Heavy periods affect nearly 10 million American women each year. That’s the equivalent of 1 in every 5 women who deal with heavy and painful periods. There are many reasons why a period might be heavy, including uterine fibroids.
Drs. Pruett, Tower, Ng, and Balfour, and our team at Fresno Fibroid Center understand the complex link between fibroids and heavy bleeding. If you suspect your heavy periods are related to fibroids, we can help diagnose and treat them.
Below, we highlight why you should never ignore heavy periods.
Signs your period is heavy
Before you can seek medical care for a heavy period, you first have to identify that your menstrual flow is heavy. With a normal flow, you might have four or five days of bleeding with a total blood loss of two to three tablespoons. A “heavy” period refers to a period that is longer or involves more blood loss than that. This is called menorrhagia, the technical term for heavy periods.
You might also suspect you have heavy periods if:
- You pass blood clots that are the size of a quarter or larger
- You need to change your pad or tampon in the middle of the night
- You need to double up on pads
- Your periods dictate your life choices
- You soak through a pad in an hour
- You have chronic fatigue
Whether you’ve noticed one or two heavy periods or you’ve had them for months, don’t hesitate to reach out for help.
3 reasons you shouldn’t ignore a heavy period
Now that we’ve covered what defines a “heavy” period, let’s talk about the many reasons why you shouldn’t ignore a heavy menstrual flow.
You may have an underlying condition that requires treatment
There are many reasons why your period is heavier than normal. Uterine fibroids are a common culprit, but other conditions that cause heavy periods include:
- Cervical cancer
- Endometrial cancer
- Bleeding disorders, including von Willebrand’s disease
- Side effects from medications, such as anti-inflammatories and anticoagulants
Ignoring a heavy period only delays treatment for the underlying cause of your heavy period. Here at Fresno Fibroid Center, our team offers many treatment options to help eliminate the symptoms of your fibroids.
Getting treatment can help you feel better
It can be emotionally stressful to have heavy periods each month. It can limit your social activities, dictate when you have a workout, or leave you stressed during work hours. Getting treatment can help eliminate the mental strain of dealing with heavy flows each month.
Getting treatment improves your energy levels
Heavy menstrual periods can contribute to low energy levels and even iron-deficiency anemia. When you have a heavy period, you lose a lot of iron. When your iron levels dip, your body has a harder time producing hemoglobin. Your red blood cells need hemoglobin to carry oxygen throughout your body. This can lead to fatigue and weakness.
Treating your heavy period can help prevent iron-deficiency anemia and low energy due to increased blood loss each month.
Are fibroids causing your heavy periods?
Fibroids are benign tumors notorious for causing heavy menstrual bleeding. They also cause abdominal and pelvic pain, bowel or bladder problems, and, in some cases, infertility. Treating your fibroid can help reduce your symptoms, including heavy periods.
To learn more about your options, give us a call at 559-216-0746 or use our online form to schedule an appointment in our Fresno, California, office.