If you’re uncomfortable or embarrassed by heavy periods, you’re not alone. More than 10 million women in the United States experience heavy bleeding and severe pain during their periods. At Fort Worth Obstetrics & Gynecology, the experienced gynecology team specializes in diagnosing and treating the underlying cause of heavy periods. They offer medications and minimally invasive surgeries to treat fibroids, hormone imbalances, and other causes of heavy periods. Call the Fort Worth, Texas, office to schedule an appointment or book a consultation online today.
What causes heavy periods?
Heavy menstrual periods (menorrhagia) describe abnormally heavy or prolonged bleeding. It also describes bleeding between your normal periods.
This type of bleeding typically involves bleeding that’s so heavy, you soak through a sanitary pad within an hour. You may also pass large blood clots and feel unusual fatigue or shortness of breath during your periods.
Common causes of heavy periods include:
- Uterine fibroids
- Hormone imbalances
- Ovarian dysfunction
Heavy periods can sometimes result from using a non-hormonal intrauterine device (IUD) or pregnancy complications that lead to a miscarriage.
Without treatment, heavy periods can cause complications like iron deficiency and anemia because of significant blood loss. You may also experience intense pain and cramping during heavy periods.
How is the cause of heavy periods diagnosed?
To understand what’s causing heavy periods, the team at Fort Worth Obstetrics & Gynecology will spend time reviewing your personal and family medical history, your menstrual cycles, and any symptoms you’re experiencing.
The team may also order diagnostic blood tests, ultrasound imaging, or a Pap smear to identify issues like hormone imbalances or infections that contribute to heavy bleeding during your periods.
If these tests don’t provide enough information about your condition, you might need a hysteroscopy. During this minimally invasive procedure, your provider inserts a thin, lighted instrument in through your vagina to get a closer look at your uterus.
How are heavy periods treated?
The Fort Worth Obstetrics & Gynecology team will personalize a treatment plan to reduce the severity of bleeding during your periods and ease pain and other symptoms you have.
Treatment options for heaving bleeding include:
Over-the-counter and prescription medications are available to reduce pain and inflammation and relieve cramping during your periods.
Hormonal birth control pills or IUDs can regulate your menstrual cycle and reduce the severity of bleeding. They can also correct hormonal imbalances that contribute to bleeding.
Endometrial ablation is a minimally invasive procedure that uses radiofrequency energy to destroy the lining of your uterus (endometrium) to stop heavy periods.
Dilation and curettage (D&C)
A D&C procedure involves removing part or all of the tissue in your uterus. You may need a D&C to treat chronic heavy bleeding or a miscarriage.
If these treatments don’t control your heavy bleeding, you might need a hysterectomy. A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure to remove your uterus and other reproductive organs to end your periods permanently. After this type of surgery, you will no longer be able to become pregnant.
The gynecology team continues to monitor your condition after treatment to ensure the health and function of your reproductive system.
Don’t put off a diagnostic evaluation for heavy periods; call Fort Worth Obstetrics & Gynecology to schedule an appointment or book a consultation online today.