What is menorrhagia?


Know the basics

What is menorrhagia?

Menorrhagia is the term for unusually heavy bleeding otherwise normal menstruation (periods). Although heavy menstrual bleeding is a common concern among premenopausal women, most women donot experience blood loss severe enough to be defined as menorrhagia. Untreated heavy or prolonged bleeding can stop you from living your life to the fullest.

How common is menorrhagia?

About 9% to 14% of all women have it. In particular, 90% menorrhagia cases fall into girls that are just at the beginning of puberty and women ages 40 to 50.You can minimize the chance of having hernias by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.

Know the symptoms

What are the symptoms of menorrhagia?

Sign of Menorrhagia is very heavy bleeding, specifically you must change at least one pad or tampon every hour for several hour.

Other symptoms include:

  • Bleeding for more than 7 days
  • Heavy periods regularly lasting 10 or more days
  • Unusually heavy bleeding for two periods in a row

There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.

When should I see my doctor?

If you have any signs or symptoms listed above or have any questions, please consult with your doctor. You should call your doctor if:

  • Vaginal bleeding so heavy
  • Any vaginal bleeding after menopause

Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.

Know the causes

What causes menorrhagia?

In a normal menstrual cycle, a balance between the hormones estrogen and progesterone regulates the buildup of the lining of the uterus (endometrium), which is shed during menstruation. If a hormone imbalance occurs, the endometrium develops in excess and eventually sheds by way of heavy menstrual bleeding.

A reason for hormone imbalance is dysfunction of the ovaries.  If your ovaries do not release an egg (ovulate) during a menstrual cycle (anovulation), your body doesnot produce the hormone progesterone.

Other causes of menorrhagia include:

  • Uterine fibroids
  • Intrauterine device (IUD)
  • Inherited bleeding disorders.
  • Rarely, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer and cervical cancer can cause excessive menstrual bleeding.

Know the risk factors

What increases my risk for menorrhagia?

Certain factors may increase your risk of developing Menorrhagia:

  • Recently started menstruating.
  • Approaching menopause
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Rarely, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer and cervical cancer can cause excessive menstrual bleeding.
  • Inherited bleeding disorders.
  • Being treated with steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Not having risk factors does not mean you cannot get hamstring strains. These factors are for reference only. You should consult your doctor for more details.

Understand the diagnosis & treatment

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.

How is menorrhagia diagnosed?

The doctor will make a diagnosis from the medical history, physical examination, and blood test (to check for anemia). Anemia occurs when blood loss is so great that your blood count is too low and causes tiredness and feeling weak. Other special tests include:

  • Ultrasound tests
  • Pap test
  • Biopsy of the lining of the uterus: a tissue sample is removed and looked at with a microscope.
  • D&C (dilation and curettage): is dilating the cervix and take samples of the lining of the uterus for study
  • Laparoscopy: lets the doctor look in the abdomen through a small cut
  • Hysterosalpingography: dye is put into the uterus and fallopian tubes lets the doctor see the uterus on X-ray
  • Hysteroscopy: a thin metal tube with a tiny camera in it is passed through the cervix into the uterus to look inside.

How is menorrhagia treated?

Treatment choice depends on the cause, and the effect of menorrhagia to your life. Usually, doctors may use medicines or surgery to reduce heavy bleeding. Medicines include birth control pills, hormones (e.g., progesterone) and iron supplements. If the medicines will not work, outpatient surgery may be done, which includes D&C and operative hysteroscopy.

Other operations can cause infertility and are usually for older women who are not planning to get pregnant. These operations include endometrial ablation, endometrial resection and hysterectomy (removing the uterus and usually the cervix).

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage menorrhagia?

The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with menorrhagia:

  • Re-examine punctually to keep track on the disease’s progress and your menorrhagia.
  • Follow doctor’s instructions
  • Eat iron-rich foods
  • Tell your doctor about medicines you take, include over-the-counter drugs.

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Review Date: May 30, 2016 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017

You might also like