Why You Should Never Ignore Heavy Periods

Why You Should Never Ignore Heavy Periods

Whether you have heavy periods every month or just occasionally, you should pay attention. While menstruating may not be pleasurable for anyone, if menstruation makes your life difficult or painful, you should investigate why. 

At Park Avenue Obstetrics and Gynecology and New Beginnings Feminine Beauty in Glendale, Arizona, our team wants you to know that your periods don’t have to be painful or disruptive. If you have heavy periods, our founder and medical director, David Chisholm, DO, conducts a thorough exam to determine why. He then customizes a treatment plan.

What constitutes a heavy period?

Many women are only familiar with their own periods. Therefore, it’s a little difficult to know when they have normal bleeding and when they have excessive bleeding, known as menorrhagia. Some common signs of menorrhagia are:

Unchecked, menorrhagia can lead to such severe blood loss that you could develop anemia. When you have anemia, you don’t have enough red blood cells to function properly. You may also suffer from fatigue or shortness of breath, and your skin may appear pale.

Don’t wait to investigate

If your period requires more than one item of sanitary protection every hour for two or more consecutive hours, make an appointment to see Dr. Chisolm. Even one heavy period like this may cause enough blood loss to increase your risk for anemia. Don’t wait for symptoms before finding out if you have anemia. Anemia is usually easily treated with iron supplements.

Also, be sure to follow up with us if you have bleeding between periods, intermittent or irregular bleeding, or any vaginal bleeding if you’ve already hit menopause. An extra appointment is a good idea if cramps and other symptoms interfere with your enjoyment of life.

Why you’re bleeding

Menorrhagia may be a result of a number of different conditions. Any of these may develop into serious issues with time, so acting early may save you from more suffering later. Common causes of abnormal menstrual bleeding include:

Hormonal imbalances

Estrogen and progesterone combine to control the menstrual cycle, and menorrhagia may result when these chemicals fall out of balance.

Ovarian dysfunction

Hormonal imbalance could occur when your ovaries fail to release an egg on schedule.

Uterine growths

These may include uterine fibroids, polyps, and adenomyosis, which can each cause heavy bleeding and/or painful periods.

Cancers

Cervical and uterine cancers can aggravate menstrual bleeding.

Intrauterine devices (IUDs)

Copper IUDs, which don’t have a hormone component, carry menorrhagia as a known side effect.

Treatment for your heavy periods depends on the cause. If you’re in your childbearing years and would like to become pregnant some day, we may recommend hormone replacement therapy. If you’ve finished your family or don’t intend to ever become pregnant, we may recommend endometrial ablation.

Stay alert to risk factors and complications

Anemia is the primary complication caused by excessive menstrual blood loss. Any severe pain that often accompanies menorrhagia is sometimes a medical problem on its own.

There’s no benefit to ignoring the symptoms of heavy menstrual periods. Contact our friendly team today by phone or online to schedule a consultation.

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