A small section of women is known to suffer from heavy and prolonged menstrual periods also known as menorrhagia. Some of them do not take their symptoms very seriously and attribute it to slightly heavier periods than normal. Menorrhagia is never a good sign and needs to be looked into. It can be an indicator of a painful disease like endometriosis or even something as serious as a badly functioning endocrine system. The classic symptoms of menorrhagia are periods which occur in rapid frequency often lesser than 21 days in between cycles.
The bleeding is very heavy with large blood clots and the bleeding carries on for more than 10 days. Some women also experience bleeding in between cycles or routinely after sex.
Several conditions can cause this ranging from tumours, endometriosis, fibroids, thyroid disease or even a miscarriage. Luckily, there are several treatment strategies to reduce prolonged periods. Here are some of them.
Tips to Reduce Prolonged Periods
Prolonged bleeding also brings with it severe menstrual cramps. It is better to take a good painkiller in order to reduce the cramps as excessive cramping can prolong the bleeding.
Taking ibuprofen for instance can help to reduce the uterine contractions thus helping you to minimize the pain to a large extent.
Keep a Record
You need to keep a record of the heaviness of the flow, the number of days you bleed and the length of the entire cycle. This information needs to be given to the doctor who can chalk out an effective treatment strategy to help reduce the prolonged periods.
The first step to reducing prolonged periods is to go in for a routine pelvic exam. This puts you out of your misery as it helps the doctor to find out the cause of the bleeding and take remedial steps to reducing the length and the intensity of the bleeding.
Take Hormonal Balancing Drugs
If you are suffering from an acute form of hormonal imbalance like thyroid disease or an imbalance in the levels of estrogen and progesterone, this can affect your bleeding. The hormonal balance can obviously be corrected and controlled with the help of drugs.
For this of course, your doctor will have to do a thorough check up to ascertain the kind of hormonal imbalance occurring in your system. Taking drugs will then reduce your symptoms of prolonged periods.
Birth Control Pills
If there is no identifiable cause and your bleeding is routinely heavy, taking a course of birth control pills may go a long way in giving you hassle free periods.
In most cases, birth control pills severely curb the length of your cycles and also help to reduce the heaviness of the periods. If you are married and are not planning to have a child anytime soon, then this is one of the best options available to you.
Control Your Stress and Anxiety
Certain anxiety provoking situations like stress at the workplace or an emotional problem can make your hormones fluctuate and this can in fact exacerbate the symptoms.
It therefore becomes very important to manage and control your anxiety by taking up relaxation techniques like yoga, deep breathing or engaging in a stress free and fun filled activity. Make sure you also get plenty of sleep, as this will help to calm the mind.
If you are in your menopausal years, have completed your family and are suffering from fibroids, which are causing the problem, it is a good idea to consider surgery.
You can have the fibroids extracted surgically or have a hysterectomy done which completely takes care of the problem. The pros and cons will have to be discussed very frankly with the doctor before you decide to opt for surgery.
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D&C stands for dilation and curettage, which is a common technique, adopted by doctors to control heavy and prolonged bleeding. In this, the outer uterine lining of the patient is scraped off.
This is a very short procedure and is frequently employed for women who suffer from endometriosis or heavy periods. It is also an option performed by doctors if you have just suffered from a miscarriage and this is what is causing the heavy bleeding.
A good diet will have an overall good and positive effect on your body. It may also help to regulate your hormones, thus reducing the severity and intensity of the attack.
Eat a nutritious diet that is high on complex carbs, lean protein, essential fats, fruits and vegetables. This will also help to keep any iron deficiency in check, which may be occurring due to the excessive bleeding that is taking place in the body.
Use an IUD
An IUD, which prevents a pregnancy for at least five years after you have had the first child, can be used in some cases to prevent prolonged periods. This is because an IUD helps to control and lessen the bleeding to a large extent.
Do some form of exercise as this too helps to improve your overall health. It enhances the blood flow to the region, thus minimizing cramps and reducing the bleeding.
Speak to your doctor first and only take up exercises, which are gentle on your body and do not overly tax you. Swimming, walking, yoga and light aerobics are some of the best form of exercises for minimizing and reducing the intensity and duration of the periods.
Get Treatment for PCOS or Endometriosis
These two conditions are some of the most commonly occurring causes for heavy and prolonged bleeding. PCOS causes polycystic ovaries, which play havoc with your menstrual cycle and lead to heavy and abnormal bleeding.
Endometriosis thickens the uterine lining and causes the lining to grow on other parts of the body thus causing a lot of pain and bleeding. You are therefore advised to take urgent medical treatment.
This could include laser surgery, drugs and hormonal medications. With the help of the above treatment approaches and modalities, you can get your periods under control and reduce very heavy and prolonged menstrual bleeding.