From the moment they begin, you learn to adjust to your menstrual cycles, which, in the best of times, presents a minor hassle. In the worst of times, however, your periods can be downright painful and, making matters even more unpleasant, drawn out.
At Advanced Endometriosis Center in New York City and Hackensack, New Jersey, Ulas Bozdogan, MD, specializes in the many conditions that can lead to prolonged and painful periods. Our team understands the quality-of-life issue that abnormal periods present, and we’re here to help.
Here’s a look at what may be causing your periods to be more painful and prolonged than normal and how we can help.
Defining abnormal periods
To better understand what constitutes an abnormal period, it’s first helpful to review what a “normal” menstrual cycle should look like. Your period should come every 21-35 days and last for 2-7 days each time. When it comes to how much blood you should shed, the rule of thumb is anywhere between 30-60 milliliters.
A menstrual cycle that falls outside these parameters could indicate an underlying problem, but it’s important to note that menstrual cycles can vary widely between women and change over time. For example, when you first start menstruating, you may experience more irregularity and discomfort, but these issues typically regulate themselves as you settle into your reproductive years.
Ultimately, categorizing your menstrual cycle as “abnormal” is a matter of personal experience. We do believe, however, that menstrual cycles that interfere with your life because they’re painful or go on for too long shouldn’t be something that you grit your teeth and accept.
Potential causes of painful and prolonged periods
To give you an idea of what may be behind your painful and prolonged periods, here are a few examples:
- Uterine fibroids
- Ovarian cysts
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Premenstrual syndrome
- Certain cancers
Since there’s a wide range of issues that can lead to abnormal periods, it’s important that you come see us so we can identify the problem.
Treating painful and prolonged periods
As you can see by the list of potential causes of abnormal menstrual cycles, it’s difficult to say what your treatment options are until we identify the underlying problem. That said, we can tell you that there are options, including:
- Hormonal regulation with birth control pills or an intrauterine device
- Fibroid removal or myomectomy
- Endometrial ablation
In severe cases, we may recommend a hysterectomy to help you find much-needed relief.
Alongside our treatments, we also recommend lifestyle changes that can go a long way toward helping you weather your menstrual cycles, such as:
- Relaxation techniques
- Losing weight
- Quitting smoking
- Taking certain vitamins and supplements
Since no two women are alike, we tailor your treatment plan to meet your unique goals and challenges.
If you have painful or prolonged periods, we can help you get relief. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Advanced Endometriosis Center today.