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What Defines Heavy Bleeding?

woman with heavy period

We understand that discussing heavy bleeding can be embarrassing to talk about. You may not even realize that what you experience each month is abnormal because your periods are normal to you. However, it is critical to recognize what defines heavy bleeding as it may be a symptom of other issues that require further medical attention.

What are the causes?

There are many factors that can cause heavy bleeding. In young women who have just started having regular periods as well as premenopausal women, heavy bleeding is often due to a hormonal imbalance between the estrogen and progesterone levels. This hormonal imbalance may also be caused by a malfunction of the ovaries. Fibroids may also be a cause of heavy bleeding. Fibroids are non-cancerous tumors inside the uterus, they are most common in women who are within their peak child-bearing years as this is when hormone levels are at their highest.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms may seem difficult to identify because they may seem normal to you. The average period only produces about two to three tablespoons of blood and lasts about four to five days, if you are soaking through a tampon or pad hourly for many consecutive hours you may have heavy bleeding. Other symptoms include severe cramps, periods that last longer than seven days, and passing clots larger than a quarter. You may also experience fatigue and shortness of breath. These symptoms are signs of anemia which can be caused by severe blood loss.  

Are you still unsure about your symptoms? Take our Heavy Bleeding Quiz.

How is it treated?

Treatments vary depending on what is causing the heavy bleeding. Options may include simple over the counter medicines, low-dose birth control pills or hormone therapy. In some cases, your bleeding can be treated with ablation. Ablation is a new treatment that can be done in our office in about ten minutes. Check with your physician to see which is right for you.

Talk to Your Doctor

There is no reason your life should be on hold each and every month. If you find that your monthly period is taking a toll on your lifestyle, request an appointment to talk to your physician about treatment options and getting your life back on track without monthly interruptions. Or, call us at 770.720.7733.