The medical name for heavy or prolonged bleeding during menstruation is menorrhagia. Although most women experience a heavier-than-normal period from time to time, menorrhagia is different. When you have menorrhagia, you can’t carry on with your normal activities due to blood loss and severe cramping.
Dr. Radoslav Jovanovic and Dr. Kevin Jovanovic have successfully treated numerous patients who had menorrhagia, as well as patients who had uncomfortably heavy periods that didn’t rise quite to the level of menorrhagia. If you’re having difficulty because you bleed so much for so long when you menstruate, book an appointment.
How much is too much?
One way doctors determine how heavily you’re bleeding is to ask about pad or tampon use. Do you have to change your tampon or pad at least once an hour for several hours during your period? Have you ever needed to use two sanitary products at once in order to prevent bleeding through? Do you have to get up during the night to change your sanitary product?
Each of those could be an indicator that your menstrual flow is too heavy.
Other factors that make menorrhagia a possibility include:
- Feeling fatigued or short of breath
- Passing blood clots that are larger than a quarter
- Bleeding for more than a week each month
- Not being able to carry on with your normal activities
Whether or not you lose enough blood to be diagnosed with menorrhagia, whenever your period disrupts your life, you should seek treatment.
Could I have an underlying condition?
Sometimes women have heavy periods because that’s just how they are made. In other words, there’s no discernible cause or problem related to the heavy bleeding.
In other cases, it could be because you have an underlying condition. For example, you may have uterine fibroids, which are noncancerous tumors in or on your uterus. They can cause heavy or prolonged bleeding.
A physical exam and diagnostic tests can help Dr. Jovanovic determine whether uterine fibroids could be the cause of your uncomfortable periods. If that turns out to be the case, he can suggest various treatment approaches that may help.
A hormonal imbalance is another potential cause of heavy bleeding. Hormonal birth control, as well as other options, may be useful in easing the discomfort that comes with heavy bleeding during menstruation.
If you have endometriosis, you may experience heavy bleeding. Dr. Jovanovic offers an innovative, minor procedure called NovaSure® to remove the endometrium from your uterus. NovaSure is an option only if you don’t plan to have children in the future.
Since there are many different reasons you may be experiencing heavy menstrual bleeding, the most appropriate treatment depends on your specific, individual circumstances.
A few of the treatments that are used to treat menorrhagia include:
- Iron supplements
- Over-the-counter pain relievers
- Hormone therapy, such as oral birth control
- Antifibrinolytic medications
- A hysteroscopy to remove fibroids or polyps
- NovaSure endometrial ablation
- A hysterectomy
If your menstrual period is disrupting your life, you may have an underlying condition that will respond to treatment, allowing you to live your life to the fullest. Schedule an appointment to see Dr. Jovanovic. You can call our office on the Upper East Side of New York City, or simply click on the “book online” button to request a day and time for your appointment.