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Heavy Bleeding and Painful Periods
If your teen experiences heavy menstrual bleeding, which means her period lasts too long or there is too much blood, our specially trained gynecologists can determine if there is a cause for concern.
Typically, heavy bleeding involves periods that last for more than seven days, soak through a pad or tampon every one to two hours, or result in a leakage of blood onto clothes during the menstrual cycle.
Treatment for Heavy Bleeding
Treatment is based on the amount of bleeding. Most treatments involve hormone therapy combined with oral contraceptives. If there is a reason estrogen should not be prescribed, an oral progestin may be recommended. Over-the-counter treatments such as ibuprofen can help decrease the amount of bleeding.
If your teen experiences painful periods that are not relieved with over-the-counter medications or start to interfere with daily activities such as school and sports, our physicians may be able to offer some relief.
Treatment for Painful Periods
For painful periods, your doctor may recommend:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). If taking over-the-counter NSAIDs such as ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve) doesn’t relieve symptoms, prescription NSAIDs may be prescribed.
- Birth control pills. Oral birth control pills contain hormones that prevent ovulation and reduce the severity of menstrual cramps. These hormones also can be delivered by an injection, a patch, an implant placed under the skin of the arm, or a flexible ring that is inserted into the vagina.
- Surgery. If painful periods are caused by endometriosis or fibroids, surgical removal of the abnormal tissue may help reduce the symptoms.
For Your Visit
For the appointment, be sure to bring information about the dates and lengths of your teen’s last several periods. The doctor will take a complete history and perform a physical examination.
If your teen is sexually active, a pelvic exam will be performed to check for infections and to examine the cervix. Some blood tests may be administered to evaluate possible thyroid or bleeding disorders. Imaging studies of the pelvis may also be ordered.