Heavy Menstrual Cycles
Menstruation is the monthly vaginal bleeding women experience as the uterine lining is shed. Every month, an ovary releases an egg that travels down the fallopian tube to the uterus. If the egg is not fertilized, the egg and lining of the uterus are shed, resulting in menstruation. The average menstrual period lasts from 3 to 5 days, although it can vary from person to person and month to month.
Some women have heavy menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia) on a regular basis. In addition to a heavy flow, the bleeding can last for more than 7 days. Heavy menstrual bleeding can interfere with a woman’s daily life, and can cause anemia, an iron deficiency whose symptoms are weakness and fatigue. At Craig Ranch OB/GYN, Dr. Andrew Schimmer and the rest of the doctors and staff will help their patients achieve a healthy, pain-free, quality of life.
What Are the Symptoms Of Heavy Menstrual Bleeding?
In addition to a heavier-than-normal menstrual flow, a woman with menorrhagia may experience the following:
- Bleeding for more than 1 week
- Large blood clots in the menstrual flow
- Constant pain in the lower abdomen
If a woman with heavy menstrual bleeding develops anemia, she can experience weakness, fatigue and shortness of breath.
Causes Of Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
Heavy menstrual bleeding can be caused by various conditions or factors, including the following:
- Uterine fibroids
- Polycystic-ovary syndrome
- Hormonal imbalance
- Complications from pregnancy
- Intrauterine device (IUD)
- Certain medications
Heavy menstrual bleeding may also be caused by a platelet disorder or von Willebrand’s disease. In some cases, the cause of heavy menstrual bleeding is unknown.
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Diagnosing Heavy Menstrual Bleeding At Craig Ranch OB/GYN
Heavy menstrual bleeding may be diagnosed through a physical examination, and review of the patient’s medical history. One of our doctors may want to perform Additional diagnostic tests which may include the following:
- Blood tests
- PAP tests
- Endometrial biopsy
A hysteroscopy may be performed to view the inside of the uterus, and determine whether fibroids, polyps or other problems are causing the heavy bleeding.
Treatment For Heavy Menstrual Bleeding In Mckinney, Texas
Treatment for heavy menstrual bleeding varies depending on whether there are any underlying conditions. Iron supplements to treat anemia, and anti-inflammatory medication to reduce the amount of bleeding, are often prescribed. Dr. Schimer and the rest of our providers can offer Additional treatments that may include the following:
- Oral contraceptives
- Hormone supplements
- IUD removal
- Tranexamic acid
If conservative methods are unsuccessful, surgery may be necessary. Surgical procedures we offer may include the following:
- Dilation and curettage
- Endometrial ablation (destroys uterine lining)
- Myomectomy (removes uterine fibroids)
In severe cases, a hysterectomy may be recommended.