For women with an average amount of bleeding during their period, it typically takes about 4 hours to soak a regular tampon or pad. But women with heavy bleeding may soak tampons or pads much faster than that.
Heavy bleeding can interfere with your life, causing you to miss work or school or experience embarrassing accidents. But for some women, it’s more than just an inconvenience. It may be a sign of a medical condition that requires treatment.
If you’re experiencing heavy periods, your care providers here at Women’s Healthcare of Princeton in Princeton, New Jersey, are here to help. We can diagnose and treat conditions that lead to heavy periods. Read on to learn some important information about heavy bleeding during periods.
How much is too much?
You may be experiencing heavy menstrual bleeding if you:
- Bleed for more than 7 days
- Feel dizzy, lightheaded, weak, or unusually tired during your period
- Must get up during the night to change tampons or pads
- Must miss school or work because of heavy bleeding
- Need to use more than one pad at a time to avoid breakthrough bleeding
- Pass blood clots in your menstrual blood that are quarter-sized or larger
- Soak through a tampon or pad every hour (or more often) for several hours in a row
Diagnosing the cause of heavy bleeding
Heavy menstrual bleeding is usually not normal and is often caused by a treatable medical condition.
The first step toward relieving heavy menstrual bleeding is determining what’s causing it. To do that, your care providers here at Women’s Healthcare of Princeton have you come in for a physical exam and a pelvic exam.
We also ask you questions about your periods, your overall health, your medical history, and any other symptoms you may be having.
Depending on what we learn during your exam, we may recommend that you have one or more tests, including blood tests, an ultrasound, an MRI, or a biopsy. We may do a hysteroscopy, which is an in-office procedure that allows your provider to get a better look at the inside of your uterus.
Some causes of heavy menstrual bleeding include:
- An underactive thyroid
- Bleeding disorders
- Certain medications, such as blood thinners
- Irregular ovulation
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Polycystic ovary syndrome
- Uterine fibroids
- Uterine polyps
Treating heavy bleeding
Once we determine the cause of your heavy menstrual bleeding, we propose a personalized treatment plan for you. The type of treatment recommended varies based on the cause of the bleeding, and may include medication, hormone therapy, or surgical procedures.
If you require surgery, we specialize in minimally invasive robotic surgery, including da Vinci® robotic surgery, the most precise form of laparoscopic surgery available.
Get help for your heavy periods
At Women’s Healthcare of Princeton, we provide a full range of diagnosis and treatment services to women in New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania, and the greater New York City area. To consult with one of our specialists, call our office or use our online scheduling tool to make an appointment.