Why Do I Have Heavy Periods

How To Get Rid Of Heavy Period Surgically

HEAVY PERIODS | What You Need To Know!

Surgery can be an option if medically treatment of heavy flow fails. If you already completed childbirth, then surgery option totally solves your bleeding problems.

Endometrial ablation

This process uses an electrical diathermy loop to destroy the endometrium preventing it from regenerating.


Removal of the fibroid mass

Problems With Your Uterus

  • Uterine fibroids or polyps. Fibroids are benign growths. Polyps are small growths that can attach to the interior lining of the uterus.
  • Certain types of cancers.
  • An ectopic pregnancy, which occurs when the baby grows outside the uterus.
  • Hormone-related disorders.

Your period is actually a complicated process! The hormones estrogen and progesterone are in charge of building up the endometrium, which is the lining of the uterus. This is what you shed when you are bleeding.

An imbalance in these hormones means there is too much endometrium. When it sheds away, the result is bleeding that is heavier than normal.

Not Sure What To Do Next

If you are still concerned about your heavy periods, check your symptoms with healthdirects online Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.

The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether its self care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero .

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What Is Considered A Heavy Period

In some cases, you may have a sudden heavy period that comes unexpectedly. Most women will occasionally have heavy bleeding. Its not unusual to have changes in your flow.

However, your period is a heavy period if it lasts for more than seven days or you need to change your pad or tampon after two hours. Some women actually have to double-up on pads. If this happens to you, please contact our office for an appointment.

What Tests Will Be Done To Diagnose Heavy Menstrual Bleeding

Bleeding or Spotting Between Periods: Causes and What to Do

Your provider will do a physical exam and a pelvic exam. Many non-invasive procedures are available that can help your provider diagnose what’s causing your bleeding, such as:

  • A sonohysterogram to check for problems in the lining of your uterus. A sonohysterogram allows your provider to see the inside of your uterus while it’s filled with saline. It offers higher accuracy and sensitivity when detecting abnormalities in your uterine cavity than an ultrasound without saline.
  • A hysteroscopy to check for polyps, fibroids or other irregular tissue in your uterus. Hysteroscopy allows your provider to inspect your vagina, cervix and uterus. Your provider can remove growths that may be causing your bleeding, like fibroids or polyps, during a hysteroscopy.

You may have other tests, depending on your age and how severe your symptoms are. Other tests may include:

  • A blood test to check for signs of anemia, clotting issues, or thyroid disease.
  • A Pap smear to study cells from your cervix for changes that may indicate cancer.
  • An endometrial biopsy to check uterine tissue for cancer cells or other irregularities.
  • Transvaginal ultrasound to check the appearance of the organs and tissues in your pelvis.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging to check for abnormal structures inside your uterus when an ultrasound doesn’t provide enough information.
  • A cervical culture to test for infection, as indicated by your medical history and the results of your physical exam.

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Uterine fibroids are small, non-cancerous growths inside the uterus. And while they may sound scary, theyre actually much more common than youd think. One study from the Birmingham Womens Hospital found that 70 percent of women will have at least one before the time they reach 50and one of the main symptoms of uterine fibroids is heavy bleeding, sometimes with blood clots or bleeding in between periods. It can be an issue that in some cases can incapacitate a woman for a couple of times a year, says Wysocki. And anything that incapacitates a woman from carrying out her regular functioning should be looked into. Sometimes the solution can be simple as going on birth control, getting an IUD, or taking another form of non-contraceptive medication.

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According to the Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome Foundation, up to 10 percent of women have PCOS and approximately 50 percent of those women dont even realize they have it. Women with PCOS can get a cluster of cysts on their ovaries that could lead to heavier periods. According to Wysocki, ovulation, which is irregular for women with PCOS, triggers the conditions for the lining of the uterus to shed. If that trigger is absent, the uterine lining continues to thicken and later causes much bloodier periods.

Problems Related To Pregnancy

Even if you werent trying to get pregnant and havent yet missed a period, problems with an early pregnancy can cause unusual bleeding that seems like a heavy period.

This includes ectopic pregnancy, in which the embryo implants outside the uterus. This pregnancy cant be viable and is easily mistaken for a heavy period.

An early miscarriage can also cause bleeding that you might mistake for a heavy period, especially if you hadnt confirmed pregnancy.

Certain medications, like blood thinners, as well as endometriosis, and some bleeding disorders and cancers can also cause heavy menstrual bleeding.

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What Tests Might Be Needed For Heavy Periods

Your doctor might do or advise one or more of the following tests:

  • An examination to see whether the bleeding is coming from your cervix, not your uterus. This is done in a similar way as a cervical smear or HPV screening test.
  • Blood tests to look for anaemia, iron levels, thyroid disease or a bleeding disorder.
  • An ultrasound of your uterus and ovaries to detect abnormalities in your uterus, such as polyps or fibroids.
  • A cervical smear in which a sample of cells is collected from your cervix and then looked at to see if you have an infection, inflammation or changes in the cells that might be or cause cancer.
  • A sample of the lining of the uterus to see whether there are any precancerous or cancerous changes.

How Is Heavy Menstrual Bleeding Diagnosed

Heavy periods: what you need to know

Your healthcare provider will ask a series of questions about your medical history and menstrual cycle to diagnose heavy menstrual bleeding.

Your provider may ask about:

  • Your age when you got your first period.
  • The number of days your period lasts.
  • The number of days your period is heavy.
  • Family members with a history of heavy menstrual bleeding.
  • Your pregnancy history and current birth control methods.
  • Current medications you’re taking, including over-the-counter ones.

Come prepared to talk about your quality of life, too. Your provider needs to know if you’ve been doubling up on menstrual products, avoiding activities or placing restrictions on your life in any way because of heavy periods.

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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.

Gaining Weight When Underweight

If you are underweight it is likely that you may not be getting your period. Typically calorie restriction, excessive exercise, or illness are behind your low BMI. These are stressors on your body that cause hormonal changes that interfere with ovulation. This also causes a very low estrogen level, which is especially bad for your bone health.

When you gain weight from a low BMI, you are reducing the stress on your body. This allows your body to ovulate again, and as a result, menstruate. It also restores your body’s estrogen production and protects your bones.

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When Is A Heavy Period Too Heavy

It is difficult to measure blood loss accurately. Some medical definitions of blood loss during a period are:

  • A normal period is a blood loss between 30 and 40 ml per month. Bleeding can last up to eight days but bleeding for five days is average.
  • A heavy period is a blood loss of 80 ml or more. This is about half a teacupful or more. However, it is difficult to measure the amount of blood that you lose during a period.
  • For practical purposes, a period is probably heavy if it causes one or more of the following:
    • Flooding through to clothes or bedding.
    • You need frequent changes of sanitary towels or tampons.
    • You need double sanitary protection .
    • Soaking of bedclothes.
    • You pass large blood clots.
    • Restriction to your normal lifestyle because of heavy bleeding.
  • Menorrhagia means heavy periods that recur each month. Also, that the blood loss interferes with your quality of life. For example, if it stops you doing normal activities such as going out, working or shopping. Menorrhagia can occur alone or in combination with other symptoms.

Certain Types Of Birth Control

Why Do I Have A Heavy Period

Intrauterine devices and hormonal implants can sometimes cause heavy periods. Copper-based IUDs are most likely to cause an issue with bleeding. Usually, this side effect lasts just 3-6 months after insertion.

As your body adjusts, you may end up with the opposite consequence your periods can grow light and even disappear. Hormonal IUDs often have this effect and are sometimes even recommended as a solution for heavy bleeding caused by hormonal or other issues.

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Period Lasting 2 3 4 Weeks With Brown Discharge

If you continue to see your period for 2 or 3 weeks, then its abnormal. Common causes are a miscarriage, uterine fibroid, vaginal infections or cancer. If you are above 40 or already stop seeing your period, then this type of bleeding may be due to cancer. However, in your

If you are above 40 or already stop seeing your period, then this type of bleeding may be attributable to cancer.

However, in young women, a miscarriage or fibroid is a common cause.

Why do I see brown discharge instead of period?

If your blood mixes with clear white discharge in your vagina, you will notice a dark or brown discharge.

Could It Be Hypothyroidism

Menstrual abnormalities, particularly menorrhagia, can be one of the first noticeable symptoms of thyroid abnormalities, particularly hypothyroidism.10 The incidence increases with age and thyroid dysfunction can be masked by menopausal symptoms.

The physiology behind menorrhagia in hypothyroidism is anovulation due to thyroid hormone deficiency. Correct levels of thyroid hormone levels are required to produce luteinising hormone which is needed to trigger ovulation. If the balance is disturbed, there can be a delay in LH production. Hypothyroidism can also alter coagulation factors which are required for blood to clot effectively, and therefore this can result in excessive bleeding.11

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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

How Otc Medications Can Help

Why do I have heavy or prolonged menstrual periods and how to treat it? – Dr. Shefali Tyagi

Some OTC pain relievers can help reduce blood loss during your periods. This includes nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Advil, Motrin, or aspirin.

NSAIDs dont lighten bleeding as well as prescription drugs, but you can combine them with other medications for better relief. These drugs may also help relieve painful cramps.

High doses or long-term use of NSAIDs can lead to unwanted side effects. You should always have your doctor monitor your dose, and never take NSAIDs if youre allergic or have been told not to.

If you see your doctor about your heavy periods, theyll likely start by prescribing one of the following medications:

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How To Get Rid Of Heavy Period Medically

Mefenamic acid

This drug is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug that reduces blood loss during period to 25 percent. It is however not advised if you have asthma or a duodenal ulcer.

Tranexamic Acid

This drug is used only when you experience extremely heavy periods. It can reduce excessive bleeding during period by 50 percent in women.

Combined oral contraceptives pills

This has been very useful in treating heavy periods in women. It also helps as a contraceptive to prevent pregnancy. However, it is not suitable for smoking women or women above 35 years. There is also a risk of venous thrombo-embolism. If you are overweight, then this may not be the best solution to your heavy bleeding due to additional weight gain.

Hormonal intrauterine system

Use of levonorgestrel IUDs reduces bleeding to about 95 percent in women. Though it can cause breakthrough bleeding during the first 9 months, it is reduces blood loss and painful periods in women.

Gonadotropin releasing hormone agonist

This drugs act on the pituitary to reduce or stop production of estrogen. Decreased estrogen will cause absent periods. However, these drugs are not used for long term. If used for more than 6 months, it causes hot-flushes, irregular periods, sweating and osteoporosis.

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.

  • How can heavy menstrual bleeding affect my health?

    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.

  • What causes heavy menstrual bleeding?

    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.

  • How is heavy menstrual bleeding evaluated?

    When you see your ob-gyn about heavy menstrual bleeding, you may be asked about

  • pregnancy history

  • your birth control method

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