Heavy Bleeding During Periods
Menorrhagia refers to a condition in which bleeding is unusually heavy or prolonged during menstrual periods. This in turn results in severe loss of bloodand cramping that you cannot maintain your daily activities.
Symptoms for Menorrhagia
- One or more sanitary pads or tampons gets soaked every hour, for several consecutive hours
- It becomes necessary to use double sanitary protection to control menstrual flow
- Need to change sanitary protection during the night
- Bleeding that continues for a week or even longer
- Large blood clots tend to pass with menstrual flow
- Cannot indulge in daily activities due to heavy menstrual flow
- Feeling anemic, with symptoms such as fatigue or shortness of breath
Causes for Menorrhagia
- Hormonal imbalance
- Improper functioning of the ovaries. If ovulation does not happen during a menstrual cycle, progesterone is not produced. This further results in hormonal imbalance and may cause Menorrhagia.
- Uterine fibroids. Uterine fibroids are benign tumors of the uterus which occur during your childbearing years. Uterine fibroids could result in heavier or prolonged menstrual bleeding.
- Polyps. Uterine polyps are small, benign or non-cancerous growths that develop on the lining of the uterine wall. This may in turn cause heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding. Polyps of the uterus usually occur in women of reproductive age.
- Adenomyosis. In this condition, the glands in the endometrium become embedded in the uterine muscle, resulting in heavy bleeding and painful menstruation. This condition is mostly common in middle-aged women who have children.
- Intrauterine device (IUD). Menorrhagia could sometimes occur as a side effect of using a non-hormonal intrauterine device for birth control.
- Pregnancy complications such as a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy
- Uterine cancer, ovarian cancer and cervical cancer
- Inherited blood coagulation disorders such as Von Willebrand’s disease
- Certain anti-inflammatory medications and anticoagulants
- Improper use of hormone medications
- Other medical conditions such as Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), Thyroid problems, Endometriosis, and Liver or Kidney disease
Treatment for Menorrhagia
The treatment usually depends on the causes responsible for the heavy bleeding during periods.
Medication treatment for menorrhagia may include:
- Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs such as Ibuprofen and Naproxen to lessen the amount of blood loss and relieve pain.
- Hormone therapy to rectify hormonal imbalances.
- Lysteda is a non-hormonal medication that promotes clotting of blood.
- The blood loss caused by heavy periods can lead to anemia. Your doctor may prescribe an iron supplement until the bleeding is sufficiently controlled
Based on the cause of the Menorrhagia and your medical history, the doctor may recommend the appropriate surgical procedure. This includes:
- D&C (dilation and curettage). D&C basically involves dilating the cervix and scraping the uterus lining
- Hysteroscopy. In this procedure, a long, thin scope is inserted into the uterus via the vagina and cervix. This enables the doctor to remove fibroids or other growths that may result in bleeding.
- Endometrial resection or ablation. In this process, the uterus lining is removed or eliminated. However, if this procedure is done, it will not be possible to get pregnant
- Hysterectomy or the surgical removal of the uterus and cervix.