Ask Gemmah

Extreme Fatigue, heavy period & pale complexion – is this normal?

Hi Gemmah,

I’m fourteen and I received my first period at eleven, but since then, I have always had a heavy flow, and it’s reached a point where I am actually concerned. I’ve noticed that I become abnormally fatigue, as well as pale, despite my naturally olive skin tone.

I do care for myself, eating regularly, keeping hydrated, I’ve even been tested for any illnesses or infections I may have but all results have come back negative. Is this simply a rare case or can this be dangerous for me?



Gemmah Says

Hey girl!

Whilst some experience fatigue & exhaustion in the lead up to their period, if you’re experiencing really heavy bleeding which is resulting in a pale complexion, this could be a sign that you’re actually losing too much blood and it’s causing you low iron. If we lose too much blood during our periods, it can actually lead to iron deficiency. Iron is very important for making what’s called red blood cells. If our bodies don’t have enough iron, it can’t produce enough red blood cells, which could lead to a condition called Anaemia. Whilst it’s not extremely common, it is possible. Extreme fatigue and looking very pale in your complexion is actually a tell tale sign of low iron, so i’d recommend having a chat about what you’re experiencing with your mum or guardian, and booking in a chat with your GP.

Whilst some experience heavier periods than others, if you’re finding that you’re soaking through a pad or tampon within the hour, and you’re experiencing other symptoms during your period which are affecting your day-to-day life, this definitely doesn’t sound normal & it’s best to check with a professional, like a GP or health practitioner so they can run any necessary tests and find the best course of treatment for you!