Nobody likes to talk about it. Period.
Heavy periods, that is. But many women experience them. They can be painful and affect everyday activities and, well, life! And they’re more common than you might think.
There are many reasons a woman might experience heavy menstrual bleeding, including a hormone imbalance, using an IUD to prevent pregnancy, perimenopause and menopause itself. But, often, the cause is either endometriosis or uterine fibroids:
Endometriosis is a chronic gynecological disease in which tissue that resembles the uterus lining grows outside the uterus where it doesn’t belong. This condition can lead to lesions, pelvic pain and heavy bleeding.
Fibroids are abnormal noncancerous growths in the uterus. Fibroids can be as small as an apple seed or as big as a grapefruit and can grow or shrink over time. These also can lead to pain and abnormal bleeding.
By the numbers:
70% of white women and 80% of African American women will develop uterine fibroids.
Endometriosis affects 1 in 10 women between the ages of 15 and 49.
Don’t suffer in silence
Even though heavy periods can be debilitating, there’s good news!
First of all, there’s help. If you have fibroids, treatment will depend on how many you have, their location and their size. Treatment may include medications, such as low-dose birth control pills or progesterone-like injections. Your doctor might also recommend surgery, depending on your specific fibroids and whether you’d like to have children in the future.
But don’t jump to the conclusion that your only options are medications or surgery! You might get excellent results by changing your diet to include estrogen-lowering foods or trying Eastern medicine practices like acupuncture. You do have options.
The other good news? We invite you to discuss your options with one of our nurse practitioners at the MNPS Health Care Centers. We offer a professional but relaxed environment, so you can feel comfortable talking about sensitive issues women experience.
Make an appointment by calling 615-259-8755 or learn more online at MNPSHealth.org. If you’re covered under the MNPS Certificated Employee Health Plan, there’s no cost to you. If you have other coverage, no worries. We’ll bill your insurance.