Ask Sofia: Why is My Period So Heavy?
If you are among the 10 million women who suffer from heavy periods, your cycle can be a source of struggle and irritation. Abnormally heavy bleeding, also known as menorrhagia, is most common among adolescents getting their period for the first time and women approaching menopause. A period is considered heavy if you soak a tampon or pad every hour for several hours in a row; likewise, if your period lasts longer than a week or if you pass blood clots, that is also considered heavy. Because excessive blood loss can eventually lead to anemia and fatigue – not to mention embarrassment or frustration – you should talk to your doctor about your periods. Heavy bleeding can be caused by hormonal imbalances, fibroids or polyps, uterine dysfunction, the use of blood thinners or other medications, pelvic inflammatory disease, IUDs, pregnancy complications or miscarriage, and other medical conditions.
A visit with your doctor can help you rule out or address the causes of heavy bleeding and provide options for treatment. Treatment for heavy periods may involve medications, including ibuprofen and naproxen which can both alleviate pain and blood loss, hormone therapy, a hysterectomy or hysteroscopy (which gives your doctor a chance to view and remove any fibroids or polyps causing bleeding), a D&C (dilation and curettage that dilates the cervix, allowing your doctor to scrape tissue from the uterine lining to reduce bleeding) and iron supplements to prevent or address anemia. Please don’t hesitate contact us if you are experiencing challenges with your period.