What Causes Heavy Periods

There are many causes of heavy periods which is why this problem should be discussed with a physician. Studies have shown that ~15% of women with heavy menstrual bleeding (HMB) have an underlying bleeding disorder. Von Willebrand Disease (VWD) is the most common bleeding disorder and occurs in ~1 in 1000 individuals but other possibilities include platelet function disorders or other clotting factor deficiencies (as can be seen in Hemophilia Carriers). Our goal with this website is to raise awareness of the issue of HMB and its connection with bleeding disorders, however, there are many other potential causes that need to be considered. In about half of women with HMB, a gynecologic cause can be identified, such as uterine fibroids. Medications such as blood thinners and some antidepressants can contribute, as can thyroid disorders. In about 30 – 35%, no cause is identified. However, in all cases, effective treatments are available that can decrease menstrual blood loss and improve the quality of life. Additional information can be found in this video and on the website of the Canadian Hemophilia Society.

References: Kouides, Haemophilia, 2002; Dilley, Obs Gyn, 2001; Kadir, Lancet, 1998.