This is something all women encounter from time to time. But it’s difficult to know what is defined as “heavy.” You may have become so used to a heavy period that you don’t even question it anymore—it’s just something you deal with and move on. However, some women experience such heavy periods that there are days they don’t feel comfortable even leaving the house. Their lives are disrupted by their periods. While this is not uncommon, it is not something to ignore, either. Heavy or prolonged menstrual periods, or menorrhagia, is the most common type of abnormal bleeding from the uterus. Periods are considered heavy if there is enough blood to soak a pad or tampon every hour for several consecutive hours.
Other symptoms of a heavy period can include:
- Nighttime bleeding that requires getting up to change pads or tampons
- Passing large blood clots
- Menstruation that interferes with sleep and daily activities
If you are having heavy menstrual bleeding, it is important to see your doctor to determine the cause. Blood loss from heavy periods can also lead to anemia, causing symptoms such as fatigue and shortness of breath.
Treatment will depend on what’s causing the bleeding. Medication treatment for heavy bleeding may include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen, to reduce the amount of blood loss and help with pain
- Hormone therapy to stabilize the endometrium, regulate menstrual cycles, or correct hormonal imbalances
- Hormone secreting IUD
- A non-hormonal medication that promotes blood clotting
Procedures for heavy bleeding may include:
- Dilation and curettage. D&C involves dilating the cervix and scraping the lining of the uterus.
- Hysteroscopy. This is a procedure in which a long, thin scope is inserted into the uterus through the vagina and cervix. It allows the doctor to see and remove fibroids (a type of procedure called myomectomy) or other growths that may cause bleeding.
- Endometrial resection or ablation. In this procedure, the lining of the uterus is removed.
- In extreme cases, a hysterectomy might be performed.
At MIRI Women’s Health, our highly trained and specialized doctors and staff offer you better solutions and conservative treatments for your heavy bleeding. Our approach to gynecologic surgery, including hysterectomy, begins with the MIRI Patient Experience which includes personalized plans from initial consultation to follow-up care. With the latest in advanced minimally invasive techniques, alongside our added touch of care and sensitivity, you truly have a place where you can finally find the solution for your symptoms, and get the attention you deserve.