Many women aged 13 to 50 are susceptible to developing uterine fibroids. Usually, one of the first signs is an abnormal period caused by fibroids. If you are experiencing fibroid symptoms like heavy bleeding or severe abdominal pain, give us a call today to see how we can help you through the use of non-surgical treatment.
Regular Periods vs. Abnormal Periods
Everyone experiences periods differently. While some women may experience short periods that last two to three days, others may experience periods that seem to last forever. That’s one of the main reasons so many women can simply think their period caused by uterine fibroids is normal. Defining what is considered normal is one of the most challenging aspects. Normal periods are typically described as lasting between three to eight days, limited spotting that does not last long, cramps that over-the-counter pain medications can control or bloating that goes away once your period is over. A woman’s cycle is considered normal if it ranges between 21 and 35 days. These are just a few of the common symptoms that are usually associated with an average period. However, there are a few signs and symptoms women need to watch out for an abnormal period caused by fibroids.
Want to know for sure if you have fibroids? Take the symptom quiz
What Makes Periods Abnormal?
A cycle is the time from the first day of your period to the first day of the next period. It is considered abnormal if it lasts less than 21 days or goes longer than 35 days. Other signs that you have an abnormal period can include the following:
- Going three or more months without a period
- Menstrual flow that is either heavier or lighter than normal
- Periods that last longer than seven days
- Periods that include nausea or vomiting as well as severe pain and cramping
- Bleeding between periods
If you experience any of these signs of an abnormal period, you should consult with your doctor.
What Causes Heavy Periods
Several conditions can cause irregular periods.
- Amenorrhea is a condition that results in your periods stopping completely unless you’re going through menopause.
- Dysmenorrhea is another condition that includes painful periods and severe cramps.
- Uterine fibroids can also cause heavy periods, severe discomfort and disrupt your daily living.
Why Do Fibroids Cause Heavy Periods?
Uterine fibroids are dense growths of smooth muscle cells and fibrous connective tissue that may develop within the uterus walls, within the uterine cavity, or protruding outwards from the uterus. Fibroids often develop among women in the age group of 25 to 55. These growths can sometimes cause blood clots, heavy flow, or spotting between menstrual cycles.
But you may be thinking about why fibroids affect your menstruation. Fibroids that develop within the uterine cavity may distort the uterus lining, which could cause this heavy flow and irregular menstruation. Although the exact cause of why fibroids cause heavy periods is still unknown, it has been found that the size and number of fibroids do not affect this abnormality. Of the most well-known theories is that fibroid tissue affects the production of growth factors in the uterus, altering blood flow and how blood vessels respond during your period.
Fibroids that cause heavy menstrual bleeding or bleeding between cycles could cause anemia. This is why, if you’re feeling worn out most of the time, it’s important to get your blood tested for analyzing the level of red blood cells in your body.
Beyond taking this precautionary step, the question of managing irregular periods comes down to their interference with your quality of life. If your periods are causing you mental or physical discomfort or stress, it’s essential to get checked for uterine fibroids or other underlying uterine conditions.
Symptoms of Uterine Fibroids:
- It’s important to track the length and heaviness of your period, as well as other symptoms you may experience leading up to your period and the few days after as well. This can make explaining your symptoms to a doctor or fibroid specialist is much easier.
If you’re facing these symptoms, schedule a consultation
Guide to Handle Abnormal Period Bleeding
Here’s the best answer: You can manage an abnormal period caused by fibroids by keeping an emergency home kit. This kit can be a valuable way to manage your fibroid symptoms to maintain everyday life.
As we’ve already mentioned, pain can sometimes become nasty enough to be alleviated by hot water bottles or a heating pad. In those times, you might also need pain-relieving, over-the-counter medicine. For example, your period emergency kit must have ibuprofen when your cramps go from bad to worse.
Everyone can always consume more water, especially women during their period. This is precisely why having a good, collapsible water bottle in your emergency kit goes a long way. Staying hydrated can also help bloating and cramps.
Grab a small pack of extra underwear that you can keep with you at all times. If you have fibroids, your periods may become irregular, making it difficult to know when spotting may occur.
HERBAL TEA PACKETS
We know… avoiding caffeine may seem like an impossible act, but consuming sugary, high caffeine drinks can make pelvic pain or cramps worse. On the other side, if you’re dealing with constipation due to fibroids, one cup of coffee may help. Try herbal teas instead that help you avoid caffeinated drinks and can be consumed when you need to de-stress before or after work.
Looking for an extra level of protection and comfort during those days of the month that may become worse just because of your fibroids? Stash some of these in your purse to wear in addition to tampons to prevent bleeding through your clothing. They can also help if you are experiencing frequent urination due to fibroids and have bladder leakage.
Sometimes, a small slab of dark chocolate can only do so much to help you lessen the intensity of your cramps. Consider using a heating pad to help battle this discomfort during such times. They come in all shapes and sizes: hot water bottles, electric heating pads, and stick-on heat wraps.
When you are bleeding heavily, you’ll sometimes be hit by lightheadedness. In those cases, a small snack such as granola bars, fruit, or nuts can go a long way to help you power through those days with zero hassle. Avoid foods high in sodium or saturated fats as much as possible. Dark chocolate pieces are an easy low-sugar sweet that can help increase iron levels.
Sometimes it’s better to have something new if your clothes get stained. This is why it’s always advisable to have a pair of comfy pants or shorts with you if your tampons or pads leak.
When you get cramps or discomfort during your time of the month, you prefer lying down on your back and rest for a while. For all those times, it’s good to have a small pillow in your car. Fibroids can cause lower back and leg pain, so a small pillow may just do the trick.
MIXED BOX OF TAMPONS
These are great to get in bulk, especially those with a mixed variety of absorbent levels. Having a mix of super plus, regular, and light allows you to use different sizes during your period’s beginning, middle, and end.
Pads give a sense of protection and can help reduce worry and stress on days when your fibroids are making you bleed profusely. They are also great to wear at night while you sleep for extra protection.
When Fibroids Become Too Much
Period survival kits can help you plan for the very worst, but if your period is becoming challenging to manage, it may be time to see a doctor. Periods that are affecting your life need to be addressed. Whether it is a sign of an underlying issue like uterine fibroids or just a heavy period, a doctor can help you either treat or manage your symptoms so you can live a healthier, active life.
The distress caused by these growths can become so unmanageable that you’d start seeking treatment for fibroids. Many women tend to wait years, hoping for their symptoms to get worse; however, it’s essential to know that therapy can help effectively reduce your symptoms and shrink fibroids. When it comes to finding treatment for fibroids without surgery, it comes down to finding a treatment center you trust.
Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) is a minimally invasive treatment that can shrink the fibroids and reduce the symptoms of an abnormal period, such as heavy bleeding. To perform UFE, a fibroid specialist will locate the artery feeding the fibroid through imaging. They will insert a tiny catheter into the leg and inject embolic fluid into the artery, blocking blood flow. Since the fibroid no longer receives nutrients to help it grow, it may shrink and die.
Like these infographics? Subscribe to our newsletter
USA Fibroid Centers: America’s #1 fibroid treatment experts
USA Fibroid Centers is a complete network of different fibroid treatment facilities located across the US. Our fibroid treatment center specializes in utilizing a nonsurgical, office-based procedure called Uterine Fibroid Embolization or UFE. We have a team of interventional radiologists who have extensive experience treating uterine fibroids with minimally invasive technology.
The best part is that UFE is effective and approved by the FDA. What else makes UFE the best treatment for fibroids? It’s the fact that this treatment is an outpatient procedure, which means you’re free to get back to life once the procedure finishes. Other benefits include UFE:
- Preserves the uterus and retains fertility
- No hospitalization
- Does not interfere with hormones
- Is effective at treating fibroid symptoms
- Does not require general anesthesia or stitches
- Lower risks and complications when compared to surgery
So if you’re looking for treatment for uterine fibroids from a renowned medical facility, USA Fibroid Centers, SCHEDULE ONLINE. If you have more questions regarding Uterine Fibroid Embolization or would like to schedule an appointment, call 855.615.2555 today or click on the button below to schedule online.