Carolinas HealthCare System
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Heavy Periods/Abnormal Bleeding

Vaginal bleeding normally occurs during a woman's menstrual cycle when she gets her period. Every woman's period is different. On average, a woman's period occurs every 28 days. Most women have cycles between 24 and 34 days apart. It usually lasts 4 - 7 days.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) heavy bleeding is one of the most common problems women will report to their doctor. It affects more than 10 million women each year. Symptoms of abnormal bleeding include bleeding or spotting between periods, bleeding after sex, bleeding for more days than normal during your period or bleeding after menopause.

While a change in hormone levels is one of the most common causes for abnormal menstrual bleeding, other cause may include:

  • Changes in birth control pills or hormone medications
  • Cancer of the lining of the uterus
  • Recent weight loss or gain
  • Use of an intrauterine device (IUD) for birth control
  • Bleeding disorders such as Von Willebrand disease

Treatment for heavy period/abnormal bleeding may include:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or naproxin to reduce blood loss and ease pain
  • Hormonal therapy
  • Lysteda (tranexamic acid), a non-hormonal medication that promotes blood clotting

Surgery may be necessary. Surgical procedures for heavy period/abnormal bleeding include:

  • Myoectomy - removal of fibroids from within the uterus
  • Hysteroscopy - a diagnostic procedure to examine the lining of the uterus
  • Endometrial ablation - a procedure that destroys the uterine lining to treat abnormal uterine bleeding
  • Hysterectomy - a procedure to remove the womb (uterus)

There are many women who suffer from excessive bleeding. This can interfere with their quality of life, their interaction with their family and their ability to enjoy a healthy relationship with their husbands. With endometrial ablation you can get back control of your cycles with an easy in-office procedure with no recovery time.

Patients who are finished having children and do not want to continue dealing with the side effects of birth control pills also have the option of an easy in-office tubal ligation. Tubes can be ligated in only a few minutes with no incisions and minimal discomfort. This procedure is covered by most insurance.

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