On average, a woman starts ovulating at age 12 and this runs until menopause around age 45 or 50. Ideally, a woman will have monthly periods for close to half of the expected lifespan. Your daily routine can be interfered with if you experience heavy periods. If you fall into this category, your gynecologist in Marion can help. At Marion Ob/Gyn Inc., Dr. David W. Foulk and his team are dedicated to improving your reproductive health.
Below is why you should not assume that everything is okay when you have heavy menstrual bleeding.
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Menstrual Cycle Basics
The average menstrual cycle lasts for 28 days, even though one can last between 24-38 days. Menstruation begins when your uterine wall lining starts to thicken in readiness to receive an ova from the ovaries.
Once the ovaries release an egg, it is ready to be fertilized within a day. The uterine wall remains in this state for two weeks whether or not a sperm fertilizes the egg. If pregnancy does not occur, the thickened uterine wall is shed, resulting in period bleeding.
Abnormally Heavy Periods
Since it is normal to have a heavy period, it is essential for you to understand where the limit is. Your period is abnormal if it causes:
- Disruption in your sleep during the night and requires a change of sanitary pads or tampons after every hour in a row
- Uncontrollable flow requiring you to wear double sanitary towels
- Blood clots in the period discharge
If your periods last past a week, even if there is no heavy flow, this is considered abnormal.
Common Causes of Heavy Periods
If you are experiencing signs of a heavy period, your health must be probed. If left untreated, heavy periods can make you suffer from chronic anemia, which can make you run short of breath, feel worn out and have frequent headaches. Event worse, heavy periods can indicate an underlying problem that can negatively impact your dream to become a parent. Heavy periods can be caused by:
An imbalance of the reproductive hormone is usually a prime suspect of heavy menstrual bleeding. This can be caused by insulin resistance, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a thyroid problem or ovarian dysfunction.
Cancer and Noncancerous Growths
Heavy menstrual bleeding can also be caused by uterine, endometrial, and cervical polyps. Precancerous conditions such as endometrial hyperplasia can also cause heavy period bleeding. Your gynecologist recommends yearly checks to arrest such conditions before metastasis.
If you have a bleeding disorder, this makes it hard for your blood to clot. This can make you have heavy and extended periods. Bleeding disorders also increase your risk of developing complications after childbirth.
When you visit your gynecologist, a thorough investigation will be undertaken to get to the root cause of your chronically heavy period. Your doctor has good news that most of the conditions which cause heavy periods are treatable.
It is time to put a stop to your heavy bleeding. Consult your experienced gynecologist for an evaluation.