Painful Periods: When to See Your Doctor, Safely

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One simple and necessary way you can monitor your health is to stay attuned to your menstrual cycle and contact your gynecologist if you’re experiencing unbearable period pain or excessively long and heavy periods.

Understand What’s Normal and What’s Not for Your Periods

Seeking help early on from a gynecologist is essential to diminishing menstrual conditions and the disruptions they can have on your quality of life. It also ensures that any serious health issues are recognized and addressed with proper treatments. “Because endometriosis and other pelvic conditions are progressive, debilitating, and have the potential to cause infertility, early diagnosis and intervention are key factors in their management,” says Dr. Allan Adajar, gynecologic surgeon and board-certified OB/GYN at AdventHealth Medical Group.

By understanding what normal menstrual pain and bleeding is, you can seek help from a gynecologist and begin treatment before the condition becomes debilitating.

Know What’s Normal for Your Period

Typically, a normal period might look like:

  • A flow that’s light, then gets heavier, then tapers off again
  • Having your period every 25 to 35 days
  • Mild cramping lasting a few days

Know What’s Not Normal for Your Period

Just like knowing what’s normal, it’s important to know which signs aren’t normal. Complications from your period that need a doctor’s attention include:

  • Anemia requiring iron or blood transfusions
  • Bleeding for more than seven days
  • Pain that affects your daily life, which may indicate endometriosis
  • Requiring two menstrual products at a time or using more than 10 tampons or pads per day

Know the Types of Menstrual Disorders

Most doctors categorize menstrual disorders into two groups: abnormal hormones and uterine issues. Generally, most women with irregular periods have a hormonal imbalance or similar problem. This may be treated with medication or intrauterine-device therapy, in which a small, flexible, hormone-releasing device is inserted into the uterus.

Uterine problems are usually accompanied by regular, but heavy, painful periods. Two common uterine conditions are fibroid tumors and uterine polyps. If you experience heavy bleeding, it is important to speak with your gynecologist promptly. Heavy menstrual bleeding can cause anemia and fatigue, which can result in missing work or school, difficulty conceiving and could even lead to the need for a blood transfusion.

For Painful Periods, Our Doctors Are Here to Help Provide Answers

Our physicians work closely with hematologists, gynecologic oncologists and infertility specialists to create individualized treatment plans for women with uterine problems, which may include minimally invasive gynecological surgery such as uterine polyp removal and endometrial ablation after other options are considered.

“When surgical intervention is necessary, I believe in using the smallest and fewest incisions whenever possible to safely and effectively treat the condition. This approach often results in less post-operative pain, a faster recovery, and less scaring,” says Dr. Adajar.

Be Assured That It’s Safe to See Your Doctor In-Person

We understand that you may feel nervous about scheduling a doctor visit with the current circumstances. However, your safety is our priority, and we want to assure you that you can see your doctor safely for any concerns you have about your period. It’s time to take control of your health and get the care you deserve, and rest assured that we’re taking extra precautions in all facilities to protect and keep you safe.

All AdventHealth facilities have adopted comprehensive safety measures to ensure your safety when visiting your provider including temperature checks at entry points, universal mask usage, social distancing, and remote check-in options at some facilities.

If you’re experiencing irregular periods or menstrual pain, contact your gynecologist or family medicine provider. These are conditions that can and should be addressed and not delayed further, and you can count on us to keep you protected and safe while visiting your doctor.

To get started, you can use the AdventHealth app to schedule a virtual telehealth appointment. Or, reach out to your gynecologist’s office or learn more about women's specialty care at AdventHealth.

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