Annual checkups with a gynecologist allow for preventive treatment and early detection of health problems. However, there are times when these routine visits are not enough. Certain issues and life changes require a visit to the gynecologist between regular checkups.While waiting until one’s next annual checkup may be okay, scheduling a visit between these appointments…
Reasons To Visit Your Gynecologist for Heavy Periods
While heavy periods are common and may not always indicate a problem, it may be time to consult a gynecologist if a heavy menstrual flow becomes unmanageable and causes severe pain. These healthcare professionals may provide relief through treatment and look for any underlying issues they may need to address.
What is considered a heavy period?
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), several factors may indicate a heavy period (menorrhagia). The first and most obvious is when a patient has to change their pad or tampon every hour for several hours in a row because there is so much blood. Another factor indicating a heavy period is if it lasts longer than seven days. Other factors include:
- Having to use multiple menstrual products at once (e.g., doubling up on pads)
- Pads or tampons do not last the night
- Passing large blood clots (quarter-sized)
- Period pain that gets in the way of daily activities
There could be many causes of heavy periods. While certain health conditions may lead to heavy menstrual bleeding, the cause is not always serious. For instance, being out of shape or overweight can cause heavy periods. Hormonal imbalances and changes (such as after stopping birth control) may also be the cause. More serious causes include endometriosis, fibroids, polyps, bleeding disorders, and uterine and cervical cancer.
When to go to the gynecologist for heavy periods
While heavy bleeding may seem like a fact of life, it may not have to be that way. Whether there is an underlying issue or not, a gynecologist will recommend treatments to manage a heavy flow and the accompanying symptoms. Therefore, consulting a gynecologist about heavy menstrual bleeding is generally recommended. Here are three reasons why patients with heavy periods should seek medical attention from a gynecologist:
Changes in menstrual bleeding
Seeing a gynecologist regarding sudden changes in menstrual bleeding is always wise—especially if that change is a heavier flow. A heavier period could indicate an underlying condition, from fibroids to bleeding disorders, that requires treatment. In these cases, the patient is likely to experience other symptoms of the underlying condition. For example, fibroids may bring pelvic pain, back pain, abdominal discomfort, and bladder and bowel problems.
Alternatively, changes in bleeding could indicate fertility issues or pregnancy complications. This may include miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy, which is when the fertilized egg starts to develop outside of the uterus. According to medical research, this could happen early on in pregnancy before the patient is aware of their pregnancy status.
Menstrual pain interferes with work or school
A heavy period accompanied by severe menstrual cramps, fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, or other anemic symptoms is a good reason to see an OB-GYN. These symptoms can disrupt daily life and make going to school or work hard. After all, paying attention in class or a meeting is difficult when the pain is so intense that it makes one feel faint.
If a patient has always had heavy periods, they may wonder how other people are able to tolerate it. The truth is that those who seem to weather through it are likely not experiencing the same level of pain and discomfort. An OB-GYN may help with pain management and cycle regulation.
Tired of dealing with a heavy flow
Some patients have always experienced heavy periods but decide to finally consult a gynecologist because they are tired of living with the symptoms. Heavy periods are not only inconvenient but often painful. Fortunately, looking for relief from an overwhelming menstrual cycle is the only reason a patient needs to seek medical support.
Managing a heavy period
A gynecologist will likely recommend some form of birth control to manage a heavy period. The pill and intrauterine contraception (IUC) are the most common. However, there are other options. They may prescribe antifibrinolytic medicines to reduce bleeding or recommend taking iron supplements or ibuprofen. Getting in shape and eating a nutritious, balanced diet may also help, especially in the days leading up to and during one’s period.
Contact our Fresno clinic
If you have been experiencing heavy periods, scheduling a check-in appointment with a gynecologist is best. While it may be uncomfortable to talk about your period, our team at Camilla L. Marquez, MD takes great care in ensuring patient comfort and health. A heavy period may be managed with the right treatment, leading to a less painful (and less stressful) time of the month. Call (559) 424-1180 today to book an OB-GYN visit.
Request an appointment here: https://fresnoobgyn.com or call Camilla L. Marquez, MD at (559) 424-1180 for an appointment in our Fresno office.
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