What are heavy periods?
Heavy periods are extensive or heavy bleeding (more than 80ml per cycle) during your period.
If you’re soaking through a pad or tampon every 1 to 2 hours, you may have a heavy period. Other signs of heavy periods are passing large clots or experiencing a ‘flooding’ or blood.
There are many causes of heavy periods. Some of the most common causes are:
- Anovulation – not releasing an egg every month
- Fibroids – growth or lumps of muscle tissue that form within the walls of the uterus (they are benign, or non-cancerous)
- Polyps – an overgrowth of the inside lining of the uterus (called the endometrium)
- Adenomyosis – a condition where the cells that normally grow in the lining of the uterus break through and grow in the muscle wall of the uterus
Our treatment options for heavy periods
There are a variety of medical and surgical options for treating heavy periods.
Non-surgical treatments include:
- Non-hormonal medicines – to manage pain and reduce bleeding
- Hormonal methods – such as:
- Contraceptive pills – to help regulate the menstrual cycle
- Depo Provera – a 3-monthly contraceptive injection
- Implanon – an implantable birth control device
- Mirena – a type of implantable uterine device (IUD)
- Some women may benefit from surgical management. Surgical treatment options include:
- NovaSure – a 5-minute, minimally invasive (vaginal) surgical procedure which safely damage the lining of the uterus causing heavy bleeding
- Polypectomy – an operation to remove polyps
- Myomectomy – an operation to remove fibroids
- Hysterectomy – an operation to remove the uterus