Women’s cycles can vary widely on the length, intensity, and symptoms associated with their menstrual period. While some women only have bleeding for 3 days, others can experience bleeding for over a week. Differences are normal, but if you are experiencing prolonged, heavy bleeding, you’re likely wondering what the cause may be and if there are any options for treating it. Keep reading to learn a few potential causes of heavy, painful periods for The Woodlands patients.
Estrogen and progesterone are the 2 hormones that regulate your cycle and the way the lining of your uterus builds up and sheds during your menstrual period. If there is an excess of these 2 hormones, this can result in heavy periods. This is a fairly common cause in young girls who have only recently begun menstruating, as well as in older women who are nearing menopause. If you don’t fall in either of these categories, however, hormone-regulating medication can help with this issue.
There are a few other medical conditions that can cause heavy or painful periods. Here are a few of them:
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
- Genetic blood disorders that affect clotting
- Benign growths in the cervix, ovaries, or uterus
- Cervical, ovarian, or uterine cancer
- Anovulation (lack of ovulation)
- Ectopic pregnancy
If you consistently have heavy periods that last more than a week, you should speak to a medical professional, so that they can diagnose the cause of your bleeding, and potentially offer treatment options.
When to Speak to a Doctor
So, when do you know that your prolonged or heavy bleeding is abnormal? Here are a few indicators that may tell you it’s time to speak to a doctor:
- Regular bleeding between periods
- Bleeding after intercourse
- Periods that consistently last more than a week
- Heavy flow that requires more than one tampon or sanitary pad per hour, for several hours in a row
- Abnormal discharge or odor
Keep track of your cycles so that you know what is normal for you, and be sure to speak to a doctor if you experience abnormally painful or heavy periods in The Woodlands.