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What is Heavy Menstrual Bleeding?

At Florida Hospital Cancer Institute, our Gynecology Program in Orlando offers the latest and most effective treatment for heavy menstrual bleeding in Orlando for residents of Central Florida and the surrounding regions. Heavy (excessive) menstrual bleeding is characterized by abnormally heavy or prolonged bleeding during menstruation. While this is common among premenopausal women, most women don't experience the kind of heavy menstrual bleeding that is considered cause for concern. With this condition, each period causes enough blood loss and cramping to interfere with normal daily activities. Speak with your physician if you are concerned as there are a number of treatment options. To learn more about treatment for heavy menstrual bleeding in Orlando, or to schedule an appointment, call (407) 303-1700 or click here to fill out an online assistance form.

 

Symptoms of Heavy Menstrual Bleeding

The signs and symptoms of heavy menstrual bleeding may include:

  • Menstrual fluid/blood is soaking through one or more sanitary pads or tampons every hour for several consecutive hours
  • If you need to use double sanitary protection to control menstrual flow
  • If you need to get up during the night to change sanitary protection
  • Bleeding for longer than a week
  • If you see you are passing blood clots for more than one day during your period
  • If your daily activities are restricted because of your period
  • Symptoms of anemia, such as tiredness, fatigue or shortness of breath

You should see your physician if you experience the following:

  • Vaginal bleeding so heavy it soaks at least one pad or tampon an hour for more than a few hours
  • If you are bleeding between your periods or having irregular vaginal bleeding
  • If you experience any bleeding after menopause
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Causes of Heavy Menstrual Bleeding

Excessive menstrual bleeding can happen for different reasons. Hormonal imbalance and uterine growths are two of the most common causes. Your menstrual cycle is controlled by hormones, including estrogen and progesterone. When they are out of balance, these same hormones can cause heavy periods or bleeding between periods. Causes of hormonal imbalances may include:

  • Hormonal changes in teens and women nearing menopause
  • Diabetes, thyroid disease or other medical problems
  • Obesity
  • Stress
  • Strenuous exercise
  • Anorexia (an eating disorder)
  • Uterine growths or polyps

Types of Benign Uterine Growths:

  • Fibroids are round “knots” of uterine muscle tissue.
  • Polyps are small growths of tissue from the uterine lining that grow inside the uterus.
  • Adenomyosis occurs when cells of the uterine lining grow into the muscle wall.
  • Hyperplasia is an overgrowth of the uterine lining.
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Risk Factors of Heavy Menstrual Bleeding

In many cases, heavy menstrual bleeding occurs as a result of a hormone imbalance. This is common among two separate age groups:

  • Adolescent girls who have recently started menstruating. Younger girls who have just begun their menstrual cycles are especially prone. 
  • Older women approaching menopause. Women ages 40 to 50 are at increased risk of hormonal changes that lead to anovulatory cycles.
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Tests to Diagnose Heavy Menstrual Bleeding

In order to properly diagnose heavy menstrual bleeding, your physician may perform a physical exam and recommend the following tests or exams:

  • Blood tests. Your blood will be evaulated for signs of anemia (iron deficiency) and other conditions (thyroid disorders or blood-clotting abnormalities). 
  • Pap test. During this test, your physician will take cells from your cervix and examine them for any signs of infection, inflammation, or changes that may be cancerous or may lead to cancer. 
  • Endometrial biopsy. A sample of tissue is taken from the inside of your uterus and examined by a pathologist. 
  • Ultrasound scan. Sound waves are used to create an image of your uterus, ovaries and pelvis, allowing your physician to examine the areas for signs of abnormalities. 

Depending on the results of your exams and tests, your physician may recommend the following: 

  • Sonohysterogram. A fluid is injected through a tube into your uterus, allowing your physician to examine the lining for problems. 
  • Hysteroscopy. Your physician inserts a very small camera through the vagina and cervix into your uterus in order to examine the inside of the uterus for abnormalities. This exam involves inserting a tiny camera into your uterus, which allows your doctor to examine the area for abnormalities. 
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Treatments for Excessive Menstrual Bleeding

Surgery can be used to remove uterine growths or for a more definitive treatment, to remove the uterus itself. Surgical procedures include endometrial ablation, endometrial resection and hysterectomy.

  • Endometrial ablation is a medical procedure that uses energy to destroy the endometrial lining of a woman's uterus. This technique is most often employed for women who suffer from excessive or prolonged bleeding during their menstrual cycle and is most commonly done on an outpatient basis. Endometrial ablation is contraindicated in patients who may want to get pregnant.1
  • Endometrial resection is the surgical removal of the uterine lining.
  • Hysterectomy is the surgical removal of your uterus. Depending upon your condition, your fallopian tubes, ovaries and other growths in your pelvic cavity may also be removed.

To learn more about treatment for heavy menstrual bleeding in Orlando, or to schedule an appointment, call (407) 303-1700 or click here to fill out an online assistance form.

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Request an Appointment

To learn more about treatment for heavy menstrual bleeding in Orlando, or to schedule an appointment, call (407) 303-1700 or click here to fill out an online assistance form.

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