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Heavy Menstruations? A Gynecologist Can Explain Why

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If your menstruations, or periods, are very heavy every month, schedule an appointment with a gynecologist soon. You may have a problem called menorrhagia, or heavy and long periods. A gynecologist can determine whether or not you have menorrhagia or something else. Learn more about menorrhagia and how a gynecologist can treat your condition below.

What's Menorrhagia?

Menorrhagia occurs when your periods last longer than seven days each month. Your periods can also be so heavy that you must change your tampons or pads several times an hour. Most women and girls may also double up on pads or wear pads with their tampons to control their menstrual flows.     

Several things may potentially cause menorrhagia, including uterine fibroids. Uterine fibroids are noncancerous tumors, or growths, that develop inside the uterine walls. The growths can be as tiny as peas or as large as oranges and grapefruits. The growths can prolong your periods or make them extra heavy each month. Most women don't know they have uterine growths until a gynecologist examines them. 

Along with uterine fibroids, you can also experience menorrhagia if you suffer from polyps and a lower-than-normal platelet count. If a gynecologist examines you, they may be able to determine the reason behind your heavy or long periods. 

How Can a Gynecologist Treat Menorrhagia?

A gynecologist can do a number of things to diagnose the cause of your menorrhagia, including performing a pelvic exam on you. During a pelvic exam, a gynecologist will examine your cervix and other reproductive organs carefully. If a doctor locates signs of problems, such as redness or internal bleeding, they may perform additional exams on you.

A gynecologist may also perform a transvaginal ultrasound on your uterus during the visit. A transvaginal ultrasound helps detect abnormal growths in the uterus. If an ultrasound reveals polyps in your uterus, a doctor may biopsy or curettage the growths. A gynecologist must ensure the polyps aren't cancerous or have the potential to become cancerous in the future. 

If the polyps appear cancerous or too large and numerous to remain inside your uterus, a doctor will remove them. In this case, a gynecologist can use a hysteroscopy or a curettage to remove the polyps. 

If you have uterine fibroids inside your uterine walls, a doctor may need to evaluate your situation before they proceed. For example, if the growths are small and painless, a gynecologist may choose to monitor your condition during the year. If the growths change in size or become cancerous, a gynecologist can remove them by hysteroscopy or laparoscopy. 

A gynecologist may use a number of methods to make your situation better, including medications.

You can learn more about the treatment options for menorrhagia by consulting a gynecologist directly.