Heavy bleeding occurs when women experience a blood loss amounting to more than 80 mL per cycle. This is considered a significant amount, especially if it persists through several cycles. Around 12% of women experience heavy bleeding in the first year after menarche. But the number decreases to 3% by age 35. Although heavy menstrual flow is not life-threatening, it can significantly impact your daily life. In addition to being an inconvenience and source of discomfort, Lake Mary heavy bleeding may also be accompanied by other symptoms such as discussed below;
Symptoms accompanying heavy bleeding:
- Early or late menstrual cycle
What causes heavy bleeding?
The most common causes of heavy bleeding are fibroids, polyps, and hormonal imbalances. Heavy bleeding can also be caused by other conditions that include infections in the uterus, cervix, or vagina.
How to treat heavy bleeding?
First, the patient is given a pelvic exam to assess the severity of their symptoms. The gynecologist may decide to perform a Pap smear to examine the cervix, which can indicate cervical cancer. If they find any abnormalities, they may prescribe medications or recommend further testing. If there are no abnormalities, the doctor will most often recommend that the patient rest and drink plenty of fluids until the bleeding stops naturally.
If it becomes necessary for the patient to pass blood clots, she may be prescribed NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), such as ibuprofen or naproxen, administered orally. Tincture of benzoin may also be applied to the cervix to help shrink any polyps and allow them to pass out more easily.
If this does not work, dilation and curettage (D&C) may be performed to remove any retained tissue. If the bleeding continues after a week and is accompanied by other symptoms such as pain or fever, the doctor may perform a uterine biopsy. The procedure involves taking a small sample of uterine tissue for testing to determine whether cancerous or precancerous cells are present.
Are there risks associated with heavy bleeding?
Allowing too much blood to leave your body can be risky; some people who experience heavy bleeding are at higher risk for anemia. This is a condition where your body does not have enough healthy red blood cells and you may need to take supplements to increase iron levels.
Iron deficiency is most likely in people who frequently bleed heavily but do not have any other discernible causes like an IUD or hormonal imbalance.
How to manage heavy bleeding
The key to managing this condition is identifying the cause to determine the best course of action. Sometimes heavy bleeding can be treated at home with lifestyle changes such as physical activity and dietary modification. Other times, medication is necessary. In cases when a woman has anemia from heavy bleeding or has been found to have uterine fibroids that are compressing the uterus or endometrial polyps, surgery may be recommended.
Heavy bleeding is a symptom of other health problems, especially those caused by fibroids. You should never ignore heavy bleeding. See your doctor right away, whether you are pregnant or not. Remember, the longer the symptom persists, the worse it is likely to be. Always check with Christopher K Quinsey, MD, for advice, and never take medicines that have not been prescribed for you.