Among the most common issues in women’s health is abnormal uterine bleeding. This condition manifests as heavy cycles (menorrhagia) or irregular and unexpected bleeding before or after a regular menstrual cycle. The former is more common, difficult to deal with, and can be a source of intense pain.
While heavy cycles are not uncommon, they impact women in certain demographics at a higher rate than others, including young women going through puberty and premenopausal women. The good news is that several treatment options are available from our women’s health clinic in McKinney, TX.
Risk factors for heavy cycles
While heavy bleeding remains more common among young women and premenopausal women, erratic hormone levels that cause heavy cycles can impact women of all ages.
For women aged 40 or older, heavy cycles may signal premenopause. Women concerned about their persistent heavy cycle should speak with a women’s health professional, who can offer insight and potential treatment.
A medical professional may identify a non-acute source for your heavy cycle, such as:
- Pre-existing conditions
- Certain medications; always ask your doctor if any of your medications could be the source of your heavy bleeding
- Intrauterine devices (IUDs)
Other anatomical factors may cause heavy bleeding, including:
- Absence of ovulation
- Uterine fibroids
- Endometrial polyps
Symptoms to look out for
Heavy bleeding is, of course, the typical and most obvious indication of abnormal uterine bleeding. But there are other signs to be aware of if you’re experiencing heavy cycles. While these symptoms don’t occur in every case, they are common enough that you should discuss them with your OB/GYN, as they may be a sign of other conditions as well. They include:
- Menstrual flow soaking through one or more tampons each hour, for multiple hours
- Sizable blood clots
- Periods lasting for more than seven days
- Shortness of breath, fatigue, and pain when menstruating
- Between-period bleeding
- Repeated, abnormal bleeding
- Postmenopausal bleeding
Treatment options for heavy cycles
There is a range of treatment options to accommodate patients’ unique needs. Be sure to discuss sensitivities and health issues with your Comprehensive OB/GYN so they can ensure you receive the most effective treatment for your condition.
Da Vinci Robotic Hysterectomy
Your doctor may recommend this minimally invasive surgical option for benign conditions. After you and your doctor have explored all the non-surgical options, removing the uterus either laparoscopically or vaginally can restore your quality of life.
Progesterone-based intra-uterine IUDs
These local IUDs have shown to reduce excess bleeding by up to 80%, with minimal hormonal side effects. Progesterone-based IUDs differ from the side effects associated with hormonal therapy. Comprehensive OB/GYN offers Mirena, Liletta, and Kyleena IUDs, as well as hormone-free and copper-based Paragard.
Hysteroscopy may be the right choice for some women in more severe cases, especially for women with intracavitary polyps or fibroids. This invasive procedure is most often completed with a hysteroscope. It is mostly an outpatient procedure with recovery times between one and three days.
This minimally invasive procedure eradicates uterine lining with heat, laser, electricity, or freezing. Removing the lining reduces heavy cycles or prevents uterine bleeding in the future. Women can expect either local or spinal anesthesia during the procedure and recovery within a few days.
Find solutions to your heavy cycles with Comprehensive OB/GYN
Persistent heavy bleeding is a relatively common (yet painful and frustrating) condition. Comprehensive OB/GYN can help you get to the source of the issue and provide the treatment options that are most appropriate for your body’s needs. Reach out to us today to learn more about how we can help.