What is a heavy period?

Heavy periods — also known as menorrhagia — are defined by having substantial blood loss in every monthly cycle. A third of women have this condition, so don’t think that you’re alone if you get them, too.

Many women feel both physically and emotionally affected by heavy periods, but the good news is, it's very unlikely to be anything more serious. Plus, wearing super absorbent tampons and heavy period pads can really help make you feel protected and secure during a heavy period.

Saying that, if you notice your periods are heavier than usual or they’re disrupting your daily life, it may be a good idea to discuss this with your doctor. Your doctor might ask you to keep a menstrual diary where you'll need to jot down how long your periods last, how often you change your protection, any changes to your flow, and the impact it’s having on your daily routine. Alternatively, you can visit our advice page for more advice on menstrual cycles.

Which products are best for a heavy period?

The best way to handle heavy periods is to ensure you wear super absorbent tampons and heavy period pads. These will offer the protection and security you need to make sure your menstrual cycle doesn’t get in the way of your life.

Lil-Lets SmartFit Ultra and Super Plus Extra tampons are the most absorbent tampons in the UK, specifically designed to handle very heavy periods. If you prefer pads, our Drylock, Super Soft, and Maxi pads provide also all the protection you need.

Signs of a heavy period:

  • You need to use both pads and tampons
  • You bleed through your clothes or onto your bed
  • You call in sick to school, college or work
  • You bleed for more than 10 days
  • You find you need to change the highest absorbency tampon/pad every two hours
  • You're anaemic – 2 out of every 3 women with heavy periods develop this condition
  • You pass large blood clots


As we’ve said, heavy periods are not always a sign that something is wrong. Your fluctuating hormones are the main culprit for heavy periods when you first start having periods and again, years later, when they come to an end approaching menopause.

  • The coil (the intrauterine contraceptive device or IUD), although confusingly research has shown that an IUD, containing the hormone ‘levonorgestrel’ can actually benefit some women who suffer from heavy periods as well.
  • Fibroids and polyps in the uterus can sometimes cause heavy periods.
  • Endometriosis, sometimes if you suffer from this, you'll also experience heavy periods.
non-applictor tampons

Lil-Lets SmartFit™ Ultra and Super Plus Extra tampons are the most absorbent tampons in the UK and are specifically suited to extremely heavy and heavy flows. If you prefer pads, our Long and Night Drylock, Super soft pads or Maxi pads will give you the protection you need.