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9 causes of long and heavy periods (menorrhagia)

Posted by CarePoint Health on Apr 23, 2015 1:00:00 PM

causes of heavy periodsYou’ve heard talk of the “normal period,” but what does that really mean? Most women experience longer than usual menstruation, which is known as menorrhagia. Menorrhagia can be annoying and frustrating, and can result in especially long or heavy periods.

First, understand that having long periods does not necessarily mean you have cancer. Dr. Linda Bradley, director of Cleveland’s Center for Menstrual Disorders, Fibroids, and Hysteroscopic Services, says that long periods are a symptom of cancer only 10 percent of the time, and occur most frequently in older women. If you have concerns regarding the length of your period, consult with your doctor as soon as possible to rule out the possibility of cancer.

Here are nine causes that could be triggering menorrhagia:

Short-term causes

  1. You’ve switched your method of birth control. Your current method of birth control could be resulting in hormonal imbalance.
  2. You’ve recently had a medical abortion. Your next menstrual cycle may be affected by a medical abortion, making it heavier or longer in some cases.
  3. You’ve had a miscarriage. You may not have known you miscarried, but having sperm anywhere near your vagina can cause a long, heavy period as you miscarry.
  4. You have a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD). Bleeding between periods can be a symptom of either gonorrhea or chlamydia in women.
  5. You have ovarian cysts. Fluid-filled sacs growing on your ovaries are very common, and can cause long and heavy periods to occur.

Long-term causes

  1. You have uterine fibroids. These non-cancerous growths in the uterus can occur in women during their fertile years.
  2. You have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). PCOS is linked to long-term heavy and light periods.
  3. You have Hypothyroidism. Your thyroid may be unable to produce enough thyroid hormone and could be causing longer periods.
  4. You’ve received a non-hormonal IUD. Traditional IUDs do not release hormones, and can increase the length and volume of a woman’s period.

For more information about these causes of menorrhagia, please visit Bustle.com.

CarePoint Health is dedicated to providing women with top-tier, comprehensive gynecological care. To learn more about our gynecological and women’s services, contact CarePoint Health at 1-201-791-7000 or visit our website to find a doctor.

Content on our website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911. Always consult your physician before making any changes to your medical treatment.

Topics: OBGYN, Women's health, PCOS

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