Expert Management For Painful Periods And Heavy Bleeding
For most women, menstrual cycles occur about every 28 days, and periods last four to seven days. Abnormal menstruation includes problems such as heavy bleeding, known as menorrhagia, irregular menstrual bleeding, and pain during periods, known as dysmenorrhea.
UT Southwestern gynecologic surgeons, specialists, and their teams are nationally recognized for their expertise in womens health care. We participate in research to improve diagnosis, management, and treatment for heavy, irregular, painful periods. Our specialists are also faculty members, dedicated to educating future womens health doctors and other care providers.
What Does It Mean When Your Period Is Two Weeks Early
If you have a regular menstrual cycle, its very easy to know when there is a problem. This may be difficult if your menstrual cycle is still not regular, especially for young girls and women close to menopause.
Should you have a regular cycle and your experience vaginal bleeding 2 weeks from time, these are possible causes.
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How To Stop Heavy Menstrual Bleeding With Clots Caused By Fibroids
#1. Uterine Artery Embolization
Uterine artery embolization is useful for women who are suffering from heavy menstruation caused by fibroids.
It mainly focuses on shrinking the fibroids by blocking uterine arteries and cutting off the blood supply to the fibroids.
During this process, the surgeon uses a catheter through the large artery in the thigh and guides it to the uterine arteries where substances are injected to reduce the blood supply to fibroids.
#2. Focused Ultrasound Surgery
This too treats menstruation caused by fibroids by shrinking them.
It uses ultrasound waves to destroy fibroid tissues. No incisions are done for this procedure.
It involves the surgical removal of any fibroids. The performance of surgery depends on the size, position, and number of fibroids.
Cancer Of The Endometrium
Cancer that affects the endometrium of the uterus can cause bleeding in women especially after 40 years. However, younger women may have prolonged heavy period, abdominal pain and vaginal pain during intercourse.
If your doctor suspects cancer as the cause of your long heavy periods, removal of the uterus or hysterectomy will be performed. Removal of the uterus with radio or chemotherapy can achieve cure if done early.
How Do You Know If You Have Heavy Periods
First things first how do you know if you have a heavy period? Normal period blood loss is considered 30-80 mL, approximately 1-6 tablespoons. But what does that really mean?
Here are the most common signs that your period is truly heavy:
- Your period lasts longer than 7 days.
- You need to use more than 6 pads or tampons per day, not fully soaked, or youre soaking through more than two pads or tampons in a day.
- You typically need to change your pads or tampons after only 1 or 2 hours.
- Youre regularly soaking through your clothes on your period, or youre having to double up on pads so you dont.
- You have to change your tampon or pad during the night.
- Youre passing blood clots the size of a quarter or larger with your period blood.
- Youre having to plan your activities around your period.
If you consistently have a heavy period, you may also find yourself feeling weak, tired and sluggish during the day, which can be a sign of iron deficiency anemia due to a consistently heavy period.
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Can Excessive Menstruation Be Treated
If your doctor finds stress or birth control pills as the cause of your excessive menstruation, you will be advised or other contraceptive methods used. Also, vaginal infections and other causes will require further testing. Vaginal infections gonorrhea and chlamydia, can be treated with antibiotics. If your bleeding is due to a polyp, a curettage or polyp forceps is used with good success rate.
Also, vaginal infections and other causes will require further testing. Vaginal infections gonorrhea and chlamydia, can be treated with antibiotics. If your bleeding is due to a polyp, a curettage or polyp forceps is used with good success rate.
Wondering why My period wont stop? Let us know.
What Can Cause Bleeding Between Periods
There are several things that could cause bleeding between periods, such as changes to your hormones levels, use of hormonal contraception or contraceptive devices, an infection, or an injury.
Other causes of bleeding between periods may include:
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Symptoms Of Abnormal Uterine Bleeding
- bleeding for more than eight days
- heavy blood loss during the menstrual period for example, soaking through one or more sanitary pads or tampons every hour for several hours in a row
- needing to change your pad or tampon during the night
- have to change or restrict your daily activities due to your heavy bleeding
- bleeding or spotting between periods
- cramping and pain in the lower abdomen
- any vaginal bleeding after menopause.
If you think you may be experiencing heavy menstrual bleeding, you may find it useful to keep a pictorial blood loss assessment chart this can help you give your doctor an idea of how heavy your period is.
Options For Treating Heavy Periods
Each month, the lining of your uterus thickens to ready itself for pregnancy. If you dont conceive and a fertilized egg doesnt implant in your uterine wall, your uterus sheds its lining and a menstrual period occurs.
During a menstrual period, your body loses an average of about 2.7 ounces of blood. But some women experience heavy periods, during which they lose more blood than that. This condition is known as menorrhagia. Approximately 9-14% of women experience heavy periods.
With an average menstrual blood flow, it takes about four hours to fully soak a tampon or pad. If you have heavy periods, saturation can occur in as little as one or two hours. You may even feel weak from the loss of blood, although not all women with heavy periods do. In some cases, heavy bleeding can lead to iron deficiency.
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Can Early Menopause Contribute To Other Conditions
Infertility is often the most obvious concern when you start menopause 10 or more years early. Yet, there are other health concerns.
A steady stream of estrogen to your tissues has many uses. Estrogen increases good HDL cholesterol and decreases bad LDL cholesterol. It also relaxes blood vessels and prevents bones from thinning.
Losing estrogen earlier than normal can increase your risk of:
- premature death
Discuss your concerns about these symptoms with your doctor. Because of these risks, women who enter menopause early are often prescribed hormone replacement therapy.
How Long Is Too Long For A Period During Perimenopause
The road to menopause comes with many changes. Night sweats, hormonal imbalances, and vaginal dryness are a few of the well-known symptoms of perimenopause. Heavy, painful periods are also a symptom thats quite common roughly 25 percent of women report experiencing them. Read on to learn the basics of perimenopause bleeding and how to manage extended perimenopause periods.
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How To Stop Periods Permanently
The period or menstruation cycle is normal and harmless. Your period is a natural way to cleanse your reproductive system. When occurring irregularly, it can be a sign of an underlying condition. Stopping your period permanently is a serious decision that needs lots of consideration. This is not to say that you cannot stop your period permanently.
If your reasons for stopping your period are not a medical emergency, then you might want to reconsider such a decision, especially for a young girl. You might opt for semi-permanent methods such as using contraceptives and other natural methods.
If you are, however certain that you would wish to stop your period permanently, then you can try the following:
How Is Early Menopause Diagnosed
The time leading into menopause is called perimenopause. During this time, you may have irregular periods and other symptoms that come and go.
Youre generally considered to be in menopause if you go 12 months without menstrual bleeding, and you dont have another medical condition to explain your symptoms.
Tests arent usually needed to diagnose menopause. Most women can self-diagnose menopause based on their symptoms. But if you think youre experiencing early menopause, you may want to see your doctor to be sure.
Your doctor can order hormone tests to help determine whether your symptoms are due to perimenopause or another condition. These are the most common hormones to check:
- Anti-Mullerian hormone . The
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My Period Lasting Longer Than Usual Is It Normal
If your period usually lasts for four days and increased to 6 days, then its not prolonged. Also, some women may experience prolonged bleeding once in a while and normalize the next periods.
If your period is persistently long and lasting more than seven days then it abnormal.
Causes of period lasting longer than usual include
Longer than normal period? What to do
If your period lasts longer than normal, then you should monitor it.
Is your bleeding heavy with blood clots? Is it the first time you notice it? Has it been persistent? Do you experience excessive menstruation?
If this is the first time, then you should monitor your next period. If its persistent, then you should let your doctor know.
Reasons For Heavy Periods
Right below weve explained these top 9 common causes of heavy periods.
#1. Hormonal Imbalance
The two major hormones that take part in the regulation of the menstrual cycle are estrogen and progesterone.
They help prepare the womens body for a possible pregnancy by thickening the endometrium which lines the uterine.
On the off chance, the egg is not fertilized, the hormonal levels of these two hormones go down resulting in the shedding of the uterine lining causing menstruation.
Naturally, the abnormal changes in these hormonal levels can cause abnormal menstruation like heavy bleeding and cramps.
#2. Difficulties in Blood Clotting
Another prominent cause of heavy periods can be anomalies in clot formation.
If your body is not able to form clots, you might experience heavy bleeding.
Although seeing small occasional blood clots in your menstrual cycle is normal, if you start experiencing heavy periods with blood clots quite often, its time to ring up your doctor.
Fibroids are the non-cancerous growths developing in and around your womb that can causeheavy and even painful periods.
While there are many types of fibroids, submucosal fibroids are commonly known to cause heavy menstrual bleeding with clots and pain.
Why do fibroids cause heavy bleeding?
It is a medical condition where the tissue lining the womb is found outside the womb for instance, it is found in the ovaries.
#5. Pelvic Inflammatory Changes
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Emergency Treatment To Rapidly Stop Heavy Bleeding
Some women have very heavy bleeding during a period. This can cause a lot of blood loss, and distress. One option as an emergency treatment is to take a course of norethisterone tablets. Norethisterone is a progestogen medicine. Progestogens act like the body’s natural progesterone hormones – they control the build-up of cells lining the womb .So, if a period is very heavy or prolonged, your doctor may advise that you take norethisterone tablets. A dose of 5 mg three times daily for 10 days is the usual treatment. Bleeding usually stops within 24-48 hours of starting treatment. If bleeding is exceptionally heavy then 10 mg three times daily may be given. This should then be tapered down to 5 mg three times daily for a week, once your bleeding has stopped.
What You Can Do To Ease Heavy Periods
First things first, its critical to assess for and address underlying medical conditions. If youre experiencing new onset of heavy menstrual bleeding pain, fever, unpleasant-smelling vaginal discharge, or any other new or unusual symptoms its really important to see your medical provider and rule out a more serious medical condition like a pelvic infection, endometrial cancer. Heavy bleeding can also be due to a miscarriage, which may sometimes require medical attention.
I also recommend getting checked for iron deficiency anemia if you have low energy, fatigue, low mood, or difficulty focusing around your period. Anemia can result from heavy blood thats significant enough to require support. More severe anemia can also cause other symptoms such as breathing difficulties and a racing heart, particularly following strenuous physical activity. Getting your iron levels back to a normal level can make a world of difference in how you feel, even without any other interventions.
While most causes of heavy periods are benign or treatable with natural therapies, its important not to wait to get appropriate medical care.
Assuming more serious medical conditions have been ruled out, your symptoms have been going on for a long time, and youre ready to roll up your sleeves and try natural approaches, an integrative approach to heavy periods is a reasonable next step.
Take an Integrative Medicine Approach
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What Is Prolonged Period
Women period is due to endometrial shredding that occurs during your menstrual cycle. It occurs due to the interplay of many hormones like estrogen and progesterone.
If your period lasts between two and seven days, then its normal. Women can have periods that last for three days or longer periods that last up to six to seven days. This is normal.
However, any menstrual blood flow more than seven days is considered abnormal.
Period blood flow more than seven days is prolonged and requires urgent treatment. Long periods, in women of reproductive age, can prevent pregnancy or cause infertility.
What Treatments Are Available For Prolonged Menstrual Bleeding
Many causes of prolonged bleeding can be treated with birth control pills of estrogen and progesterone. This not only provides contraception, it can regulate hormone production and so treat bleeding caused by hormones. Birth control pills generally decrease the overall amount of flow and so should lessen the length of your period, Thielen says.
In some cases, such as for endometrial hyperplasia, the hormone progestin may be prescribed alone.
Other medicines may also be used. Lysteda is a prescription drug that treats heavy menstrual bleeding. It comes in a tablet and is taken each month at the start of the menstrual period.
Prolonged bleeding caused by uterine fibroids can be treated with medication or with minimally invasive procedures such as endometrial ablation or laparoscopic surgery . In severe cases an abdominal myomectomy or a hysterectomy may be recommended.
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Is It Normal To Have Longer And Heavier Periods During Perimenopause
Excessive bleeding and long periods are fairly common during perimenopause. Many women experience an increased flow and extended perimenopause periods before entering menopause.
In fact, one in four women say that their periods are heavy enough to interfere with day-to-day activities, such as going to work or attending social events. According to University of Michigan researchers, 91 percent of women aged 4252 surveyed reported heavy menstruation for 10 or more days during their transition to menopause. This phenomenon occurred one to three times within a three-year period.
There are various other health factors which come into play, including body mass index , use of hormones, and the presence of uterine fibroids.