While many women have days during their period where their flow is heavier and they have cramps, if you have a condition called menorrhagia, your bleeding and cramps are so severe that they disrupt your normal life. If you’re concerned about your periods, Judith Gurdian, MD, Michelle Spector, MD, Tanya Ghatan, MD, and the rest of the team at Capital Women’s Care in Rockville, Maryland, can identify the cause of your heavy bleeding and offer treatment to relieve your symptoms. Don’t assume your heavy bleeding is normal. Call or schedule an appointment online today.
Menorrhagia is the medical term for a heavy period. Menorrhagia occurs when your flow is so heavy that you need to change your tampon or pad at least once an hour for several hours. You might also need to wear two forms of sanitary absorption or have to get up in the night to change your pad or tampon.
It’s also common to have menstrual cramps that are so severe they stop you from going to work, school, or other activities. You might also pass blood clots that as big as quarters or your period may last for more than seven days.
If you have menorrhagia, you might also experience symptoms of anemia like fatigue and shortness of breath.
There are a number of potential causes for menorrhagia, including but not limited to:
Your hormones regulate your menstrual cycle. When there’s an imbalance, the development of your endometrium can become excessive and lead to heavy bleeding. Hormonal imbalances can also cause ovarian dysfunction, which is another cause of menorrhagia.
Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths that develop either in or on the walls of your uterus. Polyps that develop in your uterus can also cause heavier than normal menstrual bleeding.
Menorrhagia is a common side effect of copper IUDs. Your Capital Women’s Care doctor can talk to you about alternatives if your IUD is causing severe bleeding.
Your doctor will perform a variety of exams and diagnostics tests to identify the cause of your heavy bleeding.
You should see a doctor if your heavy bleeding or severe cramping is disrupting your life. For example, if you have to change your tampon or pad more than once an hour for several hours or if your cramps are so bad you can’t get out of bed, you should talk to your doctor about your symptoms. While cramps are common, they shouldn’t be so painful they disrupt your life.
Your doctor will treat the underlying condition causing your menorrhagia. Hormonal imbalances are often addressed with hormonal birth control or hormone therapy. You may also benefit from minimally invasive surgery to remove growths like fibroids from your uterus.
Your doctor will talk to you in detail about your condition and what the best treatments are so you can make an informed decision about your healthcare.
If heavy bleeding is disrupting your life, call or make an appointment online today.