As every woman is different, it’s often difficult to determine what constitutes a heavy period. For some women, it’s not uncommon to have had what can be defined as a “heavy period” from the moment they began to menstruate and, as such, they will have grown accustomed to this as an expected, if somewhat debilitating, monthly occurrence. There may be a number of reasons for this and, with the right medical care and attention, there is a way of identifying the root cause of this problem and taking steps to manage this more effectively.
In other cases, heavy periods can begin suddenly in women who haven’t experienced these before. As every woman is keenly aware of what is normal for them, this sort of significant change can be an indication of a new medical condition and may require intervention from a doctor or gynaecology specialist.
Regardless of whether heavy periods are new to you, or are par for the course at this point in your life, it’s certainly a good idea to get these checked out. This can help you put your mind at ease and allow you to go about living your life in the best way you can.
Defining a heavy period
As previously mentioned, it can sometimes be hard to define what it means to have a heavy period. All women experience different symptoms when menstruating and all periods can vary in duration. On a general level, heavy periods may be categorised as heavy if they always necessitate the use of sanitary products with maximum absorbency, seep through to your clothing on a regular basis and involve the frequent passing of large blood clots. Heavy periods can also be very painful, distracting and uncomfortable, leading many women to struggle to complete everyday tasks at certain times of the month.
For those who suddenly experience heavy periods, or notice a significant change in their normal menstrual patterns, this can be a source of great confusion and anxiety. Oftentimes, this can be a product of a variety of health conditions, some of which more easily managed and treated than others.
What are the causes of heavy periods?
Heavy periods have their roots in a range of biological and medical factors, and some of these are more of a cause for concern than others. Those with underlying health conditions such as endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) should normally expect to endure heavier periods. If you have not been diagnosed with either of these conditions, it makes sense for medical professionals to explore these possibilities with you and perform tests accordingly. Like endometriosis, adenomyosis is a condition characterised by abnormalities in the position of the womb lining. This could be a further explanation for heavy periods.
Elsewhere, heavy menstrual bleeding can be caused by fibroids or polyps – two forms of non-cancerous growth that can populate the womb lining or the areas around the womb. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) can also contribute to heavier bouts of bleeding.
Although rare, heavy periods can be suggestive of womb cancer and this is a symptom normally displayed by women who have gone through the menopause.
Treatment and medical advice
If you are concerned about the heaviness of your periods or have noticed a significant change in your menstrual behaviour, then it is always wise to seek out the attention of a suitable medical professional. With years of experience in gynaecology, Mr Francis Gardner is one of the finest professionals in this important medical field. By booking in for a consultation or One Stop See and Treat with him, you will leave with a better understanding of your periods and will know what you need to do next to manage these symptoms. Mr Gardner’s services include, but are not limited to, hysteroscopies, myomectomies and hysterectomies.
Some women accept heavier periods as a matter of course. In this instance, it could be helpful to seek medical advice in order to determine why this is the case. This may allow you to better manage these symptoms and carry out everyday tasks when on your period.
Every woman is different, so it follows that everyone has a different understanding of what constitutes a heavy period. If your period is causing you great pain, discomfort or distress, this could suggest that you have a heavy period. Additionally, if you notice significant changes to your normal menstrual behaviour, it is advisable to get this checked out.
Not always. It is, however, advisable to have these periods investigated by a suitable professional. They will help you determine the cause of heavy periods and advise appropriate treatment and management of these periods.
Depending on your specific symptoms, you will normally be asked to undergo a range of investigative procedures such as blood tests and ultrasound scans. It could be necessary to undergo a hysteroscopy – a procedure in which a camera is used to explore the womb. After determining the cause of your heavy periods, you may be required to take medication or undergo various forms of surgery – including a myomectomy or a hysterectomy – to manage this cause.