and I went through a similar situation as yours. My periods were so heavy I would go through an overnight pad in an hour, I had to go home and lay in bed for hours vomiting and in excruciating pain. The Nuvaring worked wonders!

    What I also really love about the Nuvaring is that in addition to making my periods lighter, I could skip a period when I wanted to by simply leaving it in for 4 weeks instead of 3. I personally like having light and regular periods and don't want them to stop completely, but it was nice to have the option to skip if I wanted to.

    I'm taking a small break from birth control altogether, but I'm probably going to start it again very soon.
  13. by   No Stars In My Eyes
    When I was on BC pills, I also used to skip the occasional period by keeping on taking the pill. Everyone who knew got so worried about it, then years later I read somewhere that women were taking the pill for up to six months at a time and only having their period 2-3 times a year, and it was (at the time) thought to be acceptable. Once I went thru menopause I quit reading about birth control methods. Not sure now that having long stretches of taking estrogen is ok or not.

    My sister has told me I had lots of problems with my period: cramps, n+v, staying in bed with heating pad. But I don't remember it that way at all. I think she was remembering her OWN menstrual problems. I know I was sometimes guilty of 'faking it' to get out of something . . .

    when I was trying all the menopause/hot-flash-prevention plant-based hormones, it would work a month or two and then not help much at all. The doc tried upping my progesterone, saying it would help. . .HA! Within 10 hrs of taking the progesterone it made me feel intolerant and murderous! I got off it and no longer felt like killing half the population of the world, which was quite a relief, as you might imagine.
    Last edit by No Stars In My Eyes on Jul 2

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