How Is Heavy Bleeding Diagnosed
After a thorough history and clinical examination including a cervical screening test and swabs your doctor might order blood tests and/or a pelvic ultrasound to eliminate some of the possible causes listed previously. The gold standard is to perform a hysteroscopy and curette in all women over 35 years of age to rule out endometrial hyperplasia or cancer. This is where the lining of the womb is viewed with a telescope the hysteroscope and is then lightly scraped away and a biopsy taken for examination.
Why Menstrual Cups Are The Best Solution For Heavy Periods:
- A menstrual cup holds 3 times more fluid than tampons for heavy periods. Once inserted correctly you are unlikely to leak.
- With a larger capacity than tampons or pads, this means fewer bathroom visits. You can wear your period cup for up to 8 hours.
- Unlike bulky menstrual products, you wont even notice you are using it. With a menstrual cup, you can wear your usual clothes and maintain an active lifestyle without any compromises.
- Menstrual cups are a healthy and safe period product. The premium medical-grade silicone of the Ruby Cup does not dry you out or leave cotton residue in your vagina.
- As its a reusable product, no emergency runs to the pharmacy are needed and you avoid up to 200 disposable products each year you use a menstrual cup.
Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures
Heavy periods can be the result of benign fibroids, polyps, or adhesions. Fibroids and polyps are non-cancerous growths that develop in the uterus. Adhesions, which are also non-cancerous, are clumps of scar tissue that can occur in women with endometriosis, a condition in which tissue from the uterine lining grows in places where it doesnt belong.
Having fibroids, polyps, or adhesions can interfere with the muscular contractions that occur each month as your uterus sheds its lining. We use several techniques to remove fibroids, polyps, or adhesions that cause heavy bleeding or other health problems.
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Signs To Watch For With Heavy Periods
Here are some signs that menstrual bleeding may be too heavy, and that you should call the doctor:
- The girl is looking pale and feels dizzy and/or weak. If this is happening, you should call your doctor immediately.
- She needs to change her pad or tampon during the night.
- She is bleeding through her clothes.
- She is passing clots that are bigger than an inch wide.
- Her periods are interfering with her ability to go to school, play sports, or otherwise engage in regular activities.
There are many reasons why girls may have heavy periods. The most common reason is simply that the body is just getting started and getting regulated. If that is the case, it usually gets better with time. However, there are other causes as well, which is why its important to see the doctor.
Oral Contraceptives Or Contraceptive Devices
Depending on the cause of your menstrual bleeding, you may benefit from taking oral contraceptives. The hormones in birth control pills can help regulate your periods and may reduce bleeding by limiting the buildup of the tissue in your uterine walls between periods.
An intrauterine device, or IUD, implanted in the uterus can prevent pregnancy, but it can also reduce menstrual bleeding if its the type of IUD that releases hormones.
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What Are The Treatment Options For Heavy Periods
There are various treatment options available for women who have very heavy periods, including medication, hormonal contraceptives and surgery. Knowing about the advantages and disadvantages of each can help make it easier to choose an appropriate treatment.
If very heavy periods become too much of a problem, treatment can help you to cope better. Different types of medication can reduce the bleeding and related problems. If one medication doesn’t work, it is usually possible to try out other kinds.
Hormonal contraceptives like birth control pills or intrauterine devices affect the menstrual cycle and lessen the amount of bleeding. Any fibroids or polyps that are found to be the cause can be surgically removed. If the effects of heavy periods are particularly bad, other procedures can be considered.
The choice of treatment and best time for treatment will depend on whether a woman is planning to become pregnant. The most effective treatments all limit a woman’s ability to get pregnant either temporarily, like the pill, or permanently, like the surgical removal of the womb .
But as long as the heavy periods arent causing anemia, they dont necessarily need to be treated. Some women learn ways to prepare as well as possible for heavier days. But its a good idea to see a doctor and try to find out what the cause is.
Frequently Asked Questionsexpand All
- How common is heavy menstrual bleeding?
Heavy menstrual bleeding is very common. About one third of women seek treatment for it. Heavy menstrual bleeding is not normal. It can disrupt your life and may be a sign of a more serious health problem. If you are worried that your menstrual bleeding is too heavy, tell your obstetriciangynecologist .
- When is menstrual bleeding considered heavy?
Any of the following can be a sign of heavy menstrual bleeding:
Bleeding that lasts more than 7 days.
Bleeding that soaks through one or more tampons or pads every hour for several hours in a row.
Needing to wear more than one pad at a time to control menstrual flow.
Needing to change pads or tampons during the night.
Menstrual flow with blood clots that are as big as a quarter or larger.
Heavy menstrual bleeding may be a sign of an underlying health problem that needs treatment. Blood loss from heavy periods also can lead to a condition called iron-deficiency anemia. Severe anemia can cause shortness of breath and increase the risk of heart problems.
Many things can cause heavy menstrual bleeding. Some of the causes include the following:
Bleeding disordersWhen the blood does not clot properly, it can cause heavy bleeding.
When you see your ob-gyn about heavy menstrual bleeding, you may be asked about
your birth control method
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How Do You Know If You Have Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
Heavy menstrual bleeding interferes with your quality of life. Many people with heavy periods assume that periods are supposed to be inconvenient and uncomfortable. They may have watched people in their families live with heavy periods without seeking care and followed their example. But periods should never cause you to restrict activities or accept inconvenience.
During your period, you should be able to:
- Wear a standard pad or tampon every three to four hours without changing it.
- Wear a single menstrual product without having to double-up at any point.
- Leave your home without having to pack extra bags of pads or clothing changes.
- Live your life as usual, without missing work, avoiding going out in public, or skipping activities you enjoy.
If your periods are disrupting your life, it’s time to see your provider.
What Can I Do Myself
If heavy periods become such a problem that they interfere with your everyday life, then you can try taking things a little easier on those days. Some women find that relaxation techniques or yoga help them feel more relaxed and reduce stress. Getting a lot of exercise can also help.
Women with heavy periods are often advised to change their diet: For instance, certain fatty acids, vitamins or fibers are claimed to help. But making changes to your diet hasnt been proven to reduce heavy menstrual bleeding or the related problems. This is also true for sports, homeopathic products and .
Foods that are rich in iron can help to prevent anemia. Examples include meat, legumes, green leafy vegetables and wholegrain bread.
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Check If You Have Heavy Periods
You may have heavy periods if you:
- need to change your pad or tampon every 1 to 2 hours, or empty your menstrual cup more often than is recommended
- need to use 2 types of sanitary product together, such as a pad and a tampon
- have periods lasting more than 7 days
- pass blood clots larger than about 2.5cm
- bleed through to your clothes or bedding
- avoid daily activities, like exercise, or take time off work because of your periods
- feel tired or short of breath a lot
Possible Consequences Of Menorrhagia
Menorrhagia is a condition so extreme that you shouldnt take it for granted. Heres what your doctor might tell you about the consequences of playing ignorant.
- Anemia. It is an obvious consequence. Losing more blood than you replace every month will cause you to turn pale to the whims of anemia before long. This happens in two forms. Blood loss leads to reduction in the number of red blood cells being circulated. This turns you pale and also reduces hemoglobin which helps in oxygen transportation to tissues.
Now when it comes to iron deficiency anemia, you find out that this occurs in the bid for your body to replace the red blood cells it lost by using up your bodys stored up iron to produce hemoglobin that will help transport oxygen to your body tissues. This causes iron depletion.
- Severe dysmenorrhea. Menstrual cramps come naturally with your periods and therefore causing you to witness painful menstruation. But menorrhagia makes dysmenorrhea look like an amateur when it comes to causing painful cramps because then it becomes so severe due to heavy menstrual bleeding with clots larger than a quarter that you might need to be evaluated medically.
Nobody wants to live through this much pain, you definitely dont want either. So make sure youve got timely medical help.
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Removal Of The Lining Of The Womb
Another option is to remove the lining of the womb . Here the tissue is removed using surgical instruments or destroyed, for instance using laser beams or microwave energy . After the procedure, the woman often stops having periods, or her periods are much lighter. This makes pregnancy unlikely.
But the lining of the womb can grow back. If heavy periods start again as a result, the procedure can be repeated. About 20 out of 100 women have this kind of surgery again within two years.
Endometrial ablation or resection can sometimes be performed as outpatient surgery. Women recover relatively quickly afterwards.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
Signs of heavy menstrual bleeding include:
- Abdominal pain.
- Periods lasting longer than seven days.
- Passing blood clots that are the size of a quarter or bigger. The blood may appear red, pink, brown, or even rust-like.
- Bleeding through 1 or more tampons or pads each hour for more than two consecutive hours.
- Losing more than 80 milliliters of blood during your period instead of what is typical, 35-40 milliliters.
- Anemia symptoms, like feeling exhausted, tired or short of breath.
With anemia, you may also notice signs of a condition called pica. Pica symptoms include hair loss, pale skin, and the urge to eat non-food items . See your provider if have these symptoms.
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Top 5 Ways To Address Heavy Bleeding In Perimenopause
In case you needed one more example of how conventional medicine fails women in perimenopause, lets take a moment to consider heavy bleedingVirtually every woman is going to experience at least occasional heavy bleeding during the perimenopause years .Yet most conventional doctors will say something along the lines of:Just buy heavier pads/tampons.Its not hurting your body to bleed so much its normal after all. So you can keep living your life.Well, you can look forward to menopause and you wont have to deal with it anymore!Can you see the thread running through these suggestions?Deal with it.Itll end, so why should we try to fix it?Youre a woman so youre used to bleeding its not that bad, right?Im here today to tell you that you do NOT just have to suffer from heavy, painful periods in perimenopause. Theres a reason its happening, and there are natural, safe ways to get relief quickly!If you have a broken arm, do you wait until it heals to do something to fix it?Of course not.You get an x-ray, find the root cause of your pain, and make adjustments immediately.In the same way, you shouldnt just think, this will end in a few years when Im in menopause so Ill just deal with the pain.This article is going to be your heavy bleeding x-raylets dive into whats causing this painful disruptive symptom and how you can get relief!
What Is Iron Deficiency Anemia
Anemia is a medical condition in which you have a lower concentration of red blood cells in your blood than normal. It can have many different underlying causes, including genetic diseases, vitamin deficiencies, drug side effects, autoimmune diseases, and radiation and chemotherapy treatments.
Iron deficiency is one of the most common causes of anemia. Iron is an important component of hemoglobin, the part of your red blood cells that carries oxygen. So, if there isnt enough iron around, your body cant make enough healthy red blood cells.
If you dont get enough iron in your diet, that can cause iron deficiency and anemia. Iron deficiency anemia might also be a problem if your body is having trouble absorbing iron for some reason.
But you can also get iron deficiency anemia if you lose blood gradually over a period of time. Thats why abnormally heavy periods can lead to iron deficiency anemia. Thats a problem because this condition can lead to fatigue, dizziness, reduced mental sharpness, and an overall decreased sense of well-being.
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How Do You Know If Your Bleeding Is Too Heavy
It is very difficult to determine whether your bleeding is too heavy. The best guide is to decide whether your period is having an impact on your quality of life if it is causing you to be housebound, interrupting your daily activities, or causing you stress and anxiety. The following signs might indicate you are experiencing heavy bleeding:
- bleeding or ‘flooding’ not contained within a pad/tampon
- changing a pad/tampon every hour or less
- changing a pad overnight
- clots greater than a 50-cent piece in size
- bleeding for more than seven to eight days.
How Can I Find The Right Solution For Me
Different women experience their periods differently, and the amount of menstrual blood they lose can vary naturally from month to month. But the amount of stress caused by heavy periods can only be determined by the woman herself: Whereas some women who have heavy periods may not think its a big problem, others already feel very uncomfortable with less heavy periods.
Its important to first have a doctor look for possible causes of the heavy periods. In most cases you can then take your time to decide whether to start treatment and consider which of the treatment options is right for you. If you’re not sure, it may be a good idea to get a second medical opinion especially if a hysterectomy has been recommended. Our decision aid may help here. It briefly summarizes the main pros and cons of the different treatments.
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