Many women dread their “time of the month.” The various symptoms can be uncomfortable, embarrassing, or even interfere with day-to-day life.
However, some women experience symptoms so severe that they may need medical care. Unusually heavy menstrual flow or a long menstrual period is known as menorrhagia.
It is specifically defined as a menstrual period with a loss of blood over 80ml or lasting longer than seven days. Menorrhagia can not only affect your quality of life, but it can also lead to anemia, or be the sign of something more serious. Luckily, you will find several effective treatments for menorrhagia.
This article will give an overview of signs and symptoms, possible causes, and various treatments for this condition.
The most obvious symptom that you may need to seek menorrhagia treatment for is excessive menstrual bleeding. This may mean soaking through sanitary pads or tampons rapidly, needing to use multiple sanitary protection products at once, or having to get up in the middle of the night to change your sanitary protection.
In addition to the volume of flow, if the length of your menstrual period is longer than seven days or if you are passing larger blood clots than normal, you may need to talk to your doctor.
Additional symptoms may be having to restrict your daily activities because of heavy menstrual flow, or common symptoms of anemia, such as fatigue or being short of breath.
You should seek medical attention as soon as possible if you experience such heavy vaginal bleeding it soaks your sanitary product in an hour for multiple hours, bleeding between periods or irregular vaginal bleeding, or any vaginal bleeding post-menopause.
Although, in many cases, the cause of menorrhagia is unknown, there are many common conditions of which it may be a symptom. According to MedIndia, the cause is often within or outside the uterus.
The heavy flow may result from a hormone imbalance causing the lining of the uterus to build up in excess. It may be a dysfunction of the ovaries, causing the absence of ovulation, which may also cause a hormone imbalance.
There are also several physical conditions that may cause this symptom, such as benign growths like uterine fibroids or polyps, adenomyosis (a condition that occurs when glands from the endometrium become embedded in the uterine muscle), or even cancer. It may also be a sign of pregnancy complications, including miscarriage.
Lastly, it is also a common side effect of non-hormonal IUDs, and certain anti-inflammatory, hormonal, or anticoagulant medications. It’s important to talk to your doctor to determine what the cause of your heavy bleeding is, as this will determine what your course of treatment will be.
Treatment for menorrhagia is dependent on the cause, but there are several common courses of action. Medications such as NSAIDs and Tranexamic acid reduce blood loss. Oral hormonal birth control or a hormonal IUD release progesterone, which thins the uterine lining, reducing menstrual flow.
In some extreme cases, surgery (such as a hysterectomy) is necessary, but this is usually only taken as a final step. If menorrhagia is a sign of another medical condition, treating that condition will often cause a lighter menstrual flow.
Finally, there are many home remedies to decrease discomfort during your menstrual period, but these should not be used instead of seeking treatment from a medical professional.
Although menstrual issues are sometimes difficult to talk about, know that you are not alone. Many women face these issues and, with the help of your medical provider, you can still do all of the things you enjoy, even during your time of the month. Now that you are armed with this knowledge, you have the power to manage your period with ease.