5 Causes of Heavy Periods and How to Treat Them

In a perfect world, your periods come and go each month without much fanfare. For one out of every three women in the United States, however, heavy bleeding greets them with every cycle, driving them to seek medical help for the problem. 

There are several reasons why women experience heavy bleeding, and we here at Arizona Specialized Gynecology are well versed in them all. Under the expert guidance of vulvovaginal specialist Dr. Joseph Brooks, we help women in the Phoenix area to get to the bottom of heavy bleeding and, more importantly, come up with the best solutions for this health and quality-of-life issue. 

But before we get into the potential reasons behind heavy bleeding, let’s quickly review what’s considered an unusually heavy period, which may have one or more of the following characteristics:

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s time to see a doctor to determine whether any of the following are causing the problem.

Uterine fibroids

Many women develop uterine fibroids but are unaware of their existence. For some, however, these fibroids can grow large, or numerous, and interfere with their menstrual cycles, causing heavy bleeding. 

The treatment for fibroids depends on their size and number, but certain medications are effective in shrinking them and preventing more from developing. If your fibroid is large, we may consider a surgical solution to remove it. 

Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a condition where the lining of your uterus grows outside the organ. Endometriosis can be painful and cause heavy bleeding. Typically, we treat this problem conservatively at first with hormone medications. 

If these prove ineffective, we can turn to a minimally invasive surgery to remove the adhesions this condition causes. If your endometriosis is severe, you may want to consider an endometrial ablation. 

Irregular ovulation

When you don’t ovulate regularly, your endometrial lining can thicken in places, causing heavy bleeding. One of the primary causes of irregular ovulation is polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS. The normal course of action in these cases is to control your ovulation through hormone therapies. 

IUD

While intrauterine devices (IUDs) make excellent birth control options, the copper versions of this device may cause heavy bleeding in a small percentage of women. If this is the culprit behind your heavy bleeding, we simply remove the IUD and help you choose an alternative birth control method. 

Pelvic inflammatory disease

Pelvic inflammatory disease typically develops because of a sexually transmitted infection. If we find evidence of an infection, we treat it with antibiotics to clear up the condition, which should regulate your menstrual bleeding.

While we didn’t list it among the top five causes of heavy bleeding, certain reproductive cancers, such as endometrial cancer, can lead to heavy bleeding. This bleeding typically develops after menopause, which is the first sign that something’s amiss and you should seek our counsel.

If you’re struggling with heavy bleeding, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at (602) 491-9576 or use the convenient online scheduling tool to book an appointment. 

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