A Brief History Of The Tampon

November 3, 2014 3:33 PM

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"A lot of adolescents get these 'blow out' periods, and they have no idea that they're too heavy -- or that there are things they can do to help control them," said McGuire. "They just assume that everyone's [period] is this way." While having a heavy flow is relatively common (and most women tend to bleed more in the first few days), if you find yourself needing to change your pad or tampon more than every two to three hours, or if your period lasts longer than seven days, it's likely time to talk to a health care provider about your options. Hormonal birth control can help decrease the amount of flow a woman experiences, as can certain pain relievers. There's also a small chance that heavy flow is a sign of menorrhagia, a term used to define periods that are so intense, they keep a woman from doing her usual activities. The bottom line -- if you think your flow is abnormally heavy, ask!

For women who have painful periods (and evidence suggests there's a lot of us out there), getting relief from cramping and other common physical symptoms often requires taking over-the-counter pain relievers before any bleeding even starts. "If you take [medication] when the symptoms are already bad...

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