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Heavy periods/Period problems

In about half of women with heavy menstrual bleeding, no underlying reason is found. But there are several conditions and some treatments that can cause heavy menstrual bleeding.

Some conditions of the womb and ovaries can cause heavy bleeding, including:

  • fibroids – non-cancerous growths that develop in or around the womb and can cause heavy or painful periods
  • endometriosis – where the tissue that lines the womb (endometrium) is found outside the womb, such as in the ovaries and fallopian tubes (although this is more likely to cause painful periods)
  • adenomyosis – when tissue from the womb lining becomes embedded in the wall of the womb; this can also cause painful periods
  • pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) – an infection in the upper genital tract (the womb, fallopian tubes or ovaries) that can cause symptoms like pelvic or abdominal pain, bleeding after sex or between periods, vaginal discharge and fever
  • endometrial polyps – non-cancerous growths in the lining of the womb or cervix (neck of the womb)
  • cancer of the womb – the most common symptom is abnormal bleeding, especially after the menopause

polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) – a common condition that affects how the ovaries work; it causes irregular periods, and periods can be heavy when they start again

These conditions are very common and various treatment options can be discussed with you. Treatment options for heavy periods depend on what's causing your heavy periods, your general health and your preferences.

Treatment options include:

  • Non-hormonal tablets
  • Hormonal tablets (such as contraceptive pills)
  • Mirena IUS (a small device that contains progestogen and is inserted into the womb)
  • Uterine artery embolization
  • Endometrial ablation (day case surgery to remove the lining of the womb)
  • Myomectomy surgery to remove the fibroids
  • Keyhole hysterectomy to remove the womb (read leaflet)

At your consultation these options will be discussed in more detail enabling you to tailor the choice to your specific needs.

For further information on heavy menstrual bleeding:


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