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Est-il normal d’avoir des règles épaisses et que faire ?
Cycle menstruel

Is it normal to have thick periods and what to do?

Menstruation is a natural phenomenon that most women experience every month, but it can vary greatly from woman to woman and even from cycle to cycle. Among the different characteristics of periods, the consistency of the flow is sometimes a source of concern. Have you ever noticed a thicker flow , or even clots , during your menstruation? If so, you have undoubtedly wondered about the normality of this situation and the possible actions to take. In this article, we will explore the causes of thick periods , demystify some preconceived ideas and provide you with advice on how to approach this phenomenon with complete peace of mind. Good reading !

What is the “normal” consistency of periods?

First of all, it seems interesting to us to see together the notion of "normal rules" which is somewhat subjective, before tackling the subject of thick rules. This is because each person with a uterus is unique and may have different menstrual experiences. However, in general, a "normal" menstrual flow goes through several consistencies throughout the menstrual period.

The start of the period:

At the start of the menstrual cycle, some women may first notice very light bleeding, often referred to as spotting. This bleeding can vary in color from pink to light brown. Generally, as menstruation sets in, the flow intensifies, usually becoming a more bright red color and having a noticeably runnier consistency.

The middle of the rules:

The middle of the menstrual cycle is characterized by the time when the flow is the most abundant. The shades of blood can range from a bright red to a darker red, often accompanied by a slightly thicker consistency . For many menstruating people, it is not uncommon to observe the presence of small clots , particularly during those days when the flow is at its peak.

The end of the rules:

As the end of the period approaches, the flow often thickens , adopting a viscous or even mucous consistency. The color of this flow can evolve towards shades of brown or even black. This darker color is usually a sign of older blood, taking longer to drain from the uterus.

Small reminder: these developments are generalities. What is “normal” for one woman may not be normal for another!

What are thick periods?

“Thick periods” refers to the consistency of the menstrual flow. There aren't really "types" of thick periods, but rather characteristics or manifestations that may accompany thicker than normal periods. Here are some common symptoms associated with thick periods :

Blood clots:

The presence of clots during periods is quite common, especially during days of heavier flow. These clots are usually small pieces of endometrial tissue that break off. If the clots are large or very numerous, this may indicate heavier bleeding than normal.

Dark and almost “lumpy” periods:

A darker color, such as burgundy or almost black, and a lumpy consistency may be a sign of a thick period. This is often the result of slow flow, allowing the blood to oxidize and thicken.

Abundant flow:

Although the amount of flow does not necessarily indicate its consistency, a heavy flow can sometimes be accompanied by thicker periods.

What could be the causes?

A variety of factors can cause thicker periods . Let's see together which ones they are.

A hormonal imbalance:

Hormones, particularly estrogen and progesterone, play a crucial role in the menstrual cycle . An imbalance between these hormones can lead to changes in menstrual flow, including thickening of menstrual blood. For example, an excess of estrogen relative to progesterone can cause the endometrium (the lining of the uterus) to overproliferate , leading to heavier, thicker periods.

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Uterine fibroids:

Fibroids are benign tumors, that is to say non-cancerous, which originate in the smooth muscle of the uterine wall. Their size, location, and number can vary greatly from one woman to another. When fibroids increase in size or number, they can put pressure on the uterine wall or disrupt the normal endometrial layer. This upheaval can lead to heavier bleeding during your period . Additionally, the presence of fibroids can impair the normal contractility of the uterus, which can slow the discharge of menstrual blood. When blood drains more slowly, it tends to clot, resulting in the formation of clots.


Endometriosis is a gynecological condition characterized by the growth of tissue similar to the endometrium (the inner lining of the uterus) outside the uterus. This ectopic tissue can grow on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and other pelvic organs, creating lesions or nodules. One of the direct consequences of this disease is chronic inflammation, which, with each menstrual cycle, causes pain and internal bleeding. This internal bleeding, combined with inflammation, can lead to more painful and heavier periods . Furthermore, the inflammatory process and the presence of old blood can influence the consistency of the menstrual flow, sometimes giving it a thicker texture and causing clots. It is essential to recognize these symptoms because endometriosis, if left untreated, can impact the fertility and quality of life of affected women.

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Endometrial polyps

Endometrial polyps are benign growths that develop from the inner lining of the uterus, known as the endometrium. Although they are usually non-cancerous, these polyps can disrupt the menstrual cycle in a variety of ways. Their presence can, for example, be the cause of irregular periods . Additionally, they can promote heavier than normal periods. One reason is that these polyps, by bleeding themselves or irritating the uterine wall, increase the overall bleeding volume. This increased flow can, in turn, give rise to the formation of clots , particularly if the evacuation of blood is slowed. Monitoring such symptoms is crucial because, even if they are benign, it is sometimes necessary to remove these polyps to prevent possible complications.


Adenomyos is a gynecological condition characterized by the proliferation of endometrial tissue, normally confined to the uterine cavity, within the muscular wall of the uterus, called the myometrium. This abnormal infiltration often causes thickening of the uterus . With each menstrual cycle, this ectopic tissue, much like the normal endometrium, responds to hormones by bleeding. However, being embedded deep in the muscular wall, this bleeding causes inflammation and stretching of the uterus, causing intense menstrual pain. Additionally, the presence of this tissue inside the uterine muscle can contribute to heavier menstrual flow , thereby exacerbating painful symptoms. Recognizing and treating adenomyosis is essential to improve the quality of life of affected women.

Age-related changes:

With time and the natural hormonal fluctuations associated with aging, a woman's menstrual cycle can undergo noticeable changes. Particularly during the pre-menopause phase – that transitional period that precedes menopause – menstrual irregularities become common. This phase, which can extend over several years, is marked by changes in the levels of hormones like estrogen and progesterone. These fluctuations can lead to shorter menstrual cycles or longer menstrual cycles , unscheduled bleeding, or no periods for several months. Additionally, many women report heavier periods or even bleeding with clots, making the menstrual flow thicker. These changes, although natural, can be a source of concern and discomfort. It is therefore essential to discuss it with a healthcare professional to ensure appropriate follow-up and obtain advice on managing these symptoms.

Medications and contraceptive devices:

The use of contraceptive medications and devices plays a significant role in regulating the menstrual cycle. In particular, medications that alter hormonal balance, such as birth control pills, hormonal patches or injections, can influence the duration, frequency and consistency of periods . Likewise, intrauterine devices (IUDs), whether hormonal or copper, impact menstrual flow . The hormonal IUD can reduce the amount of bleeding or even eliminate it altogether, while the copper IUD can sometimes increase the amount of bleeding and cause more painful periods.

A pregnancy or miscarriage:

Pregnancy causes profound hormonal changes in a woman's body, which can sometimes result in unusual symptoms or disruptions in the menstrual cycle. A miscarriage, especially when it occurs very early in pregnancy, can go unnoticed. It can manifest itself in the form of a late menstrual cycle, more abundant and thicker than usual. Bleeding may contain clots or tissue fragments, which may be misinterpreted as a particularly thick period. Although it's natural to think of abnormal periods, these symptoms may actually be indicative of a miscarriage. This is why it is crucial, in case of doubt or significant changes in the menstrual cycle, to consult a health professional to clarify the situation and benefit from appropriate support.

Coagulation problems:

Coagulation is a complex process that allows blood to change from a liquid to a semi-solid state to stop bleeding. People with bleeding disorders have an imbalance in this mechanism, which can influence many aspects of their health, including the menstrual cycle. When blood does not clot adequately, there may be increased clot formation during periods. As a result, these people may experience a thicker menstrual flow, made up of more or larger clots than normal. These manifestations can not only be worrying, but also be associated with more painful or longer periods. Again, when faced with such irregularities, it is important to consult a specialist for a complete assessment and to obtain recommendations on management.

👉If you are concerned about the consistency of your period or if you observe significant changes, it is essential to consult a gynecologist or other healthcare professional to obtain an accurate diagnosis and appropriate advice.

When to consult a doctor ?

As we just said, it is important to consult a doctor . Particularly if you notice a change in the consistency of your periods, in this case, thicker periods or the increased presence of clots. Listening to your body is vital and can save you a lot of inconvenience. Here are some situations where it would be wise to consult a doctor.

  • Period length and heavy flow: If your periods are not only thick, but also much heavier than usual and last longer (for example, more than 7 days).
  • Severe pain: If you experience intense pelvic pain or cramps that are different or stronger than your usual menstrual cramps.
  • Unusual symptoms: If you notice other unusual symptoms, such as bleeding between periods, bleeding after sex, or symptoms of fatigue that could indicate anemia due to excessive blood loss.

What hygienic protection for thick periods?

If you have thick or heavy periods and are wondering which menstrual products to choose , here are some suitable menstrual products you might consider:

Menstrual panties for heavy flow:

Period panties represent a major innovation in the world of period protection, providing a comfortable and reliable option, especially for women with heavy flows. Designed like classic underwear, they incorporate several layers of ultra-absorbent fabrics capable of retaining the equivalent of several tampons or towels. They thus guarantee long-lasting protection , minimizing the risks of leaks and overflows. In addition to their high absorption capacity, their design without wings or adhesives offers unparalleled comfort, allowing freedom of movement while feeling protected. Ecological and economical, these panties can be washed and reused for several years, thus considerably reducing the ecological footprint of menstruation. For women looking for a discreet, effective and environmentally friendly solution even during their busiest days, menstrual panties are a must-have option.

Sanitary napkins (disposable or reusable) for heavy flow:

Sanitary napkins are one of the most common means of protection used by women during their periods, especially during heavy flows. Disposable Heavy Flow Pads feature high-performance absorbent layers that effectively trap blood , providing a safe, clean feeling. You will generally find them under the name “night” . In addition, they often have wings to better adapt to the panties and prevent side leaks. However, for women concerned about the environment and their well-being, reusable sanitary napkins are a sustainable alternative. Made from natural fabrics such as organic cotton, they are washable and can be reused for several years. Not only are they environmentally friendly, but they are also free of perfumes and chemicals often present in disposable versions and which can create irritation or allergies to the vulva .

Menstrual cup:

The menstrual cup, often called a "cup", is a revolution for many women, particularly those with heavy flows. Made of medical silicone, rubber or thermoplastic elastomer, this small flexible cup is inserted into the vagina to collect menstrual flow. Its absorption capacity is impressive : a cup can contain several times the volume of a tampon or towel, providing protection for up to 12 hours , depending on the intensity of your period. This means less hassle and frequent changes, even on the most intense days. In addition to offering remarkable effectiveness against leaks, the menstrual cup is also economical and ecological. Reusable for several years, it represents a sustainable solution that limits waste. Its insertion requires a little time to adapt, but once mastered, the cup offers an incomparable feeling of freedom and security during menstruation, even for the most abundant flows.

Buffers for heavy flow:

Heavy flow tampons are specially designed for women who experience a particularly intense menstrual period. Made from high-quality absorbent materials , these pads provide enhanced protection and superior absorbency , minimizing the risk of leaks and spills. Often classified as "super" or "super plus" , they adapt to the internal morphology to capture the flow as soon as it is emitted. It is essential to change them regularly, approximately every 4 to 8 hours, depending on the intensity of the flow, to guarantee optimal hygiene and reduce the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome. For those who opt for more natural solutions, there are also organic tampons without chemicals, bleached without chlorine and made from 100% organic cotton , offering both safety and respect for the environment.

Fear of leaks? Pair two protections!

For those who fear leaks during their period , know that you are not alone and that there are solutions to reassure you. One of the effective strategies is to combine different means of protection. This “double protection” method not only gives you peace of mind, but also added security. For example, the combination of menstrual panties and an organic tampon can offer the discretion and absorption of the tampon, while having the safety of the panties in the event of overflow. Likewise, combining a menstrual cup with a small sanitary napkin can be an excellent way to learn how to use the cup, especially during the first attempts. The towel then acts as a safety net in the event of incorrect insertion of the cup. This combination not only makes it possible to manage heavy flows , but also to strengthen self-confidence during this time of the month.

Having heavy periods does not necessarily mean a health problem! Simply take the right actions, by listening to your body, monitoring your symptoms, choosing the right menstrual products to ensure your comfort and above all by having yourself monitored by a health professional.

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