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heavy period

Having only ever experienced v light periods, for the past 4 1/2 weeks I've had a particularly heavy one.  To try to be specific (sorry if this sounds a bit crude) I change tampon 12 - 14 times every 24 hours and still flood onto the floor at least once a day.  Also pass about 6 - 8 egg yolk size clots every day.  have quite sharp pain in lower pelvis and backache.  I've had an ultrasound for other reasons (gastric) and apparently nothing showed except some ovarian cysts.  Unsurprisingly I feel really tired, cold, numb fingers, dizzy.  Can't get appt with doctor until next week. Two questions please:

what may be causing this?  and is this abnormal or just normally heavy period?  I'm 41, by the way.

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