Why You Should Never Ignore Heavy Periods and When Heavy Menstruation Is an Emergency

For women who experience their menstrual cycle on a regular basis, having an off month with heavier than normal bleeding may not be initially concerning. However, if the bleeding is abnormal compared to your personal experience, you should contact your gynecologist office right away. Abnormal, and abnormally heavy bleeding can be signs of a serious health issue that needs to be addressed. If at any point you become uncomfortable, or nervous, you should seek emergency help immediately.

Abnormal bleeding can mean a number of things, including minor spotting between periods, and heavy bleeding that lasts longer than your typical period. Even though it is commonly thought that spotting between periods is normal, it is not. Any abnormal bleeding should be addressed with your doctor to ensure that it is not the beginning of a larger problem.

Abnormal Bleeding Is Not Always a Cause of Concern

Typically, abnormal bleeding is not life-threatening. Most of the time, it is a symptom of a condition that you or your doctor are not aware of at the time. This symptom can be present in a number of injuries or illnesses, both in the reproductive tract, and other organ or endocrine systems. At times, medications may cause temporary abnormal bleeding occurrences, especially if it is a new medication. 

Even though the symptom itself is not usually life-threatening, it can be a symptom of a condition that needs to be treated by your Des Moines IA gynecologist. Because there are so many conditions that can cause this symptom, you should make an appointment with your doctor right away, so you can undergo proper testing and treatment. There are number of tests your doctor may want to perform, including:

    • Pap Smear
    • Blood Tests
    • Ultrasound of Your Pelvis
  • Tissue Biopsies

Any time there is abnormal bleeding, your doctor should be notified. Even if it is proven to be nothing of concern, addressing the problem could be a great step in preventing future issues. This is especially true for females who are not yet menstruating, or who are not menstruating at the time. Especially girls who have not begun getting their menstrual cycle, not considered old enough for their menstrual cycle, women who are pregnant, and women who are considered post-menopausal. Essentially, any form of unexpected bleeding should be reported to your gynecologist.
The 4 Main Reasons You Should Not Ignore Heavy Bleeding

If you are bleeding through a tampon or pad as frequently as once an hour, or your period is heavy enough to require you to use extra protection to control bleeding throughout the night, you should go directly to the emergency room. If at any time you are passing blood clots that are as large, or larger than a quarter, you should seek emergency care. Even though some women face heavy bleeding at some point in their lives, it is important that you do not ignore this occurrence, even if it is the first time it has happened.

Bleeding too much, or to rapidly, during your menstrual cycle can lead to anemia, which can be mild or severe.

Hidden Problems in the Uterus
Heavy bleeding may be a sign of uterine problems. There are several problems with the uterus that may require medical attention. The most common concerns from gynecologists are:

    • Fibroids
    • Polyps
    • Endometriosis
  • Adenomyosis

Possible Miscarriage or Ectopic Pregnancy
Abnormal menstrual bleeding that is bright red, or brown may be an indication of miscarriage. Heavy bleeding may hint to a miscarriage, or the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy. If either condition is left untreated, they can cause serious complications, further health conditions, or uncontrolled bleeding. An ectopic pregnancy can rupture, which can be life-threatening if it is not caught in time.

The Possibility of Cancer
Certain cancers have the potential to cause heavy bleeding. They also have the ability to cause bleeding outside of the normal menstrual cycle. 

If you have any concerns about your menstrual cycle, or any other concerns about your gynecological health, you should contact your physician to receive advice that is directly related to your reproductive health.