Heavy Periods( Menorrahgia)
Heavy periods can have a big impact on your life and they may be a sign of an underlying condition that requires treatment. Treatment can help to reduce blood loss and relieve other symptoms such as period pain. It can also tackle any underlying gynaecological problems. Heavy periods or Menorrhagia accounts for 30% of all Gynaecological complaints. You might differentiate between normal and heavy period if you are passing lots of blood clots or having to regularly use double protection.
What Causes Heavy Periods?
Heavy periods aren’t always a sign that something is wrong. Some women simply lose a little more blood than others during their periods. However, if you have very heavy periods or if you are experiencing other symptoms too, it is a good idea to talk to a gynaecologist.
Heavy or painful periods can be caused by certain gynaecological conditions, such as :
- Uterine fibroids: Fibroids might be present with heavy periods.
- Endometriosis: This can cause heavy and painful periods.
- Polycystic ovaries: Periods can be irregular but heavy
- Perimenopausal changes: the periods can change pattern and become heavier
- Dysfunctional uterine bleeding,
- Polyps: Growth or lumps in the lining of the womb
- Pelvic infection
- Cancer and Endometrial hyperplasia
Symptoms of Heavy Periods
It can be difficult to know whether your periods are heavier than normal. The average woman will lose about 30 millilitres of blood each month, which is about two tablespoons. If you are losing more than twice this amount, then you have heavy periods. However, you don’t need to measure your blood loss to know when your periods are heavy. You might notice that:
- You have to use a lot more tampons or pads than your friends
- You often experience leaks onto your bedding or clothes, even when using tampons or pads
- You usually need to use a pad as well as a tampon
You may also notice that you feel particularly tired during your period or that you have other symptoms too, such as severe period pain.
Diagnosing Heavy Periods
Heavy periods can usually be diagnosed from your symptoms and a pelvic exam. However, it may be necessary to perform some additional tests to find the underlying cause of heavy menstruation.
- Ultrasound: To look into the lining of the womb and exclude fibroids, polyps or any other problem
- Gynecology swabs to check for infection and/ or cervical smear
- Hysteroscopy (a Camera examination to look into the uterus)
- Endometrial sampling (which is a biopsy of the womb lining) to exclude any problems.
Treatment for Heavy Periods
Treatment isn’t always needed for heavy periods. However, if your gynaecologist diagnoses a condition such as fibroids or endometriosis, you may need treatment to address the cause of heavy menstruation. You should also consider treatment if your heavy periods are having a significant impact on your life.
There are several options of treatment and medication such as:
1-The contraceptive pill
2- You might be recommend an iron supplement if you are suffering from anaemia due to heavy blood loss during your period.
3- Mirena IUCD. This can often help with heavy periods.
There are different types of surgery. This is another alternative option in case the medical treatment is not helping. Surgery can sometimes help to lighten your periods, but it can be a big step. It is important to understand the risks and the effect that the surgery will have on your fertility before deciding if this is the right option for you. Miss Arafa will explain all of the options in detail and advise you on the best treatments for you.
If your heavy periods are having a big impact on your physical or mental wellbeing, it is a good idea to talk to an experienced and leading gynaecologist in the field like Miss Arafa who will provide you with a first class quality service. You can make an appointment in any of her clinics in London. You can also request a telephone consultation and we will be happy to provide same day service or any time of your convenience. Simply fill in the online form to request an appointment at a time that suits you.