What Constitutes Heavy Bleeding?

If your periods are unusually heavy, you’re not alone. In fact, about 10 million American women suffer from heavy bleeding, or menorrhagia, making it one of the most common medical complaints among women in the United States. 

As a top-rated board-certified gynecologist in Newburgh, Indiana, Paul W. Morrison, M.D., uses advanced diagnostic techniques to determine the causes of heavy bleeding, so it can be treated. In this blog, Dr. Morrison gives some guidelines on what constitutes heavy bleeding.

Defining heavy bleeding

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), if you need to change your pad or tampon every two hours or more frequently, that’s heavy bleeding. Passing large clots — that is, clots that are about the size of a quarter or larger — is also a sign of heavy bleeding.

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology also adds these symptoms:

While heavy bleeding is relatively common among women approaching menopause, without treatment, heavy bleeding can lead to anemia, and it can also be a sign of a more serious underlying problem. That’s why if you have any of these symptoms, it’s important to schedule an office visit so Dr. Morrison can determine the cause and prescribe treatment.

Causes of heavy bleeding

As noted, hormonal changes during perimenopause (the years leading up to menopause) is a major cause of heavy bleeding in middle-aged women. However, perimenopause is not the only condition that can lead to heavy bleeding. Other possible causes include:

To determine what’s causing your heavy periods, Dr. Morrison will perform a pelvic exam, along with other tests, such as blood tests or ultrasounds. He’ll also take a detailed health history and talk to you about your symptoms.

Don’t ignore abnormal bleeding

Heavy bleeding is one type of abnormal bleeding. Bleeding between periods, skipping periods, and other changes in your normal menstrual flow are all possible causes for concern. Dr. Morrison offers a number of treatments for heavy bleeding and other types of abnormal bleeding based on the underlying causes. Your treatment will be completely tailored to your needs for better long-term health. 

If you’re having any type of abnormal bleeding, it’s time for a visit. To learn what’s causing your abnormal periods, book an appointment online or over the phone with the practice of Paul W. Morrison, M.D. today.

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