8 important Reasons Why Your Periods Are So Heavy
Do you have periods that bleed through two pads? Is your flow so heavy that you have to change your pads or tampons during the night?
Periods can be much more than an inconvenience. There are times when your flow is so heavy that it interferes with daily life. If this sounds like you, you may have heavy period bleeding that is much more than what is considered normal.
But how heavy is too heavy for a period, and what causes them?
How Heavy is Too Heavy for a Period?
The medical term for menstrual bleeding that is seven days or longer is menorrhagia.
In general, if your heavy period goes through one (or more) tampons or pads in an hour—continuing for several hours—then you should schedule an appointment to see us.
Other signs that your heavy period is too heavy include:
- Doubling up pads during your menstrual cycle
- Changing tampons or pads during the night
- Having blood clots the size of a quarter
- Experiencing fatigue, lack of energy or breathlessness
Another key in deciding whether or not your flow is too heavy is to ask yourself this question: Does my period interfere or make me unable to perform day-to-day activities?
What Is a Heavy Period a Sign Of?
Many conditions can cause you to have a heavy period. We’ll explore a few of them below to explain the source of heavy period bleeding.
8 Important Reasons Why Your Periods Are So Heavy
1. Benign tumors in your uterus
Examples of these tumors include fibroids or polyps. These are typically NOT cancerous, and we offer several effective treatments for them. We can also remove these through a surgical procedure called a myomectomy.
2. The type of birth control you’re using.
In certain cases, birth control can cause heavy periods. This is sometimes the case when an IUD is used.
3. Cervical cancer
We encourage every woman to be screened for cervical cancer by having a Pap smear. How often you’ll need to be tested depends upon a variety of factors such as family history and whether or not you’ve had an abnormal Pap smear before. Typically, we suggest having one every three years.
4. Hormonal-related disorders
When your hormones are out of balance, heavy bleeding can result.
5. Pregnancy-related problems
When you have a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy, you will have abnormal bleeding. Ectopic pregnancies occur when the baby grows outside the uterus.
6. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
Pelvic inflammatory disease is a complication that is typically caused by certain STDs such as gonorrhea and chlamydia. However, there are other infections other than STDs that can also cause PID.
7. Any type of bleeding-related disorders
If you have a disorder affecting your platelets (the cells in your blood that produce clotting) it can cause excessive bleeding. One such disorder is von Willebrand disease.
8. Diseases affecting other organs
Sometimes, problems with the liver, kidneys or thyroid can cause you to have a flow that is too heavy.
How to Stop Heavy Periods
Stopping heavy periods depends upon what is causing the issue. Once we pinpoint the source, we can work with you to tailor a treatment plan to fit you.
For example, if we discover that heavy bleeding is caused by a certain kind of birth control, we can work with you to find another type of contraception that will work for you. Or if you have fibroids, we can remove them with a simple operation.
Help for Heavy Bleeding and Other Menstrual Disorders
Do you have heavy periods? Perhaps they are so painful that they interfere with your daily activities. Or maybe your periods are absent—and you’re not pregnant.
Your menstrual cycle says a lot about your overall reproductive health. We want to work with you to treat any health issues that are interfering with your period.
We are women who have been treating women in the Raleigh area for decades. As the OBGYN provider of choice in Raleigh and the Triangle area, we would consider it a privilege to care for you.
If you’re having problems with your periods, we encourage you to contact us today.