Heavy Periods

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What Is A Heavy Period?

There are many treatment options for heavy periods, but the first thing to establish is how a heavy period is defined. A heavy period is bleeding that lasts for more than 7 days. Menstrual bleeding that is heavy, requiring a tampon to be changed more than twice an hour, with clots larger than a penny , is classed as heavy menstrual bleeding.

It may be that with heavy periods you need to double up on pads to control the flow, or you have to change pads during the night to prevent an accident. It may be that your menstrual flow is so heavy that it stops your everyday activities and you are unable to continue your normal routine. Abdominal pain will feature throughout the bleeding and you may be tired and lack energy.

This may be the point at which you eventually seek help from your GP in the first instance, who will recommend you see a gynaecologist, such as Dr Penman, who is experienced in diagnosing and treating heavy menstrual bleeding.

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.

Causes of 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 ectopic 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. But, Dr Penman will conduct a thorough medical examination and review of your medical history to rule out all other causes before giving any diagnosis.


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

The treatment he can offer ranges from medication to various different surgeries depending on the cause of your heavy menstrual bleeding and the severity. For more information on the surgical treatment options, such as NovaSure endometrial ablation and Myosure myomectomy/polypectomy, and hysterectomy, please click on the relevant link.

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

Booking An Appointment


Dr Penman is happy to see patients that refer themselves without a letter from their GP. However, please remember that if you are going to fund the treatment with your private medical insurance, you will need a referral letter from your GP.  Your GP will be happy to refer you to Dr Penman either at the Spire Alexandra Hospital or Kent Institute for Medicine and Surgery.

For more information on booking an appointment, please visit the contacts page. 

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