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Painful/Heavy Periods

Heavy periods can be debilitating and cause total disruption to a woman’s daily life.  Read on to find out more about heavy periods and treatment options…….

Fetal Medicine - Painfulheavy periods

What is a heavy period?

There are many treatment options for heavy periods, but first it’s important to define what a heavy period is.  A heavy period is one that lasts for more than 7 days and/or requires sanitary protection to be changed more than twice an hour, with clots larger than a penny.

Your period may also interfere with your everyday activities.  Abdominal pain will feature throughout the bleeding and you may be tired and lack energy.

What are the complications of heavy periods?

As well as the discomfort and inconvenience that result from heavy periods, they can also cause long-term anaemia which, left untreated, can lead to more serious problems, such as heart and lung problems and pregnancy complications.

What causes heavy periods?

  • Non-cancerous growths in the uterus, such as polyps or fibroids which enlarge the surface of the uterus
  • Cancer
  • Pregnancy-related problems such as miscarriage or eptopic pregnancy
  • Hormone-related problems or an interuterine device (IUD)
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
  • Unknown – it is not always possible to pinpoint the exact cause of your heavy periods.  However, Dr. Penman will conduct a thorough medical examination and review of your medical history to rule out all other causes before giving any diagnosis.

What are the treatment options?

Dr. Penman makes a diagnosis from your history, pelvic ultrasound scanning, and blood tests, giving him a picture of what is causing your heavy periods.  

The treatment he can offer ranges from medication to various different surgeries (such as NovaSure Endometrial Ablation and Myosure myomectomy/polypectomy, and hysterectomy) depending on the cause of your heavy periods and the severity.

Dr. Penman will discuss the options with you and plan the management and treatment of your heavy menstrual bleeding.