Heavy and Painful Periods

A heavy period, also called menorrhagia, is when a woman loses an excessive amount of blood during consecutive periods.

Menorrhagia can occur by itself or in combination with as menstrual pain (dysmenorrhoea). Heavy and painful periods affect woman physically, emotionally and socially, and can cause great disruption to work and home life.

Women report

  1. using an unusually high number of tampons or pads.
  2. flooding (heavy bleeding) through to your clothes or bedding.
  3. passing large clots.
  4. feeling tired GP may note anaemia through blood test.

Cause of heavy periods?

In most cases, no underlying cause of heavy periods is identified this is called “dysfunctional uterine bleeding”. Some conditions been linked to menorrhagia, including:

  1. Fibroids
  2. Polyps
  3. Endometriosis
  4. Adenomyosis
  5. Polycystic ovarian disease
  6. Intrauterine Contraceptive Devices (IUDs)
  7. Anticoagulant Medication
  8. Endometrial Hyperplasia
  9. Endometrial Cancer (rare cause)


Depending on a women’s age and her history pelvic examination, ultrasound an endometrial biopsy (sample from the lining of the womb) or a hysteroscopy telescopic investigation of uterine (womb) cavity may be necessary.


Women often suffer for years before seeking help. Many options area available and most gynaecologists now only perform hysterectomy as a last resort or where there is a significant clinical indication.

Options include

  1. Non Hormonal and Hormonal medications.
  2. Mefanamic acid(Ponstan)
  3. Transexamic Acid (Cyclokapron)
  4. Oral Contraceptive Pills
  5. Progesterone Pills
  6. Mirena Coil
  7. Endometrial Ablation (Outpatient treatment to obliterate lining of womb)
  8. Hysterectomy(surgical removal of uterus/ womb)