A number of things can cause heavy periods. These include:
- A change in hormones. Normally one of your ovaries releases an egg during your menstrual cycle. This is called ovulation. If you don’t ovulate, your hormone levels can get out of balance. This can affect the lining in your uterus and may cause heavy bleeding.
- An irritation in the uterus. Certain things can cause this, such as using a copper IUD.
- A growth in the uterus, such as a polyp or fibroid.
- Adenomyosis. This condition occurs when the cells that normally line the uterus grow into the wall of the uterus.
- Some bleeding disorders that prevent blood from clotting properly.
- Certain medicines, such as anticoagulants.
Specific treatment for menorrhagia is based on a number of factors, including:
- Your overall health and medical history
- The cause and severity of the condition
- Your tolerance for specific medications, procedures or therapies
- The likelihood that your periods will become less heavy soon
- Your future childbearing plans
- Effects of the condition on your lifestyle
- Your opinion or personal preference
If you have menorrhagia from taking hormone medication, you and your doctor may be able to treat the condition by changing or stopping your medication.
You may need surgical treatment for menorrhagia if drug therapy is unsuccessful. Treatment options include:
- Dilation and curettage (D&C). In this procedure, your doctor opens (dilates) your cervix and then scrapes or suctions tissue from the lining of your uterus to reduce menstrual bleeding. Although this procedure is common and often treats acute or active bleeding successfully, you may need additional D&C procedures if menorrhagia recurs.
- Uterine artery embolization. For women whose menorrhagia is caused by fibroids, the goal of this procedure is to shrink any fibroids in the uterus by blocking the uterine arteries and cutting off their blood supply.During uterine artery embolization, the surgeon passes a catheter through the large artery in the thigh (femoral artery) and guides it to your uterine arteries, where the blood vessel is injected with microspheres made of plastic.
- Focused ultrasound ablation. Similar to uterine artery embolization, focused ultrasound ablation treats bleeding caused by fibroids by shrinking the fibroids. This procedure uses ultrasound waves to destroy the fibroid tissue. There are no incisions required for this procedure.
- Myomectomy. This procedure involves surgical removal of uterine fibroids. Depending on the size, number and location of the fibroids, your surgeon may choose to perform the myomectomy using open abdominal surgery, through several small incisions (laparoscopically), or through the vagina and cervix (hysteroscopically).
- Endometrial ablation. Using a variety of techniques, your doctor permanently destroys (ablates) the lining of your uterus (endometrium). After endometrial ablation, most women have much lighter periods. Pregnancy after endometrial ablation can put your health at risk — if you have an endometrial ablation, you should use reliable or permanent contraception until menopause.
- Endometrial resection. This surgical procedure uses an electrosurgical wire loop to remove the lining of the uterus. Both endometrial ablation and endometrial resection benefit women who have very heavy menstrual bleeding. Pregnancy isn’t recommended after this procedure.
- Hysterectomy. Hysterectomy — surgery to remove your uterus and cervix — is a permanent procedure that causes sterility and ends menstrual periods. Hysterectomy is performed under anesthesia and requires hospitalization. Additional removal of the ovaries (bilateral oophorectomy) may cause premature menopause.
Except for hysterectomy, these surgical procedures are usually done on an outpatient basis. Although you may need a general anesthetic, it’s likely that you can go home later on the same day.
When menorrhagia is a sign of another condition, such as thyroid disease, treating that condition usually results in lighter periods.
Doctor Ahdoot is an experienced, caring physician who will partner with you through every phase of your life. He is professional and compassionate, and will take the time to discuss your condition and the best possible treatment for your individual needs.
We want you to learn about our practice; about us, our staff and services, our locations and office hours, and the hospitals we are affiliated with. We also provide you here with a variety of information on women’s health issues and pregnancy. If you have any other questions that we can answer for you, please call Heavy bleeding Specialist Doctor Ahdoot’s OBGYN office in Burbank California.