There may be times in your life where your menstrual cycle (your “period”) may be abnormal. It might be too heavy, too light, too often, not often enough, or painful. Certainly if you have “flooding” or “accidents,” it is not normal. But you are not alone!
Many millions of women suffer from heavy menstrual bleeding at some time in their life, and it can be more than just an annoyance. You can miss work, feel fatigued, and your mood may be affected. Your sex life may suffer, and you may just feel like your periods are taking over your life!
This will often begin in your 30s or 40s, or when you are nearing menopause. There are several possible causes of abnormally heavy periods, and you should see your gynecologist to evaluate possible causes and treatments.
Some women are not ovulating (producing an egg) monthly, while others have abnormal growths in the uterus that can increase bleeding. Most pre-menopausal women with heavy bleeding do NOT have cancer, although this is something your doctor will also evaluate.
What can be done? A generation ago, many or most women with heavy bleeding would have a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus). While hysterectomy is still an extremely common surgery, fewer than half are performed now as compared to the past.
There are quite a few medical options for treatment, as well as minor procedures that can decrease or eliminate bleeding. Endometrial ablation is one example of a relatively new outpatient procedure we perform that can avoid the need for major surgery.
The gynecologists at the University of Colorado are experts in the evaluation and treatment of abnormal periods. We can and will help you. Remember, your life does not have to be ruled by your periods!