Heavy Problem...Heavy Flow Heavy Problem...Heavy Flow Heavy periods are defined by a flow that requires the highest absorbency tampon or pad that must be changed sooner than recommended —usually within an hour. The reasons women have heavy periods include: The natural flow is just heavy Use of the birth control method called an IUD (intra-uterine device) "Hormonal imbalance" (too little or no progesterone) Fibroids or polyps (growths that sometimes occur in the uterus) Thyroid problems (the thyroid is a gland in the neck that helps control many body functions) Endometriosis —a condition in which cells from the lining of the uterus travel and grow in other parts of the body Cigarette smoking Childbirth (Many women have heavy flow during the first year or so after childbirth.) Some of these conditions don't need to be treated. Others may require treatment. When to see a doctor about heavy periods If you have a normally heavy period, there is usually no need for concern. However, you should see a doctor if: You feel tired all the time. Very heavy periods may cause anemia, which is a deficiency of the red blood cells that carry oxygen around the body. If you feel physically drained, ask a doctor to check for anemia. You experience "flooding" (leaking through a super absorbency pad or tampon within one hour). If your periods get heavy and change in consistency, you should see a doctor. If no medical reasons are found for heavy flow, the doctor may prescribe oral contraceptives, or use cyclical progesterone to regulate the periods. Learn about heavy periods and get helpful tips and advice at BeingGirl.