What causes heavy periods?

Women’s health care centers often field questions from patients regarding menstrual cycles. Although heavy flow days, cramps, and bloating are common, extremely heavy periods that occur on a routine basis should be addressed by a medical professional. Here’s what you should know about heavy periods, also known as menorrhagia, so you know when to reach out to your OB-GYN to take action.  

Understanding Menstrual Cycles

What Causes Heavy Periods?

Heavy periods can be a result of a wide range of factors. A hormonal imbalance is a primary culprit, so women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), thyroid problems, insulation issues, and excessive weight are more likely to experience menorrhagia. Other causes of heavy periods include complications related to pregnancy, fibroids, uterine cancer, benign uterine growths, and dysfunctional ovaries that do not release eggs on a regular schedule. 

When Should You See an OB-GYN?

A visit to your OB-GYN is recommended when your periods last longer than a week. Intermittent bleeding between periods should also be evaluated by a gynecologist. Other signs indicating it’s time to visit your women’s health care center include bleeding after menopause and heavy periods that require you to change pads or tampons every hour. 

What Treatment Options Are Available?

To better understand the cause of your heavy periods, an OB-GYN may perform a Pap smear, blood tests, ultrasound, or a biopsy of the tissue inside your uterus. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, the cause of the problem, and how bleeding impacts your lifestyle, your health care team may prescribe medication, hormonal injections, or birth control. Oral contraceptives and a hormonal intrauterine device (IUD) can regulate your cycles. Surgical procedures like a myomectomy to remove fibroids or an endometrial ablation to destroy uterine tissue can also mitigate heavy periods.


If you’re experiencing heavy periods and you’re looking for a compassionate, experienced OB-GYN to provide an evaluation and treatment options, The Center for Women is ready to help. Based in the heart of Mountain Home, AR, this women’s health care clinic offers quality treatment with a Christian mindset to residents throughout Baxter County, North Central Arkansas, and Southern Missouri. Call (870) 425-7300 to schedule your first appointment, or visit their website to learn more about this trusted practice.

Julie Waddle