Heavy periods are a common problem that often stops women from enjoying normal daily activities. When heavy periods go untreated, they also put you at risk of iron deficiency anemia. The medical team at Advanced Women’s Healthcare has extensive experience determining the cause of your heavy periods, then recommending individualized treatment that restores a more normal flow. To get help with your heavy periods, schedule an appointment with us.
How do I know if my periods are too heavy?
Many women aren’t sure when their menstrual bleeding is heavier than normal. Patients often believe that a heavy period is something they have to put up with. But heavy periods aren’t normal, and if they continue, you’re at risk for problems like anemia.
Your bleeding is too heavy if you meet any of the following guidelines.
- Bleeding lasts more than 7-8 days
- Bleeding soaks through one or more pads or tampons per hour
- Need to wear more than one pad
- Need to change pads or tampons during the night
- Pass blood clots the size of a quarter or larger
If you’re bleeding matches any of these criteria, it’s time to schedule an appointment at Advanced Women’s Healthcare to have your menstrual periods evaluated.
What causes heavy periods?
Numerous gynecologic conditions can cause heavy menstrual bleeding. The following are a few examples of some of the most common underlying problems.
- Uterine fibroids: Noncancerous growths in the muscular layer of the uterine wall
- Uterine polyps: Small growths that develop on the uterine lining
- Endometriosis: Tissues that normally line the uterus grow in your pelvis on the outer uterine wall, fallopian tubes, and ovaries
- Adenomyosis: Tissues that normally line the uterus grow in the muscular layer of the uterine wall
Irregular ovulation also frequently causes heavy periods. Polycystic ovary syndrome is one of the most common causes of ovulation problems.
How are heavy periods treated?
The team at Advanced Women’s Healthcare may start your treatment with hormonal medications that lighten menstrual flow and make your periods more regular. You may also have the option of a nonhormonal medication, tranexamic acid, that reduces bleeding.
If your heavy bleeding persists despite medications, your Advanced Women’s Healthcare doctor may recommend surgery. Only one surgery, endometrial ablation, specifically targets heavy bleeding, but other procedures can be done to treat specific underlying conditions.
- Endometrial ablation: Stops bleeding by removing a thin layer of the uterine lining
- Uterine artery embolization: Shrinks uterine fibroids if they’re the cause of your bleeding
- Myomectomy: Removes uterine fibroids while keeping your uterus intact
Your doctor may talk with you about a hysterectomy if you don’t want to have children in the future, your bleeding is severe, and other conservative options haven't helped.
The team at Advanced Women’s Healthcare may perform these surgeries using the da Vinci® surgery system, an advanced robotic system that’s controlled by the doctor while allowing more precise surgery.
To get treatment for heavy periods, call Advanced Women’s Healthcare to book an appointment.