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Weekly Update: Heavy Periods

Dear Valued Patients,
We hope everyone remains well and had a relaxing 4th of July weekend!
This week, we’d like to discuss periods. Specifically, heavy periods. What exactly constitutes a heavy period? The medical definition is more than 80mL of blood loss in a period… but who actually measures their blood loss?! A rule of thumb we often use is if you have to change a pad or tampon more frequently than every 2 hrs, pass large clots, or suffer from “flooding” or accidents. Heavy periods can put you at risk of anemia (low blood counts), which can make you feel tired or fatigued. And most of all, heavy periods can greatly affect your quality of life!
Causes of heavy periods can include fibroids, endometriosis, or a condition called adenomyosis. Sometimes, it is what is called “dysfunctional uterine bleeding,” meaning there’s no specific problem that can be found, they’re just too heavy!
What can you do about heavy periods? The first line of treatment is often birth control pills, which can help make periods regular, lighter, and less crampy. Another very effective option is an IUD such as the Mirena or Liletta, which releases a small amount of a hormone called progesterone inside the uterus and decreases flow up to 80-90%. Some women, however, prefer to avoid hormones. In those cases, they can consider a minor procedure called an ablation, which helps prevent the lining inside the uterus from growing and shedding every cycle. Lastly, a hysterectomy, which is removing the uterus entirely, can definitively stop periods.
Ready to do something about heavy periods? See us for a consult, in-person, or via telemed. You can schedule by calling 503-908-1646 or schedule online at
Stay tuned for a big announcement next week!!
Stay healthy,
Dr. Zaander and Dr. Salisbury


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