Old Farm Gynecology
OB-GYN & Advanced Laparoscopic Surgeon located in Salt Lake City, UT
Irregular and heavy periods can be caused by many factors. The doctors at Old Farm Obstetrics and Gynecology help women from throughout the Salt Lake City, UT, area understand the causes of abnormal periods and obtain the most appropriate care based on their needs.
Irregular and Heavy Periods Q&A
What are considered to be irregular and heavy periods?
Usually, a complete menstrual cycle takes 28 days to complete, with periods lasting anywhere from five to seven days. Irregular periods include any menstrual bleeding that occurs outside of these norms, including periods that occur less or more frequently or periods that are significantly shorter or longer than the average five to seven days. Heavy bleeding includes periods in which a woman passes significantly more than the average one ounce of blood lost during a normal period. Menorrhagia is another term for heavy periods, during which three or more ounces of blood are typically lost. Complete lack of periods called amenorrhea is also considered a type of irregular menstrual bleeding.
What are the most common causes of abnormal periods or heavy bleeding?
Some women have abnormal periods as a result of taking birth control pills. As long as the changes in menstruation are a normal side effect of the pills and the prescribing doctor is aware of the change, it's usually nothing to worry about. Often, an irregular period or bleeding that is heavier than normal can be caused by one of these issues:
- Natural hormonal changes during puberty or menopause
- Recent childbirth
- The presence of uterine fibroids or ovarian cysts
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Cervical, uterine or ovarian cancer
- Some other diseases, like kidney or thyroid disease
Some types of IUDs can also affect normal menstruation.
How are heavy or abnormal periods treated?
Before any treatment is prescribed, a pelvic exam will be performed, and other tests and evaluations may also be prescribed, including blood tests, urinalysis and minimally-invasive evaluations like hysteroscopy to examine inside the uterus and look for abnormal changes. Once the cause is determined, treatment options can include:
- hormone replacement therapy
- uterine artery embolization which seals off the blood vessels to uterine fibroids
- minimally-invasive treatments to treat endometriosis, surgically remove fibroids or remove the uterine lining
In some cases, lifestyle changes like a change in physical activity routines or weight loss may help periods return to normal.
Words from our patients
"This facility is awesome! We see Dr. Spencer Barney and his staff while my wife is pregnant. I literally do not have a single complaint."
"I would highly recommend this OBGYN to everyone. If it wasn't for them I wouldn't have my son today. I was on bed rest for 30 weeks and gave birth at 34 weeks."
"Best place ever!! the doctor is amazing. All the staff is very friendly, educated and empathetic. I would recommend them to anyone."
"Dr. Barney and his nurses are so amazing! Very caring and make me feel right at home I always look forward to seeing them in every one of my appointments!"
"Dr. Barney is hand's down the best doctor I have ever had. He truly cares about his patients. He is very thorough, kind, caring, and very knowledgeable."
"Caring, courteous, friendly, knowledgeable, welcoming, happy, thoughtful, excellent bedside manner, jovial, thorough..are just a few adjectives that describe Dr. Brown."
"Dr. Brown is one of the best OBGYN's I have encountered. He is genuine and caring. I appreciate his professional bedside manner and the way he listens to any concerns"
"My husband and I feel so good about the doctor and his care that we have referred many friends to him and I now take my 18 year old daughter to see him."
"The dr was great! He made me feel very comfortable and always took the time to talk to me and made sure that all of my questions were answered."
"The staff is great & the dr is Incredible. He is genuine, kind, and he always treats you like family not like a patient number on a chart."
"the doctor is amazing. He's very experienced, knowledgeable, has a great bedside manner, and is always upbeat and positive."
"The doctor is the most amazing doctor! I can’t say enough good about them! They go above and beyond."