Heavy Painful Periods

Periods

Normal pain, cramps, and discomfort is a part of regular menstrual cycle. But when these become severe, such as heavy bleeding and painful periods, medications help to control the conditions. Many women may not experience these conditions.


  • Main symptom is cramp pain in your lower abdomen
  • Number of treatments available

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5 Treatment(s) available

Tranexamic Acid
£35.00

  • Effective for heavy bleeding
  • Mild side effects
  • Used under extreme conditions


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Mefenamic Acid
£40.00

  • Effective for heavy bleeding
  • Mild side effects
  • Used under extreme conditions


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Norethisterone
£25.00

  • Can be used to stop periods
  • Reduce pre-menstrual symptoms
  • Mild side effects
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Description

Heavy and painful periods are common concerns of many women. The medical term for heavy bleeding is Menorrhagia. While painful periods are termed as dysmenorrhea.


Menorrhagia does not allow you to follow your regular activities due to severe blood flow and cramps. Need of more than one sanitary pads for a few hours, extra protection during the night, bleeding longer than a week, blood clots larger than usual, anemia, tiredness, fatigue, etc. are some of the symptoms of menorrhagia. Although Menorrhagia is very common, many women do not experience severe blood loss.


Mild pain in the first couple of days each month is normal. Dysmenorrhea contributes by disrupting your regular activities due to severe pain during periods. Painkillers provide no relief here. There are two types of dysmenorrhea: primary and secondary. The first is common with cramps in the lower abdomen area. This usually begins a day before your periods and lasts for 2-4 days. Secondary dysmenorrhea occurs when a tissue similar to the lining of the uterus is found outside its normal location. This causes severe pain before and during the period.


To learn more about Heavy Painful Periods, see the comprehensive patient information leaflet



Causes

As there are two sections involved here, let us check the causes related to both menorrhagia (heavy bleeding) and dysmenorrhea (Severe pain).


Causes of Menorrhagia (Heavy Bleeding)

Common causes are listed below. However, in some cases, the causes are unknown.


Hormone Imbalance

A normal menstrual cycle has a balance between the two naturally occurring hormones oestrogen and progestogen. This regulates the buildup of the lining of the uterus which is shed during periods. If there is a hormonal imbalance it leads to increased buildup resulting in heavy menstrual bleeding. This imbalance can be caused due to obesity, thyroid, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), etc.


Dysfunction of the Ovaries

If the ovaries do not ovulate (release an egg) during the menstrual cycle, the body does not produce progestogen hormone. This leads to hormonal imbalance resulting in heavy menstrual bleeding.


Uterine Fibroids

During childbirth, uterine fibroids (non-cancerous tumors) may develop. These in return cause heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding.


Intrauterine Device (IUD)

The most common side effect of using the intrauterine device (contraception method) is menorrhagia (heavy bleeding).


Inherited Bleeding Disorders

Some bleeding disorders can cause heavy menstrual bleeding. Von Willebrand disease, a bleeding disorder caused by low levels of clotting protein in the blood, can be a good example.


Adenomyosis

Adenomyosis is a condition which occurs when glands from the uterus get implanted in the uterine muscle. This causes heavy bleeding and painful periods. 


Pregnancy Complications

Miscarriage can be a pregnancy complication which leads to heavy menstrual bleeding. Another reason would be the unusual location of the placenta (low-lying or previa) during pregnancy.


Polyps

Polyps are small growths on the lining of the uterus which cause heavy bleeding.


Cancer

Cervical and uterine cancer can lead to heavy menstrual bleeding. Postmenopausal increase the chances here.


Medications

Certain medications cause heavy periods. Anti-inflammatory, hormonal, and anticoagulant medicines are a few examples.


Other Medical Conditions

Liver and kidney diseases including many other medical conditions may cause heavy menstrual bleeding.


Causes of Dysmenorrhea (Severe Period Pain)

A common cause is listed below. However, in some cases, the causes are unknown.


Uterine Contractions

Severe pain or dysmenorrhea is caused by uterine contractions. This is a condition when your uterus becomes light and relaxes permitting the blood to leave the uterus. Special chemicals (prostaglandins) are released by the lining of the uterus. During the first couple of days of your periods, these chemicals increase the intensity of the contractions. Nausea, diarrhea, and lightheadedness are a few side effects of these chemicals.


Types Of Treatment

Treatments for Menorrhagia (Heavy Bleeding)

Treatment for menorrhagia can depend on various factors. The doctors will check the factors before proceeding. However, the treatments would include medical therapy and surgical treatments.


Medical Therapy

Medical therapy is the medication used to treat menorrhagia. These include:


Tranexamic Acid

It is a medicine used to prevent excessive bleeding during heavy menstrual days. It should be consumed at the time of bleeding. Lysteda tablets contain tranexamic acid. It prevents the enzymes in the body from breaking blood clots. Hence, heavy bleeding is reduced.


Oral Progestogen

Hormonal imbalance can cause heavy bleeding. Oral progestogen can correct the imbalance and reduce menorrhagia.


Hormonal IUD

Hormonal Intrauterine Device (Hormonal IUD) releases levonorgestrel (a type of progestin). This reduces the thickness of the uterus lining. Hence, the blood flow decreases.


Oral Contraceptives

Oral contraceptives are used as birth control pills. However, they also help in reducing heavy menstrual bleeding.


Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs

These drugs prevent heavy menstrual bleeding. They also help in reducing the pain caused due to periods. Ibuprofen and naproxen sodium are a few examples of these drugs.


Surgical Treatments

If medical therapies do not work, doctors recommend surgical treatments. These are:


Uterine Artery Embolization

During childbirth, uterine fibroids (non-cancerous tumors) may develop. These in return cause heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding. Uterine Artery Embolization ensures the shrinkage of these fibroids in the uterus. This procedure blocks the uterine artery to restrict the blood supply.


Endometrial Ablation

Endometrial Ablation destroys the lining of the uterus. This is done with the help of radiofrequency, heat applied to the uterus, or laser. Endometrial ablation procedure reduces the heavy menstrual blood flow.


Endometrial Resection

Endometrial Resection again destroys the lining of the uterus. This is done with the help of electrosurgical wire loop. Endometrial resection procedure reduces the heavy menstrual blood flow.


Myomectomy

During childbirth, uterine fibroids (non-cancerous tumors) may develop. These in return cause heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding. Similar to Uterine Artery Embolization, myomectomy also ensures the removal of these fibroids from the uterus. 


Hysterectomy

Hysterectomy is a permanent procedure to remove the uterus and cervix. This ends the menstrual cycle.


Focused Ultrasound Surgery

During childbirth, uterine fibroids (non-cancerous tumors) may develop. These in return cause heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding. Similar to Uterine Artery Embolization and Myomectomy, focused ultrasound surgery also ensures the removal of these fibroids from the uterus.


Dilation and Curettage

Dilation and Curettage procedure removes the lining of the uterus. The tissues are scrapped and removed. This reduces the menstrual bleeding.


Treatments for Dysmenorrhea (Severe Period Pain)


Anti-Inflammatory Medications

Severe pain or dysmenorrhea is caused by uterine contractions. This is a condition when your uterus becomes light and relaxes permitting the blood to leave the uterus. Special chemicals (prostaglandins) are released by the lining of the uterus. During the first couple of days of your periods, these chemicals increase the intensity of the contractions. Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory drugs prevent this severe pain. Ibuprofen and naproxen sodium are a few examples of these drugs. Some females start suffering the pain a couple of days before the periods. If it gets severe, you can take the medicine a day before your periods start.


Hormonal Treatment

Hormonal treatments are to reduce the cramps caused due to menstrual periods. They include oral contraceptives, vaginal hormonal ring treatments, IUD, and other hormonal treatments.



If you are looking for some expert help, book an ONLINE consultation with our GMC Registered Clinicians at alldayDr.com.


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Questions & Answers

Is having period pain normal?

YES. Many females experience levels of discomfort and pain during menstrual periods. For some, it is bearable, but some have severe pain and their day-to-day lives get affected with this.


How long do the pains normally last?

The pain can begin a day or two before your periods start. It can last for 2-4 days.


Will nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines affect my stomach?

NO. But if you are a smoker or you consume caffeine, these drugs do have the potential to cause some irritation in your stomach. To avoid this as much as possible, you should take this medicine with milk and after a meal (with a full stomach).


Are there any risk factors associated with heavy menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia)?

YES. Anemia is one of the risks associated with menorrhagia or heavy menstrual bleeding. The blood loss reduces the number of circulating red blood cells (hemoglobin). Menorrhagia can also cause iron deficiency anemia.



If you are looking for some expert help, book an ONLINE consultation with our GMC Registered Clinicians at alldayDr.com.


Patient discretion and confidentiality top the priority list at alldayDr.com!

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