Almost no woman is a huge fan of menstruating, but sometimes a heavy flow is really too heavy. If you’re soaking through a pad or tampon every few hours, it could be a sign that your menstrual flow is abnormal or problematic. Want to know why? Here are six common causes of menorrhagia (a condition characterized by heavy menstrual bleeding):
Fibroids are non-cancerous growths that typically develop in a woman’s uterus. Though not inherently dangerous, they lead to heavy menstrual bleeding and, ultimately, infertility. Studies have revealed that approximately 10% of women who experience heavy periods have fibroids.
2. Polycystic ovarian syndrome
This condition is associated with irregular and infrequent periods. PCOS causes growths to develop around a woman’s cervix or uterus; the growths are either the result of high estrogen levels or are caused by infections. Because periods are irregular with PCOS, the uterine lining has a longer time to thicken, adding to the volume of a woman’s menstrual blood and making her flow abnormally heavy.
With endometriosis, tissue that’s similar to the lining of the uterus develops outside of the uterus. When a woman with endometriosis menstruates, she sheds all of the lining tissue, regardless of its location, making her period very heavy.
When a woman is dealing with a hormonal imbalance—either low or high levels—she can experience irregular ovulation, affecting periods. As with other conditions that affect your menstrual cycle, hormonal imbalances that give you less frequent periods can make the periods you do have extra heavy.
5. Clotting Problems
Certain genetic conditions, or even certain medications, can affect your body’s ability to form blood clots. While this problem is extremely rare, if you are one of the women affected by a natural or medical bleeding disorder, your periods may become very heavy.
An IUD or intrauterine device is a long term form of birth control that’s implanted in your uterus. In certain cases, IUDS—especially ones that don’t contain hormones—can cause you to experience a heavier than normal period.
Only your doctor can determine the specific cause of your heavy menstrual flow. If you are dealing with heavy periods and want some answers, schedule a consultation with our highly trained fibroid physicians right away. Don’t wait for another cycle to find relief!