health ‘Heavy periods were ruining my life. Then at 31, I got a diagnosis that changed everything.’ Tara Meakins

“I would sometimes be in debilitating pain,” Melanie explained. “But the main issue was that I was so fatigued.” 

The biggest misconception.

Finally, after “six solid years” of Melanie’s menstrual cycle ruling her life – with almost month long periods, continuous clots and “no cycle whatsoever” – by December 2020, treatment had worked.

“Since then, I’ve gone back to basically normal periods,” the now 39-year-old said. “Like I know when it’s coming, it’s every four weeks, it lasts for about five days, I don’t have any clots and it’s just completely normal. 

“It’s been absolutely life-changing, and I’ve even started playing sport again.”

Before that point, Melanie had resigned herself to a life of heavy menstrual bleeding. 

“I was convinced that I was just somebody who had two-week periods, and now I’m like, oh my god, this is what normal life is like,” she said. “I haven’t had this since I was in my 20s.”

And that is where Melanie says the biggest misunderstanding lies. 

“I would say that the common misconception is that heavy, long and painful periods are normal, and that’s not true,” she argued. “I thought mine was ‘normal’ until I went through treatment and I now know what’s really normal, and it’s not heavy and painful!”

While it took the South Australian woman a long time to get to that point, she explained that it was by talking with her doctor and friends that she realised something was wrong. 

“My friends, who witnessed a lot of my awful times, would be like, ‘Oh, my period is only five days’, and I would be like ‘What!’,” she said.