Heavy menstrual bleeding and clotting are common problems for many women. When women need to change three pads or tampons every hour, then they may be losing too much blood and they urgently need to be checked by their gynecologist. A complete pelvic exam and ultrasound will be performed. This may be the indication of some serious problem as well. It may be just a hormonal change that has occurred after a major surgery like a hysterectomy, or a minor surgery such as a cystectomy or tubal reversal.
It could be due to polyps in the lining of the uterus or fibroids within uterus or condition where the walls of the uterus become thick because of gland growth from the lining. This is called adenomyosis.
Fibroids in the uterus are tumors. These tumors are by far the most common kind tumor of the uterus. The symptoms of fibroids are pelvic pain, increased menstrual cramps, increased menstrual flow, blood clots, irregular or painful periods, urinary frequency, constipation, and bloating
If your periods are on the heavy side but repeat in a regular pattern on a cyclical basis, that would be considered normal for you. Or, if you have some irregularities in your flow that dissipate the following month, there is probably nothing too serious going on.
Often bleeding can be reduced by either the birth control pill, the Mirena IUS (a progestin IUD) or, if necessary, surgery to remove the polyp or fibroid. There are also procedures in which the lining of the uterus is destroyed with heat freezing or laser (endometrial ablation) that can decrease or stop bleeding.