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Heavy or Painful


What causes painful or heavy periods?

While oftentimes, there is no particular reason found to explain heavy or painful periods, sometimes there are reasons or explanations.  A visit to a doctor or healthcare provider who is experienced in treating those conditions is usually needed.

Hormonal changes in the first years after puberty or in the few years prior to menopause often will cause significant changes in menstrual cycles.  Pregnancy (even if not yet known to the patient) as well as ovarian cysts may also cause changes in hormones.

Anatomic abnormalities may be another reason for abnormal bleeding.  There are several different benign (not cancerous) conditions of the vagina, cervix and uterus that may cause.  A physical exam is usually done when the bleeding is excessive or severe. Another test called a pelvic ultrasound (or sonogram) may also be done.

Uterus, cervix & vagina

What treatments are available for heavy or painful periods?

Many women are suffering from heavy or painful periods and are completely unaware that there are many options available.  Medications such as cyclic progesterone or oral contraceptives are often used to treat heavy or painful periods. These medications can be very effective and most cause few side-effects. There are some medical conditions or side-effects which may limit the use of some medications, so it is important to discuss this with your doctor or healthcare provider.

Sometimes, a surgical procedure is needed (or perhaps wanted). There are different types of surgery for this as well depending on the cause of the bleeding or pain.  Bleeding without any specific cause that has not responded to more conservative medical treatment can be treated with a day surgery called a "D & C". This stands for dilation and curettage and basically means that the cervix is dilated gently then the inside lining of the uterus is scraped to remove any excess tissue, polyps or other abnormalities.


Sometimes an additional procedure called an endometrial ablation may be done to prevent further bleeding. An endometrial ablation can only be done if the patient has already had a family and does not wish to become pregnant again. There are several types of endometrial ablation. The type recommended for you will depend on several factors. This will be discussed during the consultation.

When all else fails or if there are significant abnormalities found, a hysterectomy may be needed.  The word hysterectomy means to remove the uterus. This has nothing to do with the ovaries themselves. The uterus can be removed without removing the ovaries. If a patient keeps her ovaries (and the ovaries are working well), then she will NOT require hormones and will feel the same after the surgery once she has heals.

For more information, ask your healthcare professional or call our office to set up an appointment at 903-957-0275. We see patients of all ages. 

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