Each woman has their own unique bleeding pattern. The definition of what is normal is thus related to the already established bleeding pattern in each individual. A pattern that veers from what you are used to, in terms of increased amount and duration of bleeding, may be defined as heavy periods. But generally speaking heavy bleeding may be defined as: bleeding lasting more than a week; soaking more than one sanitary pad within an hour and for several hours; passing huge blood clots; restriction of daily activities due to heavy bleeding; and easy fatigue due to loss of large amounts of blood.
With advancing age, there is a gradual decline in the female hormones which play a significant role in pelvic organ function. Thus prolapse symptoms are more common towards the menopause. Some women may have an inherent muscular weakness, though is rare. Lifestyle factors like obesity and smoking are also predisposing factors to pelvic prolapse.
Any bleeding, at whatever stage in pregnancy, is never normal. True, very minimal bleeding or spotting tends to be innocent, and majority of pregnancies in such situations never come into any harm. Bleeding in amounts equivalent to a period, or heavier, usually signifies a more serious situation. But regardless of the amount of bleeding, a medical assessment is usually required.
The reasons for delays in the onset of periods are many, and a specific diagnosis can only be worked out after a thorough gynecological assessment. The chronology of pubertal development usually gives a clue about the potential causes. Those who appear to have all the developmental features expected with puberty usually just have a delayed onset of periods which is self-correcting. Others may have delayed pubertal development, suggesting several potential causes ranging from genetics to complex medical syndromes.