What’s Causing My Heavy, Painful Periods?

What’s Causing My Heavy, Painful Periods?

Bleeding and pain are a normal part of menstrual periods. But if your periods subject you to very heavy bleeding and intense pain, you may be experiencing conditions known as menorrhagia (unusually heavy bleeding) or dysmenorrhea (significant menstrual pain).

Don’t be tempted to just grit your teeth and put up with painful, heavy periods. Heavy bleeding and unusual pain may signify a health problem that requires attention, so it’s best not to suffer in silence. 

Various types of treatments can help reduce bleeding and pain, improving your quality of life.

At Virtuosa GYN in San Antonio, Texas, Susan Crockett, MD, and our team specialize in diagnosing and treating heavy, painful periods. We invite you to read on to learn more about the conditions that can cause these aggravating symptoms.

Behind the bleeding

Heavy, painful periods may have a variety of causes. Some of the more common causes include:


Endometriosis is a condition in which tissue from inside your uterus grows in places where it shouldn’t, such as the outside of your uterus, your other reproductive organs, and even your gastrointestinal tract or urinary tract.

Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

With PCOS, hormone imbalances can lead to a range of symptoms. In addition to heavy bleeding and pain, the symptoms may include irregular periods, excess body hair growth, weight gain, and hair loss from the scalp.

Uterine fibroids

Fibroids are muscular, noncancerous growths that develop within your uterine walls.

Ovarian cysts

Ovarian cysts are fluid-filled sacs that grow within your ovaries.

Ovulation disorders

Your ovulation may be thrown off by hormonal imbalances that can lead to excessive bleeding.

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)

PID is a sexually transmitted bacterial infection that can affect various reproductive organs.

Other causes

In addition, excessive bleeding or menstrual pain may result from such conditions as thyroid disorders, bleeding disorders, side effects from certain medications, or even cancer.

Treating heavy, painful periods

After performing a full evaluation and identifying the cause of your pain and heavy bleeding, we create a customized treatment plan to address your condition. The specifics of your treatment plan will vary based on what’s causing your symptoms.

For example, we may recommend pain-relief medication or hormonal medication to reduce pain related to hormonal issues. If you have fibroids, you might benefit from myomectomy, a procedure that removes fibroids. 

Other treatments may include endometrial ablation, which destroys the lining of your uterus, or hysterectomy, a surgical procedure to remove your uterus. 

Help for all your period problems

No matter what kind of menstrual-related symptoms you’re experiencing, Dr. Crockett and our all-female team of gynecology care providers are here to help. To schedule an evaluation, contact us today at our San Antonio, Texas, office. 

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