Lexington Women's Health

Heavy Periods

You don't have to suffer from heavy periods. We can offer solutions at your next visit. Book an appointment today and #SayNoToTheFlow!

What is a normal period for one woman may not be normal for you—your period may last longer, or your flow may be heavier. Here are some general guidelines on normal versus heavy periods:

Normal period

  • Blood lost: 2-3 tablespoons
  • Bleeding occurs about every 21-35 days
  • Bleeding lasts 3-5 days for most women

Heavy period

  • Bleeding lasts longer than 7 days
  • You may need additional protection (a tampon and a pad)
  • Your period affects your daily activities
  • Your tampon or pad needs to be changed frequently
  • You pass clots the size of a quarter or larger

Studies show that heavy periods can mean much more than heavy bleeding. They can affect you in many ways:




Heavy menstrual bleeding can be much more than an inconvenience. You may have severe abdominal pain when you get your period, which may be painful enough to require medication or surgery.

The blood loss of heavy bleeding can also cause iron-deficiency anemia, which means the iron levels in the body are low. Low iron can reduce the levels of hemoglobin, a substance in the blood that enables red blood cells to carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.

Weakness and fatigue are common symptoms of mild anemia; more severe anemia can also cause shortness of breath, rapid heart rate, lightheadedness and headaches.

While what characterizes a "normal" period can vary, experts agree: If you think your period is a problem, you should schedule an appointment to talk to your provider. Heavy periods should not control your life.

Many women don't know that heavy menstrual bleeding can often be treated. Instead, millions suffer silently, convinced that heavy bleeding is something they just must live with. Want the good news? We offer minor procedures to treat heavy periods, that are done in our office, by our Physicians to eliminate this problem. We can help. We offer the latest safe, effective, and minimally invasive treatment options that can help you change your cycle for the better.

The Intrauterine Device, also known as an IUD.

The IUD is a small, T-shaped, plastic device that is inserted into and left inside the uterus. It is used primarily for contraception but has also been successful in treating heavy bleeding.

How does the intrauterine device work?

The IUD works mainly by preventing fertilization of an egg by sperm. The progestin in the hormonal IUD thickens mucus found in the cervix. Thicker mucus makes it harder for sperm to enter the uterus and reach an egg. Progestin also thins the lining of the uterus.

The copper in the copper IUD interferes with sperm’s ability to move. When sperm stop acting normally, it is harder for them to enter the uterus and reach an egg.

What are the benefits of the intrauterine device?

The IUD has the following benefits:

The NovaSure® procedure is a type of endometrial ablation procedure that can be performed at any time during your menstrual cycle and doesn't require a pre-treatment drug. The procedure takes about 5 minutes and can be performed in the hospital or your doctor's office. NovaSure ® endometrial ablation is for premenopausal women with heavy periods due to benign causes who are finished childbearing

It is safer and less expensive than a hysterectomy, and many women can return to work the day after the procedure.

Endometrial ablation

You may want to consider this procedure if you don't plan to have children. The doctor gently removes the lining of the uterus by using heat, extreme cold, electricity, or a laser beam. He or she may use a lighted viewing instrument called a hysteroscope to see inside and asses the uterus before and/or after the procedure.

For any endometrial ablation procedure, commonly reported postoperative events include cramping/pelvic pain, nausea and vomiting, vaginal discharge and vaginal bleeding/spotting. Some forms of endometrial ablation can only be performed at certain times during the menstrual cycle, and most require a pre-treatment drug to help thin the lining of the uterus. The pre-treatment drug must be started anywhere from a few weeks to several months before the procedure. Your periods will be a lot lighter or may stop altogether after endometrial ablation, although it's not uncommon to have to repeat the procedure if menstruation starts again.

The MyoSure® procedure is a type of hysteroscopic procedure (it is not indicated for the removal of intramural and subserosal fibroids). Your physician will insert the MyoSure device through the hysteroscope to remove the tissue from the uterus. Recovery time from this type of myomectomy is typically two days.

Additional links to visit: https://changethecycle.com/ and https://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Endometrial-Ablation