Padmaja Sharma, MD
OB/GYN & Medical Spa located in Fremont, CA
You’ll go through between 400-500 periods during your lifetime. While not always pleasant, your menstrual cycle shouldn’t interfere with your daily life. If heavy periods cause you to alter your lifestyle each month, call or make an appointment online today with Dr. Padmaja Sharma at Fremont OB/GYN in Fremont, California.
Heavy Periods Q & A
What are heavy periods?
Also called menorrhagia, heavy periods make it so you can't maintain your everyday activities during your period due to the amount of blood loss and cramping. Symptoms of heavy periods include:
- Bleeding that lasts longer than a week
- Soaking through several tampons or pads each hour for several hours
- Using more than one pad at a time
- Needing to get up during the night to change your pad or tampon
- Blood clots exceeding the size of a quarter
What causes heavy periods?
In addition to cancer, medications, and liver and kidney disease, common causes of heavy periods include:
- Hormonal imbalance: When you have a normal menstrual cycle, the balance between the hormones estrogen and progesterone help regulate the buildup and shedding of your uterus lining. If you have a hormone imbalance, excess endometrium develops, and when it sheds, it results in heavy menstrual bleeding. The most common causes of hormonal imbalances include polycystic ovary syndrome, obesity, insulin resistance, thyroid problems, and polyps (small uterine growths).
- Ovary dysfunction: Ovary dysfunction occurs when you don’t ovulate. When you don’t release an egg, your body doesn't produce progesterone, causing a hormonal imbalance that results in menorrhagia.
- Uterine fibroids: Uterine fibroids are noncancerous tumors that cause periods that are heavier and longer than usual.
How are heavy periods diagnosed?
Dr. Sharma does a physical exam to determine the cause of your heavy periods. This evaluation includes blood tests, a Pap test, an endometrial biopsy, and an ultrasound.
How are heavy periods treated?
Dr. Sharma uses individualized medicine to determine the best course of action for your heavy periods. Some of the more common therapies include over-the-counter pain medications and oral contraception as well as intrauterine devices to help with the symptoms associated with heavy periods.
In extreme cases, Dr. Sharma helps relieve your heavy periods with surgery. The surgical procedures associated with heavy periods are:
- Endometrial ablation: destroys the lining of your uterus
- Uterine artery embolization: blocks blood vessels in your uterus
- Myomectomy: removes fibroids without removing your uterus
- Hysteroscopy: removes fibroids and stops related bleeding
- Hysterectomy: surgical removal of your uterus
If heavy periods are interfering with your life, call or make an appointment online today in the intimate office run by Dr. Sharma at Fremont OB/GYN.