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Heavy periods—also called menorrhagia—can have significant impacts on your quality of life. In some cases, they can also lead to health problems, such as anemia. Having persistently heavy periods is not something that you simply have to accept. Your gynecologist can help you pinpoint the cause and determine treatments that can help make your period more manageable. Here are some of the most common causes of heavy periods.


Endometriosis is a condition in which the tissue that lines the uterus also grows outside the uterus. The tissue responds to hormonal fluctuations as the same way whether it is inside or outside, of the uterus, so it bleeds during menstruation. This can cause excessive bleeding as well as pain and severe abdominal cramping. There are treatments that can help manage the symptoms of endometriosis, so see your gynecologist to see if it could be affecting you.

Woman holding stomach in pain

Uterine Fibroids

Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths that appear along the lining of the uterus. Doctors don’t know why uterine fibroids appear, but they may be linked to hormones, growth factors, and genetic changes. Heavy periods are a classic symptom of fibroids. Polyps, another kind of growth, can also cause heavy bleeding when they appear in the uterus. Medications and a range of minimally invasive procedures can treat uterine fibroids and polyps.

Non-Hormonal IUDs

IUDs are a popular form of birth control, but some women find that the non-hormonal versions lead to heavier periods. Not all women react this way to non-hormonal IUDs, but if your heavy periods started after getting one, it could be the cause. Your gynecologist can help you determine if your IUD is causing heavy periods and if another kind of birth control could be better suited to your needs.

Washington Surgi-Clinic offers complete gynecology services , ranging from STD testing and treatment to period and birth control management. To make an appointment with a gynecologist in Washington, D.C., please call (202) 659-9403.