19 and Suffering with Heavy Bleeding

Question

I have been on several different birth control pills to try and control my bleeding and horrible cramping but none of them worked so I am currently off of them.
I am on a very very low dose of synthroid and anti-anxiety/anti- depressants and have had a giant cyst removed from by fallopian tube. My periods now last anywhere from a month to several months at a time with barely a week without bleeding (has been going on like that for nearly two years). The bleeding is heavy most of the time with lots of clotting, including some very large ones.

I was wondering what could be causing this and if there is anything that will get me back to normal? I really just want it to stop lasting forever so I can be a normal 19 year old.

Brianna

Answer

Last Updated: May 8, 2022
Dear Brianne:

Your condition is called menometrorrhagia, a medical term to describe heavier than normal menstrual periods and bleeding between menstrual periods. Additionally, pain and cramping with menstrual flow is called dysmenorrhea. From your description, it sounds as though you have a severe case. There are many reasons that can cause this condition or be contributing to its development. These include structural, infectious, autoimmune, and hormonal, causes.

Structural causes include polyps and fibroids of the endometrium (lining of the uterus) as well as endometrial hyperplasia where the cells reproduce excessively. Andenomyosis, a condition where the endometrial cells move into the muscle wall of the uterus, is generally not found in your age group. Endometriosis is more likely at your age. It is a condition when endometrial cells are found outside the uterus generally in the pelvis. These spots or blebs can cause severe cramping during menstrual flow. Additonally, prior surgeries or pelvic infections may have left adhesions. These are fibrous bands that bind organs into abnormal positions. Pelvic ultrasound, endometrial biopsy (office procedure to get cells inside the uterus), and laparoscopy (surgical procedure where the doctor looks through a scope to look at the outside of the uterus and pelvic structures) are part of the necessary tools to make a diagnosis.

Infectious causes include infections of the cervix, the uterus, the tubes, and the pelvic cavity. For the most part these are the result of sexually transmitted diseases which are cultured and treated easily. However women can get infections after childbirth, surgical abortions, and bacteria from the rectal area. Women don’t necessarily develop temperatures or other features of infection. Unusual bleeding may be the only presenting symptom though not as severe as what you describe.

Autoimmune reasons are unclear and under investigation. These may be related to genetic and developmental reasons as well. Conditions such as systemic lupus, thrombocytopenia (low platelets), and von Willebrand’s (bleeding disorder) can be associated with your condition.

Hormonal causes have been investigated well. Thyroid disorders always need to be monitored with periodic checks by lab work. Estrogen and progesterone levels as well as other associated hormones need to be evaluated. Estrogen is the main female hormone of the pre-ovulatory phase and progesterone is the main hormone of the post-ovulatory phase. The only meaningful way to check these levels is when you have been taught to chart your cycles by a certified teacher. I prefer the Creighton model charting as it was developed specifically for medical analysis but allows women and couples to understand their fertility. If estrogen and progesterone levels are checked randomly or by calendar date, they don’t have any relevance to where a woman is in her cycle. Of course, it may be quite difficult to determine if you are ovulating at all but the Creighton model charts are extremely helpful in diagnosis because they are medically relevant.

Besides thyroid dysfunction, many women suffer from polycystic ovarian syndrome which causes varying amounts of cycle irregularities. Commonly progesterone levels do not rise or stay elevated when they are supposed to and the woman will experience irregular bleeding. The cyst formation can cause pain. Approximately 8% of women experience it and it has been successfully treated with ovarian wedge resection and or progesterone. It can occur along with all the other conditions I have mentioned above.

Other hormone conditions stemming from the brain section that sends signals to the ovaries exist as well. Again Creighton model charting is extremely helpful. It helps to put you in the driver’s seat of your health and give your physician a great amount of information with which to work.

Birth control pills are sometimes helpful in treating symptoms but are never helpful in diagnosing or curing disease. As you have found, once off the pills, you are back where you started from. I would recommend that you seek a Creighton model natural fertility care provider who will teach you how to chart your bleeding. This teacher will then be able to recommend you to physicians who are trained in using the medical and surgical techniques of the Creighton model including NaPro Technology.

Treating your condition is very important not only for your well being now but for your future health. Statistics show that your fertility and ability to carry a child to full term are reduced at this time. Additionally, if the cause is too little progesterone, you can be at higher risk for uterine cancer in the future.

I hope that this information, though not complete, will be of help. Please let us know how you are doing as I am sure there are other women who would benefit from your feedback.

Sincerely, Gretchen V. Marsh, D.O.

Answered By:

Gretchen Marsh, D.O.
Dr. Marsh graduated from Western University of Health Sciences in 1987 in Pomona, CA and is board certified in Family Medicine by the American Osteopathic Board of Family Physicians. She has been certified as a NaProTechnology® Medical Consultant (NaPro) and Creighton model Fertility Care System (CrMS) teacher since 2001. She and her husband, Jon, have 5 sons and live in the Reno region, where she sees patients in person, in addition to her telehealth services offered via MyCatholicDoctor.com

Read more related questions

Progesterone vs. 17-hydroxyprogesterone

Dear Doctor, Is there a difference in labs testing for progesterone vs. 17-hydroxyprogesterone? Can you explain why would test for one, as opposed to the…

Charting after Uterine Ablation

Can a client still chart after an uterine ablation for excessive bleeding? She is pre -menopause and would like to be able to chart but…

Is Endometrial Ablation Moral Option for Heavy Bleeding?

I have very heavy menstrual bleeding and its very unpleasant, embarrassing. This condition affects how I feel, the clothing I wear, and where and when…

Estradiol and Vulvar and Vaginal Atrophy in Menopause

Dear Doctor, I would like to know your thoughts regarding taking estradiol vaginal inserts or cream, prescribed by my doctor for menopausal symptoms of dryness,…

Symptoms Suggest Evaluating for PCOS and Prolactinoma

I am currently living in the Middle East as my husband is studying here – so I could use some help from an English speaking…

Moods Affecting My Marriage and Children

I am having problems with my hormones (I think). I am 35 years old, married with three children, 5′ 3″ and 200 lbs. My eldest…

Painful Periods, PMS, and Progesterone

I am currently on Prometrium and have been for about a year (give or take). It has been incredible in helping with my physical symptoms.…

Clomid and PCOS

I saw some information on your website but none directly relating to the question I have and was hoping you may be kind enough to…

Increasingly Bad PMS

I have had increasingly bad premenstrual symptoms over the last year. It started with very bad headaches about a week before my periods, which don’t…

Is Birth Control Pill Best or Only Treatment for Teen with Painful Periods

My friend has a daughter age 15 who was considering putting her on birth control because of extreme pain/cramps during her cycle. I told her…

Is Birth Control Pill Only Way to Treat Cysts?

My husband and I have been practicing Natural Family Planning now for about 19 months. We started after the birth of our fourth child. We…

PCOS Questions

Can someone with PCOS get pregnant the natural way or is it asking the impossible? I have been married for 18 years and still have…

Create An Account

This is not a membership, this is an account for our CANFP website. If you decide you would like to sign up for one of our memberships later, you can do so with or without this account.

First Name *
Last Name *
E-mail *
Username *
Password *
Confirm Password *
Edit Profile
Information
Subscriptions
Payments
Order History
Downloads
Shipping and Billing
Donations
Settings
Login Information
Notification Settings
Notification Subscriptions
Profile

CANFP conducts varied outreach programs to the community at large, in addition to serving our members (NFP users, teachers, and advocates).

CANFP provides education programs tailored to the audience, not only on Natural Family Planning, but on the wide variety of topics related to it.

Programs can be continuing education for NFP Professionals, introductory information for a lay audience of youth or adults new to the topic, or specifically tailored to the interests of a professional audience, such as educators, physicians, or clergy. Content is faith based or secular, whichever is suitable for situation.

CANFP offers a variety of resources for those just discovering Natural Family Planning, as well as to meet the varied needs of our CANFP Members. Most resources are available to any visitors to our site. Some resources do ask you to register as a site user in order to access them, others are available only to CANFP Members.

CANFP statewide conferences, regional events offered in collaboration with local partners, events featuring CANFP speakers, or exhbit, as well as other events throughout the state of interest to our NFP community.  Come meet one of our experts at one of these events or book a speaker for your own upcoming event.

CANFP depends on the gifts, talents, and generosity of our members and supporters. The success of our mission depends on the collaboration of our members. Please consider contributing your time treasure and talent through CANFP to share the good news of NFP with the world! Both volunteer and contracted positions available.

Stay informed by joining our email list

* indicates required
Which role(s) best describes you?