Heavy Menstrual Bleeding

Patient profile:

  • Emily, 32 years old
  • Engaged
  • Professional

I started getting dizzy, if I stood up too quickly whilst I was at university. My mum gave me some supplements to take, but I thought these pills would help me, and that my dizziness was simply because I was busy studying and seeing friends. A few years later, when I was promoted at work, the dizziness got really bad. Sometimes I had to sit back down again so that I didn’t pass out. I got headaches and was really exhausted all the time; too tired to go out with my friends. My fiancé said I was crankier than I used to be too. My new job means I work long hours and have trouble sleeping, because I’m worrying, so I always put my symptoms down to having a hectic life.

I didn’t realise my periods were unusual until I was chatting to a close friend about feeling tired. She was surprised how long my periods last and that I have to get up in the night to change my towel. I did notice that I felt the most tired and dizzy when I had my period though, so I did think that maybe my periods were affecting me.

The tiredness bothered me the most. The world seemed foggy all the time, I couldn’t concentrate and sometimes I had to really fight to stay awake, even at work. If I slept on the weekend I would feel a bit better, but even a long lie-in didn’t really help. I like photography and if I went out to take photos or went to an exhibition I felt less stressed – but then I was too exhausted to do anything in the evening.

With the wedding coming up I realised I couldn’t go on struggling from day to day anymore, so went to my doctor. She said my periods could be causing me to lose too much iron and that was making me feel so exhausted. I had blood tests done for anaemia and to check my iron levels, and it turns out that I do have iron deficiency anaemia, caused by my heavy periods. The doctor has started treatment and I already feel better. I’m hoping now I’ll have the energy to do all the things I want to do, and really enjoy my wedding and time with my new husband!