When you suffer from heavy periods it can greatly restrict your daily activities, not to mention make you feel terrible. You want to stop the heavy bleeding and be able to live your life. The first and most important step is to schedule an appointment with your gynecologist for an examination. The physician may also want to order other lab tests or imaging that may help to determine the cause of the heavy bleeding.
A physician will want to know when your menstrual cycle began, along with when you started to have heavy menses. This will help to know if your cycle is normal, shorter or longer than most. Keeping track of any other symptoms associated with your menses is also important so the physician can understand if you have another menstrual related problems. You may want to note any nausea, fatigue or cramping that comes along with each month’s period.
Your physician will talk with you about the bleeding you are having: the timing, duration and pattern are all important. They may also perform an exam.
Your physician may want to perform blood tests to learn if you are anemic or have a low blood count. They may also want to look at thyroid function as these hormones can regulate periods much as they regulate other normal functions.
Lastly, your physician may want to have you undergo some imaging, most likely a pelvic ultrasound.
With the information from the visit, the laboratory tests and the medical images, you physician should begin to understand the cause of your problems with menstruation. This makes it easier to determine what type of treatment is necessary. Your physician will also consider your age and whether you are finished childbearing.
If you wish to become pregnant in the future, then some treatments are not recommended, but you will have other options to help with the regulation of your menstrual cycle and heavy periods.
Changing your diet can help with the reduction of discomfort along with regulating your menstrual cycle. Adding foods rich in vitamin C such as citrus to your meals, along with iron rich foods such as spinach, chard and other leafy greens, can help to prevent anemia. These help to prevent anemia by providing iron to help produce more red blood cells.
You can also drink more water, which will increase your body’s hydration to prevent problems with blood clots during menstruation. Lastly, drinking sports drinks, in moderation, can help improve electrolyte levels in your blood.
If painful periods caused by cramping is an associated symptom with your heavy menses, your can use a heating pad on your abdomen or back to relieve the discomfort. You can also relax in a hot bath or take a long, hot shower to relax your tense muscles.
It’s also possible to find an assortment of pain relieving medications at a local drugstore to decrease the pain that may not be cured by the heat therapy. Most women find relief with the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen.
If you are not trying to get pregnant, then birth control medications or devices can reduce the problems associated with menstruation. With birth control, your menstrual cycles is regulated so that your period will last approximately five days. If you are one of the many women with heavier and longer periods, this can greatly help.
There are also birth control shots or devices that can be inserted under the skin of the arm or into the uterine cavity to slow or even stop bleeding.
There are several types of surgery for reducing heavy periods, but these are typically only used for women who have completed childbearing. For the most severe bleeding problems, a physician can perform a hysterectomy to remove the uterus, leading to the end of pregnancies and monthly periods.
There are, however, less drastic surgeries, including a myomectomy to remove fibroids found via an ultrasound. These fibroids may be contributing to your bleeding.
Alternatively, some women prefer an endometrial ablation. With this procedure, a physician inserts a thin device through your cervix and into your uterine cavity to destroy the endometrial lining of the uterus. It only takes a matter of minutes.