Heavy periods affect one in five women in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms of a heavy period, called menorrhagia, include soaking through one or more super-size pads or tampons every hour for several consecutive hours, prolonged bleeding for more than seven days, and passing blood clots larger than a quarter.
Women with menorrhagia are at risk for anemia which should be treated immediately.
It’s important to understand what’s normal and what’s not when it comes to menstrual flow, according to Sara F. Evans, D.O., OB/GYN with Total Woman, a Part of Norton Women’s Care.
“The biggest myth about heavy periods is that they are something you just have to live with,” Dr. Evans said. “There are ways to manage heavy flow days. They don’t have to interrupt your patient’s quality of life.”
MENORRHAGIA TREATMENT OPTIONS
The most common treatment for heavy periods is hormonal contraception — pills, patches, injections — which are designed to regulate menstrual and ovulation cycles. This stabilizes the inner lining of the uterus, which is shed each month during a woman’s period, according to Dr. Evans.
Birth control may help ease heavy bleeding if a woman has fibroids, but minimally invasive surgery to remove the growth is usually the most effective treatment. If a woman is past childbearing years, a hysterectomy or ablation to stop bleeding may be her best option.
“There is no single treatment that works for everyone,” Dr. Evans said. “We do a complete evaluation of each unique patient and customize care based on their goals and preferences.”
Refer a patient
To refer a patient to Dr. Evans or any Norton Women’s Care provider, click here for the online referral form or call (502) 629-1234, option 3.