Periods can be highly unpredictable, and most women will experience a range of symptoms and light to heavy flow from month to month. Several factors affect your period and the symptoms you experience, many of which are completely normal in most cases. However, consistently painful and heavy periods can be signs of a problem like fibroids or endometriosis.
At Memorial Women’s Specialists, our OB/GYN doctors and specialists offer gynecology and women’s health services at our office in Houston, Texas.
How much period pain and flow is normal?
Mild to moderate cramps for one or two days during your menstrual cycle is usually normal. But many women experience painful and intense menstrual cramps that can feel debilitating and interfere with everyday activities and exercise.
You know your body better than anyone, so if your period cramps are causing you significant discomfort and interfering with your routines, know that you have treatment options. If you’re experiencing what seems like abnormally heavy periods from month to month, contact us to schedule an appointment.
What is menorrhagia?
Abnormally heavy periods (where your flow is so heavy that you soak through and frequently have to change your menstrual pad or tampon throughout the day) are known as menorrhagia, which causes unusually heavy bleeding and can make periods last longer than normal (seven days or more on average).
Menorrhagia can also cause more painful cramps. It can be caused by several factors, from hormone imbalances that make the lining of the uterus thicker than normal during your menstrual cycle to complications from pregnancy or an IUD device.
What are some of the possible causes of severe period pain and heavy bleeding?
Dysmenorrhea is a medical condition that causes severe pain and cramping during your period. It can develop on its own (primary) or as a side effect of a condition like endometriosis or PID (pelvic inflammatory disorder).
Endometriosis causes uterine tissue to grow outside of the uterus and can be extremely painful and debilitating. Fibroids are also a common cause of pelvic pain and can make periods heavier than normal.
Hormone levels also fluctuate throughout your menstrual cycle, and as you get older, can cause disruptions and changes to your periods.
Period cramps and heavier flows aren’t necessarily caused by underlying conditions. But by monitoring your menstrual cycle will give you an idea of what is normal for you. If you have any questions or concerns or notice changes to your menstrual cycle that seem out of the ordinary, you don’t have to wait for your next well woman exam to schedule an appointment.
For more information about how to manage period cramps and other symptoms, contact us today to schedule an appointment at our clinic in Houston.