What Qualifies as Heavy Menstrual Bleeding?
Heavy menstrual bleeding, or menorrhagia, refers to an excessive menstrual flow or prolonged menstrual periods. A few signs that your periods are abnormal include:
- Soaking through more than one tampon or pad every hour for more than two hours
- Doubling up on feminine products to control bleeding
- Spotting or bleeding that lasts longer than a full week
- Passing large blood clots
- Avoiding normal activities due to menstruation
What Causes Heavy Menstrual Bleeding?
Several health conditions cause menorrhagia, but sometimes the cause can’t be determined. The condition could be due to:
- Hormone imbalance
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Thyroid disorder
- Uterine fibroids or polyps
- Uterine or cervical cancer
- Bleeding disorders
- Medication or non-hormonal IUD side effects
When Should I See a Doctor About Heavy Menstrual Bleeding?
Make an appointment with a gynecologist at Louisiana Women’s Healthcare in any of the following situations:
- You have any of the symptoms listed above such as heavy or prolonged bleeding
- Your period causes significant discomfort or disruption
- You experience any bleeding during pregnancy or after menopause
- You have symptoms of anemia such as fatigue or lightheadedness
Heavy menstrual bleeding can lead to serious health problems such as anemia and anemia-related heart problems. It’s important to discuss your heavy bleeding with your doctor so they can make sure you don’t have any severe developments.
What is the Treatment for Heavy Menstrual Bleeding?
Your gynecologist uses your medical history, physical exam, and test results to formulate a diagnosis. Then, they provide medication and medical procedures to treat menorrhagia depending upon the underlying cause.
- Medication: Various medications are available to reduce pain, slow bleeding, and even balance hormones. Your doctor may suggest going on a birth control pill, for example, to regulate your menstrual cycles.
- Medical Procedures: Your provider may suggest dilation and curettage (D&C), endometrial ablation, or endometrial resection to remove the uterine lining. Otherwise, they may recommend uterine artery embolization, myomectomy, or focused ultrasound surgery for fibroids or other procedures for different gynecologic conditions.
If you experience heavy bleeding during your period, make an appointment at Louisiana Women’s Healthcare to discuss a treatment plan online or over the phone.