Concerned about your health? Experts from Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton are ready to answer readers’ questions. Send your questions to askthedoc@rwjuhh.edu.

I’ve been experiencing heavy bleeding during my periods, to the point where it’s disrupting my daily routine. Is there anything I can do about it?

Abnormal bleeding means different things to different women. For some, it can mean having a menstrual period that lasts for more than seven days. Others have a period that lasts for seven days, but with very heavy bleeding.

Dr. Robert Mayson, RWJ Center for Women’s Health, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton
Dr. Robert Mayson, RWJ Center for Women’s Health, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton

There are a number of reasons why you might be experiencing abnormal bleeding.

A hormonal imbalance, particularly in estrogen and progesterone, which is common in women nearing menopause.

Fibroids or noncancerous tumors of the uterus that can occur during the childbearing years.
Use of blood thinners.

Pelvic inflammatory disease, an infection of the uterus, fallopian tubes, and other organs of the reproductive system.

Medical conditions that can prevent normal blood clotting such as liver or kidney disease, or bleeding and platelet disorders.

Abnormal bleeding can be hard to talk about, but you’re not alone. It’s important to make an appointment with your gynecologist to discuss the potential causes and solutions available so you can return to your normal quality of life. Your gynecologist will take a detailed history, do a physical exam, and possibly order a blood test or ultrasound to rule out certain conditions.

Depending on the cause of your abnormal bleeding, there are a number of treatment options.
Hormone therapy to stabilize the lining of the uterus, regulate menstrual cycles, or correct hormonal imbalances.

A dilation and curettage procedure, which involves dilating the cervix and scraping the lining of the uterus.

A hysteroscopy, where a long, thin scope is inserted into the uterus through the vagina and cervix, allowing the doctor to see and remove uterine masses that are in the lining of the uterus and may be causing bleeding.

An endometrial resection or ablation, a procedure that removes or destroys the lining of the uterus. This procedure is only advised for women who are finished having children.

—Dr. Robert Mayson, RWJ Center for Women’s Health, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton

This content is intended to encourage a healthy lifestyle. For medical advice and treatment, see a physician. Concerned about your health? Send your questions to askthedoc@rwjuhh.edu