Study: Obesity May Help Trigger Heavier Periods

Obese women can be more likely to have heavy monthly periods, and now new research hints at why.

In addition to stirring up inflammation, excess weight may slow down the uterine repair process, U.K. researchers reported. Menstruation occurs when the lining of the uterus (endometrium) sheds each month, but the healing process stops the bleeding so the lining can build back up.

Heavy periods — defined as needing to change your tampon or pad after less than two hours and/or passing large blood clots — can take a dramatic toll on a woman’s quality of life, said study author Dr. Jacqueline Maybin, a researcher at the MRC Centre for Reproductive Health at the University of Edinburgh.

“Some people have such heavy periods that they can’t leave the house when menstruating as they flood through their menstrual products onto their clothes,” she said. “This results in work or school absence, an increased financial burden due to paying for extra menstrual products and an inability to carry out caring roles.”