Periods. Every woman has them, but everyone’s experience is slightly different. Some of us get a bit of light spotting every three weeks, whilst some of us experience very heavy periods.
Sometimes women are in so much pain that they can’t even get out of bed. Others have no pain but are angry at the world for a full week in the run up to their period.
Today we want to talk about heavy periods. Lots of women get heavy periods, and it’s often nothing to worry about. But because it’s perceived as ‘normal’, you might not mention it when talking to your GP or gynaecologist.
While most of the time heavy periods are a totally normal part of a woman’s cycle, sometimes they can be indicative of an underlying problem. Particularly if they become heavier suddenly, rather than having been heavy throughout your menstruating life.
No one should feel unduly panicked if they do experience a heavier period than usual once in a while. But it is worth bringing this to the attention of a doctor.
Here are just a few things a heavy period can be a symptom of:
Endometriosis is a condition where womb-like tissue starts to form outside of the uterus, often around the ovaries and fallopian tubes. This can cause painful and sometimes very heavy periods, as well as other problems such as pain during intercourse, diarrhoea or constipation.
Endometriosis isn’t life threatening, but the symptoms can be painful and debilitating, and it can affect your ability to conceive.
Because the symptoms of endometriosis can be similar to many other gynaecological conditions, there is often a lengthy delay in diagnosis. Therefore if you suspect you might have it, you should mention it to your GP.
These are non-cancerous growths that form in or around the uterus. Symptoms include heavy periods, abdominal pain, discomfort during sexual intercourse and constipation. However, many women with fibroids don’t have any symptoms at all.
Fibroids are actually very common – affecting one in three women between the ages of 30 and 50. If they aren’t causing a problem they don’t need to be treated. However, if you are experiencing very heavy or painful periods as a result of fibroids, you can be prescribed medication to alleviate the symptoms.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
This is an infection in either the womb, fallopian tube or ovaries. The main symptoms include heavy periods, bleeding between periods or after intercourse and vaginal discharge.
Some women become very unwell and have a high temperature, which prompts them to seek treatment. For others the symptoms can be the only sign that something is wrong.
Pelvic inflammatory disease is usually caused by a bacterial infection, and if caught early it can be treated with a simple course of antibiotics. If left too long, however, it can cause long term complications.
These are just three of the most common causes of unusually heavy periods. If you are concerned, our experienced consultants at SureScan can organise a gynaecology scan. We can quickly diagnose any problems relating to heavy or irregular bleeding, and we can discuss the different treatment options.
We have same day and evening appointments available, so please contact us to make an appointment.