Heavy Periods

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What is abnormal bleeding?

  • Bleeding heavier or for more days than normal
  • Passing clots
  • Your period affects your daily activities
  • Bleeding between periods
  • Bleeding after sex
  • Spotting anytime in the menstrual cycle
  • Bleeding after menopause

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has stated that if a woman perceives her period as a problem, then it’s a problem, and it merits evaluation and treatment.

  • Many feel tired/nauseated, experience bad cramps or have headaches
  • More than 60% have had to miss social or athletic events
  • About 80% report avoiding sex
  • 33% have been forced to miss work
  • Many women feel anxious, depressed, or moody

What causes abnormal bleeding?

  • Uterine fibroids
  • Adenomyosis-a common condition in which the lining of the uterus grows into the muscle wall of the uterus.
  • Pregnancy/Miscarriage
  • Polyps
  • Precancer or cancer
  • Intrauterine device (IUD) or birth control pills

What tests may be needed to diagnose abnormal bleeding?

  • Ultrasound-Sound waves are used to make a picture of the pelvic organs.
  • Saline sonogram-Water is placed in the uterus through a thin tube, while ultrasound images are made of the uterus.
  • Endometrial biopsy-Using a thin catheter (tube), tissue is taken from the lining of the uterus (endometrium). It is looked at under the microscope.
  • Hysteroscopy- A thin camera is inserted through the vagina and the opening of the cervix. It lets the doctor view the inside of the uterus.

What factors are considered when deciding on a type of treatment?

The type of treatment depends on many factors, including the cause of the bleeding, your age, and whether you want to have children. Some women can be treated with medication. Others may need a procedure such as endometrial ablation or hysterectomy.