Should You be Concerned About Heavy Periods?
Heavy menstrual bleeding (also known as menorrhagia) is generally defined as excessive bleeding that lasts for an extended period of time or requires frequent changes of sanitary products. If you experience heavy periods and they're causing you concern, Dr. Elizabeth Graul at Phase II Center for Women's Health in Millcreek, UT can help.
Keep reading to find out why heavy menstrual bleeding may require the attention of a healthcare professional and how Dr. Graul can help.
Is there help for heavy menstrual periods?
There are several treatments available for heavy menstrual periods. The type of treatment will depend on the underlying cause of the heavy bleeding.
Some common treatments include:
- Hormonal birth control, which can regulate menstrual cycles and reduce heavy bleeding
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which can be used to reduce menstrual flow
- Iron supplements to help restore iron levels if heavy bleeding causes anemia
- Endometrial ablation to remove the lining of the uterus to reduce or stop heavy bleeding
- Hysterectomy to remove the uterus
In cases where nonsurgical methods cannot control heavy menstrual bleeding, a hysterectomy may be indicated. Getting a hysterectomy can not only relieve heavy periods and irregular bleeding by removing menstruation altogether, but it can also remove the risk of uterine cancer and cut down on the chances of developing ovarian or endometrial cancer.
It is important to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the best treatment option for you. Dr. Graul may perform diagnostic tests to determine the underlying cause of the heavy bleeding and recommend the most appropriate course of treatment.
Should I be concerned if I have heavy periods?
Heavy menstrual bleeding is defined individually. What constitutes heavy bleeding for one may not cause another person to be concerned.
However, heavy periods can be a sign of an underlying health condition such as:
- A hormonal imbalance
- Uterine fibroids
- Endometrial polyps
- Thyroid disorders
- Blood clotting disorders
Heavy periods can also be a side effect of certain medications or the result of pregnancy complications.
In some cases, heavy bleeding can lead to anemia or other health problems. It may also cause:
- Interference with daily activities due to discomfort and inconvenience
- Pain and cramping
- Psychological impact that can take a toll on a person's quality of life and lead to depression and anxiety
- Endometrial hyperplasia, a condition in which the lining of the uterus becomes thick and abnormal, increasing the risk of uterine cancer
How does a hysterectomy prevent menstrual bleeding from affecting a person's life?
If you are experiencing heavy menstrual bleeding, it is essential to get a proper diagnosis and treatment.
In some cases, Dr. Graul may recommend a hysterectomy. This procedure involves the removal of the uterus (and typically the cervix as well). In some cases, fallopian tubes and ovaries can also be removed. If the ovaries are removed, the patient will go into menopause.
Since menstruation is the shedding of the uterine lining, removing the uterus via a hysterectomy takes away the source of monthly bleeding.
When a hysterectomy is appropriate to get rid of heavy periods, patients typically have the option of choosing from a vaginal, laparoscopic, or robotic surgery. After a consultation with Dr. Graul, a patient may be able to retain their ovaries after a hysterectomy if they want to postpone menopause.
Get treatment for heavy periods in Millcreek, UT
Heavy periods may or may not cause concern about your health. If heavy periods come on suddenly or interfere with your well-being or everyday life, it's important to get an assessment from a trusted healthcare provider to determine if a hysterectomy is an appropriate treatment option.
At Phase II Center for Women's Health in Millcreek, UT, Dr. Elizabeth Graul commonly treats patients with heavy menstrual bleeding. She offers an array of options for treatment, including full and partial hysterectomies. To get started and identify the cause of your condition, schedule an appointment with Dr. Graul today.