Menorrhagia is when you have abnormally heavy and prolonged bleeding during your menstrual cycles. In general, heavy menstrual bleeding is not at all uncommon and only some women experience severe blood loss that is defined as menorrhagia.
When a woman suffers from menorrhagia, her daily activities are impacted because of too much blood loss and intense cramps. If you’re someone who dreads her periods because it’s too heavy and painful, you ought to consult with a gynaecologist online for a proper diagnosis and the right treatment plan. Before we explore the causes of menorrhagia, let us know some of the most common signs and symptoms associated with this condition—
- Menstrual bleeding that lasts for over a week
- Soaking one or more pads/tampons in an hour for a consecutive few hours
- Waking up often at night to change your sanitary pads
- Feeling the need to use double sanitary pads to control the menstrual blood flow
- Passing blood clots, which are bigger than a quarter in size
- Experiencing symptoms of anaemia like persistent fatigue and shortness of breath
- Restricted daily activities due to excessive menstrual flow
What causes heavy menstrual bleeding?
While in some cases, the cause of menorrhagia is unknown, it can be caused by a number of factors, such as—
When you have a normal menstrual cycle, there’s an adequate balance between the hormones estrogen and progesterone, which work together to regulate the build-up of the endometrium (the lining of the uterus), which is shed during your menstrual period. However, when you suffer from a hormonal imbalance, there’s an over-development of the endometrium, which gets shed by heavy menstrual bleeding. Hormonal imbalances can be caused by a list of conditions like PCOS, insulin resistance, thyroid disorders, as well as obesity.
Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous tumours that may appear in the uterus in childbearing years. They can cause prolonged and heavier than normal menstrual bleeding.
Dysfunction of the ovaries
During a normal menstrual cycle, the body releases an egg. However, when the ovaries don’t function properly and don’t release an egg, a process known as anovulation, there’s no production of the hormone progesterone either. This further leads to a hormonal imbalance, which can ultimately cause menorrhagia.
Intrauterine device (IUD)
Many women use IUD as their preferred choice of birth control since it provides maximum assurance of preventing pregnancy. However, menorrhagia is a very well-known side-effect of prolonged usage of IUD. You can speak to a gynaecologist online and discuss alternate birth control options suitable for you.
If you suddenly experience a single and heavy period that’s late, it may be a sign of miscarriage. Another possible reason for heavy bleeding during pregnancy is when your placenta is located in an unusual location.
Some anti-inflammatory and hormonal medicines can actually contribute to abnormally heavy and prolonged menstrual bleeding. If you think any recent medications are responsible for your heavy menstrual flow, speak to your doctor about alternatives.
Heavy menstrual bleeding is strongly linked with cervical or uterine cancer. This is especially more prominent in women in their postmenopausal stage or those who have had an abnormal pap-smear test in the past.
Certain medical conditions
When should you be worried?
While menorrhagia shouldn’t meddle with your overall well-being, you should be seeking a doctor’s attention immediately if—
- You experience vaginal bleeding so abnormally heavy that it soaks one pad/tampon in an hour and continues to do so consecutively for two hours
- If you experience irregular vaginal bleeding or bleeding between periods
- If you experience any vaginal bleeding after attaining menopause