Heavy Bleeding

Bleeding in any of the following situations is abnormal:

  • Bleeding between periods
  • Bleeding after sex
  • Spotting anytime in the menstrual cycle
  • Bleeding heavier or for more days than normal
  • Bleeding after menopause

Menstrual cycles that are longer than 35 days or shorter than 21 days are abnormal. The lack of periods for 3 – 6 months (amenorrhea) also is abnormal.

Treatment for heavy bleeding includes medications such as hormones; various types of surgery; or watching and waiting in concert with your doctor. The type of treatment will depend on many factors, including the cause of the bleeding. Your age and whether you want to have children also play a role.

The type of hormone you take will depend on whether you want to get pregnant as well as your age. Birth control pills can help make your periods more regular. Hormones also can be given as an injection, as a vaginal cream, or through an IUD.

Endometrial ablation, or Novasure, is an in-office surgery performed to stop bleeding permanently in women who no longer want to get pregnant. Other surgeries are done to remove growths (such as polyps or fibroids) that cause bleeding. Hysterectomy may be done when other forms of treatment have failed or are not an option.