I Have Heavy Bleeding. What Are My Treatment Options?
If you suffer from heavy periods, you are not alone. There is actually a name for this type of condition. It is called Menorrhagia. There can be fluctuations in the amount of bleeding from one woman to the next, but for some women the bleeding and cramping would be enough to cause an interruption in their lives each month. If you do, in fact, have Menorrhagia, then there are a number of different causes as well as different treatments depending on the cause. You will need to speak to your doctor about your concerns in order to reach a diagnosis.
Is It Normal or Is It Menorrhagia?
Of course, you need to determine if you just have a heavy period or if your bleeding would actually fall into the abnormal category. The average woman loses between two and three tablespoons of blood with each period, but a woman who loses five or six tablespoons of blood or more during their period would be considered abnormal. How does this translate in terms that you can easily understand? Here are the common signs of Menorrhagia:
- You have to change your pad or tampon every hour instead of every four hours or so.
- You have to use a combination of pads and tampons at the same time to keep from accidents.
- You have to change your pad or tampon during the night.
- Your period lasts for longer than a week.
- Your flow includes large clots of blood.
- You feel tired, short of breath, or generally fatigued when you have your period.
If you have these symptoms, then you need to consider making a doctor’s appointment. These are not normal menstrual signs and do indicate Menorrhagia.
Common Causes of Heavy Bleeding
If you do have a case of severe bleeding during your period, then there are different causes that could be the culprit. Your doctor will diagnose the cause and then determine the best treatment. Common causes include the following:
- Imbalance of hormones
- Fibroids in the uterus
- Polyps in the uterus or the cervix
- Use of an IUD (Intrauterine Device)
- Cancer, including uterine, ovarian, or cervical (rare)
- Side effects of certain medications
Chances are, you could rule out a few of these based on how long you have had the heavy menstrual bleeding and whether or not you take any medications.
Because Menorrhagia can disrupt your life, cause heavy pain, and lead to issues like anemia and iron deficiency, it is important that you get the condition treated. The treatment used for your condition will be based on your health and the reason you have heavy bleeding. Your doctor may suggest some of the following:
- NSAIDs – over the counter anti-inflammatories can relieve cramping.
- Oral Contraceptives – birth control pills can reduce the amount of bleeding and the length of the period.
- Progesterone replacement – this hormone can correct any hormone imbalances.
- Surgical therapies – there are a few different surgical treatments that can be used to correct Menorrhagia, such as: surgical polyp or cyst removal, endometrial ablation, endometrial resection, and hysterectomy. Many of these procedures are now done with minimally invasive methods. Your doctor will suggest surgical corrections if you have such conditions as polyps and cysts or concerns with blood vessel congestion. In many cases, surgery is the best option to relieve your heavy bleeding now and in the future.
Heavy bleeding is not just a hassle. It is a condition that can truly disrupt your life. Between the constant worry of the heavy bleeding, the cramps, and the risk of anemia, Menorrhagia is not something that you should continue living with. Be sure to talk to your doctor about your treatment options.