A heavy or irregular menstrual flow is common. About a third of all women of childbearing age seek treatment for it, but there are probably many more women who experience heavy periods and don’t seek treatment, thinking their flow is normal. An abnormally heavy period is not normal; nor is it something you have to live with.
Heavy menstrual bleeding, also called abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB) or menorrhagia, is an inconvenience, but it can also be uncomfortable and painful. Fortunately, there are a variety of treatments — including NovaSure®️, an innovative endometrial ablation procedure — that can help remedy your abnormal flow.
About heavy menstrual bleeding
How do you know if your period is heavy but normal or if it’s abnormally heavy? Here are a few signs that can indicate you have an abnormal period:
- Bleeding for more than seven days
- Bleeding that soaks through a tampon or pad every hour for several hours in a row
- Having to change your pads or tampons overnight
- Experiencing menstrual flow with large blood clots the size of a quarter or larger
- Needing to double up on tampons or pads to make sure you don’t leak
Having a flow that lasts for weeks or requires that you be near a bathroom to change your pad or tampon hourly affects your lifestyle. Heavy menstrual bleeding is also often accompanied by heavy menstrual cramps. Furthermore, excessive bleeding can lead to a condition called iron-deficiency anemia, which may cause shortness of breath and increase your risk for heart problems.
Causes of heavy periods
Heavy menstrual bleeding can be the result of a variety of conditions. Also, as women age, the likelihood of heavy menstrual periods increases. Some conditions that can cause heavy menstrual bleeding include endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome, problems with ovulation, and fibroids.
Other more serious possible causes include ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, or endometrial cancer. Sometimes the cause is not known.
NovaSure for heavy periods and other issues
If the cause of your heavy menstrual bleeding is not due to a miscarriage, cancer, or other more serious issues, your doctor may first prescribe medications or hormones to help reduce your flow. If medication doesn’t help, NovaSure, an endometrial ablation procedure that’s FDA-approved, is clinically proven to effectively reduce or eliminate your menstrual flow.
NovaSure uses radiofrequency energy to remove your endometrium, a thin layer of tissue that lines your uterus that can cause heavy bleeding. NovaSure is a simple, quick, and safe procedure. No surgery or incisions are necessary.
At Ozark OB/GYN, Dr. Donald Jones uses NovaSure to help women reduce or eliminate their heavy menstrual bleeding. NovaSure can also relieve painful sexual intercourse and painful menstrual cramps as well as treat fibroids. The NovaSure procedure is an in-office treatment that takes only about five minutes.
NovaSure is suitable for premenopausal women who are finished having children or do not want to have children. A pregnancy after NovaSure is considered high-risk, so be sure to speak to Dr. Jones about contraception options.
For more information about NovaSure and how to reduce heavy menstrual flows, call Ozark OB/GYN in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, or make an appointment online.