Menorrhagia is a common term used for heavy and long-lasting periods in women. Bleeding is associated with pain and abdominal cramping. Although many women experience heavy periods, blood loss is generally not severe to classify it as Menorrhagia. It is usually observed in premenopausal women.
1.Soaking one or more heavy sanitary pads every hour
2.Need to use double sanitary napkins protection
3.Menstruation lasting for a week or longer
4.Existence of large blood clots in the menstrual flow
5.Anemia, tiredness and shortness of breath
6.Restriction on daily activities due to menstruation
7.Need to wake up in nights to change the sanitary napkin
It is necessary to consult the doctor when bleeding becomes extremely irregular, occurring at any time. Menopausal women who experience vaginal bleeding should also seek medical help.
Exact cause of this condition is unknown. It is believed to be triggered by various conditions. Common causes of Menorrhagia are as follows:-
1.Hormonal imbalance: – In a normal menstrual cycle, formation of endometrium is regulated by the hormones estrogen and progesterone. In case any imbalance occurs in the levels of these hormones, the endometrium may develop in excess causing heavy menstrual bleeding.
2.Ovarian Dysfunction: – In a condition known as anovulation, ovaries fail to produce mature eggs. Production of Progesterone depends upon ovulation. If progesterone is not produced, hormonal balance is disturbed causing menorrhagia.
3.Uterine fibroids: – Uterine fibroids are usually caused by higher levels of estrogen. Thus, they are common during childbearing years. They may lead to higher than normal bleeding.
4.Uterine Polyps or cysts: – Like uterine fibroids, cysts and polyps are also caused by hormonal changes. They are common in menstruating women. The polyps are usually formed on the lining of uterus and they are responsible for menorrhagia.
5.Adenomyosis: – This condition is usually observed in middle aged women who have children. In this condition, the glands in the vaginal lining become embedded with uterine muscles. This condition often causes painful menses when the endometrium detaches itself from the uterine muscles.
6.Intrauterine device (IUD):- It is a very common cause of Menorrhagia. It the problem doesn’t subside after a specified period, the IUD has to be removed.
7.Pregnancy complications:-pregnancy complications like Ectopic pregnancy is a likely cause of heavy bleeding during menses. Miscarriage may also cause a heavy and irregular period.
8.Cancer: – Some types of cancers like uterine cancer, cervical cancer or ovarian cancer can cause excessive vaginal bleeding during period.
9.Heredity: – Some inherited blood clotting disorders like von Willebrand’s disease prevent coagulation of blood. It may cause heavy bleeding during period.
10.Medications: – Some medications like NSAIDs or anticoagulants can also trigger Menorrhagia. It can be caused by improper use of hormonal medicines.
11.Other medical conditions: – Other medical conditions and diseases such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), liver and kidney disorders, endometriosis and thyroid problems are also associated with menorrhagia.