Sidiq Aldabbagh
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Why You Shouldn't Ignore Heavy Periods

Dec 13, 2023
Why You Shouldn't Ignore Heavy Periods
Heavy periods might seem like just another part of the female experience, but they're actually not normal. If you regularly have heavy periods, it’s most likely due to a treatable condition, so you shouldn’t ignore them.  

When you have heavy periods, a week (or more) of every month can feel just miserable. At Trusted Women’s Health Center in Kendall and Miami, Florida, leading OB-GYN Sidiq Aldabbagh, MD, and our dedicated team know exactly how disruptive heavy periods can be. 

Heavy periods are quite common, with about 33% of women seeing their OB-GYN for help with this frustrating problem. 

Unfortunately, that number only represents a portion of the women with heavy bleeding because so many women try to ignore the problem. Many girls and women who visit our offices for help with heavy periods assume that it’s just a normal and expected part of being female.

However, we always explain to our patients that heavy periods aren’t normal, and that you should never ignore them. They mean your body is sending a signal that you need help.

Today’s blog explains when periods are heavy, why they need medical attention, and how you can get back to your life, free from heavy bleeding.

When periods are considered heavy

Heavy bleeding may mean different things to different women, but in medical terms, it’s defined as having any of these problems.

  • Periods that exceed seven days in length
  • Soaking pads or tampons hourly for at least a few consecutive hours
  • Wearing multiple pads at once
  • Waking up to change tampons or pads overnight
  • Bleeding with quarter-sized (or bigger) blood clots

If you’re having any of these problems, or other period issues, ignoring it isn’t the solution and the problem won’t spontaneously resolve without some help.  

Why you shouldn’t ignore heavy periods 

Heavy periods need attention because they may be a sign of problems such as: 

  • Uterine fibroids
  • Endometriosis
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Ovulation changes 
  • Copper intrauterine device (IUD)
  • Bleeding disorders like Von Willebrand disease (VWD)
  • Uterine or cervical cancer

While menopause is the point where your periods taper and finally stop, it’s not unusual to have heavier periods during perimenopause (the menopause transition). There are quite a few other possible causes, too.

If you don’t address the cause of your heavy bleeding, it may worsen, causing iron-deficiency anemia. Without treatment, anemia can lead to breathing difficulties and also raises your risk of heart problems. 

Some causes of heavy bleeding can also affect your fertility. For example, up to 50% of women with endometriosis experience infertility. But treatment can help you prevent those serious consequences and greatly improve your quality of life. 

Help for heavy periods

At Trusted Women’s Health Center, we believe that every woman deserves to have the right support for heavy bleeding. Our team spends time with you to really understand your problems, and we can then perform exams and tests to determine the cause of your heavy periods. 

After diagnosing your condition, we recommend a personalized solution that’s attuned to your needs and goals. Treatments for heavy bleeding range from oral medication to hormones to procedures like endometrial ablation or minimally invasive gynecologic surgery

Heavy bleeding doesn’t have to lower your quality of life. We can help you find the treatments that are right for you, so don’t hesitate to call our office or contact us online. Weekday and weekend appointments are available, so reach out anytime.