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Heavy Menstrual Bleeding

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What is Heavy Menstrual Bleeding?

Hormone problems, diseases, or conditions that affect the uterus can result in heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding.

Heavy bleeding can result from an imbalance of hormones such as estrogen and progesterone, or from problems with the uterus such as fibroids (non-cancerous), cancer, pregnancy problems (such as a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy), or use of an intrauterine device (IUD). Other conditions, such as a bleeding disorders or thyroid, kidney or liver disease, can also cause heavy bleeding.

If you have to change your pad or tampon every one to two hours, or if you bleed longer than a week, it’s time to contact a provider. Spotting or bleeding between periods is also a sign of a possible problem.

UR Medicine's Treatments for Heavy Menstrual Bleeding

To diagnose your condition, UR Medicine Obstetrics and Gynecology will ask about your health history and periods. Your physical exam will include a pelvic exam, and you may be asked to keep track of your periods for several months.


  • Blood tests to check for anemia and to see how fast your blood clots
  • Pap test to check for cancerous changes, infection, or inflammation by examining cells collected from the cervix
  • Ultrasound to check for fibroids or other problems inside the uterus
  • Biopsy to check for cancer or other abnormal tissue by examining a tissue sample from the uterine lining

Treatments for Hormone Problems

  • Prostaglandin inhibitors. These non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including aspirin or ibuprofen, help reduce cramping and the amount you bleed.
  • Birth control pills, which stop ovulation and result in lighter periods
  • Progesterone, a type of hormone treatment

Treatment for Problems with the Uterine Lining

  • Ablation, to destroy the lining of the uterus to stop or reduce bleeding
  • Resection, to remove the lining of the uterus
  • Hysterectomy, removing the entire uterus
  • Iron supplements to address anemia as a result of heavy loss of blood

What Sets Us Apart?

UR Medicine Obstetrics and Gynecology is made up of women’s health experts who actively engage in everything that supports women's health, including patient care, research, and education.

Our team provides a full range of services, from annual checkups to gynecologic oncology and prenatal care.

We also partner with our colleagues to help women with depression, heart disease, osteoporosis, breast disease, and dermatologic conditions. We look at the whole patient to ensure that all your needs are addressed.


Our care team is here for you. Find a UR Medicine expert and get care now.

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We serve you in the Rochester metropolitan area and surrounding region.

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5 locations

Obstetrics & Gynecology - Rochester

125 Lattimore Road, East Entrance, Suite 200
Rochester, NY 14620

Gender Wellness, Obstetrics and Gynecology - Rochester
Part of Strong Memorial Hospital

Lattimore Medical Center
125 Lattimore Road, West Entrance, Suite 150
Rochester, NY 14620

Highland Women's Health - Rochester
Part of Highland Hospital

909 Culver Road
Rochester, NY 14609

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