On average, women lose between 30-40 milliliters of blood during their period, but some women lose double that during heavy menstrual flow. How can you tell if your period is normal or if you have heavy bleeding? At Aspire For Women Obstetrics and Gynecology in Englewood, Colorado, OB/GYNs Grace Holub, MD, and Leslie Scariano, MD, offer expert, personalized advice and testing to evaluate your periods and diagnose the condition causing your heavy menstrual bleeding. Call Aspire For Women Obstetrics and Gynecology, or make an appointment online today.
Heavy menstrual flow — clinically referred to as menorrhagia — lasts longer than seven days. Your periods might also be so heavy that you need to change your tampon or pad every two hours. Another sign of heavy menstrual flow is passing blood clots that are the size of a quarter or larger.
Other signs of heavy bleeding include:
If this sounds familiar, you should make an appointment with Dr. Holub and Dr. Scariano at Aspire For Women Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Several reproductive health issues can cause heavy menstrual flow. For example, hormonal imbalances that contribute to conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can cause heavy bleeding. Your heavy menstrual flow could also be caused by abnormal growths in your uterus like polyps, fibroids, or cancer. Your birth control or another medication could also cause heavy menstrual flow.
In less common cases, your heavy bleeding could be the result of miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. Some women also have bleeding disorders like von Willebrand disease.
At Aspire For Women Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dr. Holub and Dr. Scariano provide comprehensive exams and testing to identify the issue causing your heavy menstrual flow. In addition to a pelvic exam and Pap smear, they also order blood tests, ultrasound, or endometrial biopsy. If these tests are inconclusive, your doctor might recommend a sonohysterogram or hysteroscopy to examine the inside of your uterus in more detail.
Dr. Holub and Scariano provide customized treatment to address the underlying cause of your heavy bleeding. In some cases, treatment could be as straightforward as adjusting your birth control to regulate your hormone levels. Some patients find that an intrauterine device (IUD) reduces their menstrual flow.
In more severe cases, your doctor might recommend a surgical procedure to remove uterine polyps or fibroids. They can also provide endometrial ablation, endometrial resection, or dilation and curettage (D&C) to thin your uterine lining.
If you’re concerned about heavy menstrual flow, call Aspire For Women Obstetrics and Gynecology, or schedule a consultation online today.