For many women, especially teens, a heavy period can make
life miserable. The discomfort that
often comes with it- bloating, cramps, and feeling tired, can have an impact on
school, sports or activities. So, what
are the options currently available to help find some relief? First, schedule an appointment with one of
the practitioners at Great Plains Women’s Health. During the appointment, the doctor will try
to find a specific cause for the heavy periods, and help you or your teen find
the right solution.
How do I know if my period is considered “heavy?” According to the American Congress of
Obstetricians and Gynecologists:
Bleeding that lasts
more than 7 days.
Bleeding that soaks
through one or more tampons or pads every hour for several hours in a row.
Needing to wear more
than one pad at a time to control menstrual flow.
Needing to change pads
or tampons during the night.
Menstrual flow with
blood clots that are as big as a quarter or larger.
One of the ways to find relief is to take birth control, in
some form. Hormonal birth control comes
in several varieties of pills, patch or ring, and are usually affordable and
fairly easy to take. This method can help with some of the common causes of
heavy menstrual flow such as ovulation, endometriosis, polycystic ovary
syndrome (PCOS), and fibroids. Some of
the benefits often seen with hormonal birth control can include: pregnancy
prevention, reduced frequency or intensity of menstrual bleeding, reduced acne,
and reduced risk of pelvic inflammatory disease, ovarian cysts, endometriosis,
and ectopic pregnancy. While there are
benefits, hormonal birth control does not prevent sexually transmitted
diseases, pills must be taken daily for full effectiveness, and other possible
There are other options for dealing with a heavy menstrual
period, such as intrauterine devices (IUD), birth control implants, and various
procedures to treat specific causes for the heavy flow. Your doctor will help you find the best
solution for you, and help you start feeling your best!