Heavy Menstrual Period Treatment in Dover, DE
Menstrual periods can change throughout a woman's life, but consistently heavy bleeding may signal a problem that can be treated. Many women experience heavy periods, but it is not normal and is something that needs to be discussed with a physician.
What is Considered a Heavy Period?
If a patient experiences any of the following problems, it is recommended that they speak to their doctor:
- Bleeding that last longer than 7 days
- Soaking through more than one tampon or pad every hour several hours in a row
- Needing to change a pad or tampon during the night
- Experiencing large blood clots
Women should seek immediate medical care if they have soaked through their normal tampon or pad in an hour for more than 2 hours, or feel lightheaded.
When Heavy Periods Signal a Problem
A number of things can cause heavy periods, but it can signal a health concern and lead to more serious problems.
A Uterine Growth
Heavy periods can be caused by a growth in the uterus, either a fibroid, which is a noncancerous tumor that develops in the uterine wall, or a polyp, which is a growth made up of endometrium tissue.
Heavy menstrual bleeding is one a common symptom of a variety of pelvic conditions, including:
- Adenomyosis- a condition where the inner lining of the uterus breaks through the muscle wall of the uterus.
- Endometriosis- a condition in which the endometrium grows outside of the uterus on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, or the intestines.
- Polycystic ovary syndrome- a hormonal disorder that can cause the ovaries to become enlarged and develop small collections of fluid
- Pelvic inflammatory disease- an infection of the reproductive organs that can be a complication of some STDs.
Irregular ovulation, an ectopic pregnancy, and endometrial cancer can also result in heavy periods.
Diagnosing the Cause of Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
The gynecologist will begin to diagnose the cause of heavy periods by looking for signs of a condition, infection, or abnormal growth. They may also do a pelvic exam, pap test, ultrasound, hysteroscopy, or endometrial biopsy.
Treatment for Heavy Periods
The doctor will decide the best treatment plan for each individual patient depending on what is causing the heavy periods. Medication, including hormonal birth control, can lighten a woman's period or even stop bleeding altogether. If medication isn't successful, there are surgical and non-surgical options to treat the problem that can be discussed with a doctor, including:
- Endometrial ablation
- Uterine fibroid embolization
Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
What is Heavy Menstrual Bleeding?
1 in 5 women suffer from heavy menstrual bleeding. Many women begin to experience heavy and/or irregular bleeding in their 30s and 40s, as they begin to get closer to menopause. Heavy periods are more than just a hassle - they take a physical, social, and emotional toll as well.
Studies show heavy menstrual bleeding can affect women in a number of ways:
- Many feel tired and nauseated
- Many experience bad cramps
- Many have headaches
- More than 60% have had to miss social or athletic events1
- About 80% report avoiding sex1
- 33% have been forced to miss work2
- 77% have depression or moodiness1
- 75% feel anxious2
- 57% report a lack of confidence during their period1
Heavy periods are not something with which you have to live. Today, there are a number of effective treatment options available.
- National Women’s Health Resource Center. Survey of women who experience heavy menstrual bleeding. Data on file; 2005.
- Cooper J, et al. A randomized, multicenter trial of safety and efficacy of the NovaSure system in the treatment of menorrhagia. J Am Assoc Gynecol Laparosc. 2002; 9:418-428.