If you have heavy periods, you know how annoying they can be. You have to constantly change your tampons or pads. You worry about embarrassing leakage. You may even become anemic from losing so much blood.
Fortunately, you don't have to put up with heavy periods. Treatment can reduce bleeding and improve your quality of life during your menstrual periods.
At McDowell Mountain Gynecology, our care providers understand how frustrating it can be to have to deal with all that bleeding every month. We’re committed to making life better for women with excess bleeding and other menstrual irregularities.
We invite you to learn more about this condition, including some of the treatment options we offer women with heavy periods.
About heavy bleeding
Heavy periods are surprisingly common. Approximately one-third of women seek treatment for this condition, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
Your provider is likely to give you a diagnosis of heavy periods if you meet one or more of the following criteria:
- You can't get through the night without getting up to change your tampon or pad.
- You develop anemia (low blood iron), which can cause fatigue, lightheadedness, trouble breathing, and other symptoms.
- You pass large clots (the size of a quarter or bigger) on a regular basis.
- You soak through pads or tampons every hour for a few hours in a row.
- You sometimes need to double up on pads or wear a pad and a tampon together to prevent leaks.
- Your heavy periods sometimes cause you to miss school, work, or social engagements.
- Your periods last 7 days or longer.
Excessive menstrual bleeding can have various causes, including bleeding disorders, endometriosis, hormone irregularities, pelvic inflammatory disease, thyroid problems, and medications that cause excess bleeding. Growths in the uterus, including fibroids or polyps, may also lead to heavy flow.
Treating heavy periods
To determine the best course of action for your heavy periods, our providers start by performing a physical exam and an internal pelvic exam. We ask you about your symptoms, your overall health, your gynecological health, and your family health history.
If necessary, we may recommend additional testing, such as ultrasound, MRI, or hysteroscopy, to learn more about your condition.
Once you have a diagnosis, we recommend an individualized treatment plan to address the condition that is causing your heavy bleeding. Your plan may include hormones, medications, or procedures.
If your bleeding is related to hormonal imbalances, your provider may recommend hormonal birth control methods such as the pill, a hormonal IUD, or hormone injections.
In some cases, over-the-counter pain relievers (ibuprofen or naproxen) can help reduce bleeding if taken just before the start of your period. And, if a certain prescription medication is causing your heavy bleeding, your provider may substitute a different drug.
Minimally invasive procedures
If your heavy bleeding is related to uterine fibroids, polyps, or endometriosis, your provider may recommend minimally invasive robotic surgery or in-office procedures to remove growths or destroy uterine tissue that produces excess bleeding.
Help for all your menstrual symptoms
Don't wait any longer to have your heavy periods evaluated. Call our office in Scottsdale, Arizona or use our contact form to make an appointment with one of our caring providers.