Heavy Periods and Irregular Bleeding

Have you been experiencing heavy periods and irregular bleeding, you are not alone. Dr. Max Crouch talks about what may be causing you to experience this and what they can do to help you.

When a patient comes in with a complaint of heavy bleeding and cramping, we usually do an ultrasound. If they’re over age 40, we may want to sample the lining of the uterus, make sure there’s no pre-cancer changes occurring inside the uterus. The purpose of the ultrasound would be to see if they have any fibroid tumors or cysts on the ovaries,or any other pelvic things that we need to address. And the bleeding is controlled, or should be controlled by the hormones from the ovary.

But, sometimes the uterus will grow fibroid tumors, which are begin, and they can distort the uterine cavity and even though the ovaries might still be working properly,the uterus is now producing too much bleeding and the fibroids may cause a lot of cramping. Often times when a woman’s in her late 30s or 40s,she’ll begin to have abnormal bleeding. Her periods may become very heavy, sometimes closer together. She may become anemic because she can’t keep up with her blood loss.

They also start to get a lot of cramping at that stage of life, as well. Treatment choices if she has not completed her family, we want to make sure that she’s ovulating and we maybe able to help her with that if she needs to get ovulating. Or we might want to suppress her periods and suppress her ovaries, and try to get better control by putting her on birth control pills. If she’s completed her family, she might consider an IUD, which is good for five years. It has a hormone that will shrink the lining of her uterus.

That also provides her reversibility if she chooses to have another baby later on. Putting an IUD in will correct, or at least control abnormal bleeding in probably two-thirds of women. Also, if she’s completed her family, she may consider an endometrial ablation. That’s a ten minute procedure, out-patient. We go into the uterus and burn the lining of the uterus, so that her menstrual periods will stop. If their end goal is to completely stop their periods and never have another period, it’s about 35% successful.

But if their goal is to improve their periods and make them manageable,the success rate of the endometrial ablation is about 80%. If she has significant cramps or large fibroids,she may have no option other than a hysterectomy. Any change in a woman’s regularity of her menstrual cycle indicates that something has changed, either something from the hormones or something in the uterus.

So, if she’s getting more pain now or her bleeding is becoming heavier and she’s passing clots, she needs to come in and get checked, make sure there’s not something serious or make sure that she’s not bleeding too heavily to stay ahead of it.