Although there’s no one-size-fits-all standard when it comes to your period, irregular or heavy vaginal bleeding may be a sign of an underlying health issue. As experts in gynecological conditions, the providers at Elite Women’s Care in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, can diagnose the root cause of your bleeding and recommend effective therapies, ranging from medication to minimally invasive surgery. Call today to make an appointment or book your consultation online.
Even though the average menstrual cycle is 28 days, what’s considered normal varies significantly from woman to woman. Some menstrual cycles are just 21 days, while others may last 35 days.
The length of your period varies, as well. The average duration is three days, but normal can be as long as seven days. If your bleeding is irregular or heavy, that may be a sign of an underlying medical condition or life transition, such as menopause.
Your period is unique to you. That’s because the heaviness of a period differs not only from person to person but with age.
However, if you have to change pads or tampons several times every hour for several hours in a row, your flow is likely heavier than normal.
Needing to change pads at night, wearing two pads at a time, or passing large clots in your flow are also signs of heavy menstrual bleeding, which can lead to health complications like anemia.
A variety of sources can lead to irregular and heavy bleeding, such as:
Conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can cause heavy vaginal bleeding. Although the exact reason for PCOS isn’t entirely clear, it may be brought on by an excess of male hormones, among other factors.
Fibroids and polyps are growths on or inside the uterus. These growths usually aren’t cancerous, but large fibroids or polyps may cause heavy vaginal bleeding.
Up to 10% of women have endometriosis. This condition occurs when the uterine lining (endometrium) grows on the vagina, ovaries, bladder, bowels, or other places within the pelvis where it shouldn’t.
Other potential causes include medicines, pregnancy, and stress. Cancer and precancer also may cause vaginal bleeding, although this is less common.
You can expect your practitioner at Elite Women's Care to ask a series of detailed questions about your menstrual cycle and your symptoms.
This helps to pinpoint the underlying source of the heavy flow. You should describe how long your cycles last and the heaviness of your bleeding.
Next, you have a physical exam and a pelvic exam. Your practitioner recommends appropriate tests or minimally invasive procedures to complete your diagnosis, which could include:
Once they determine the source of your heavy or irregular vaginal bleeding, they suggest an appropriate treatment plan to manage or stop the flow.
For expert care for heavy or irregular periods, call Elite Women's Care today or schedule online.