Heavy Periods

Unusually substantial or prolonged bleeding ­­is not to be confused with heavy menstrual bleeding which is common in premenopausal women and­­ is defined medically as menorrhagia. Menorrhagia is most likely caused by hormone imbalances, which produces menstrual cycles lacking ovulation. Hormone changes are most common in adolescents and women in their 40-50’s approaching menopause.

Symptoms of menorrhagia are as follows:

  • Anemia: fatigue, shortness of breath
  • Bleeding for over a week
  • Saturation of one or several pads/tampons within an hour consecutively
  • Preventing daily activities due to substantial menstrual flow
  • Producing blood clots within menstrual flow for several days
  • Requiring multiple sanitary protection methods to control menstrual flow (tampon + pad, etcetera)
  • Waking during the night to change sanitary protection

Medical assistance should be sought after if there is vaginal bleeding that saturates a tampon or pad within an hour consecutively, irregular bleeding during cycles (in between periods), or any bleeding after menopause. If menorrhagia is not treated, serious problems such as severe pain and iron deficiency anemia can occur.

Causes of heavy menstrual bleeding remains ambiguous, but there are a few conditions believed to cause menorrhagia:

  • Hormone imbalance
  • Ovary malfunction
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Polyps
  • Adenomyosis
  • Intrauterine device
  • Pregnancy problems
  • Inherited disorders of bleeding
  • Particular medications
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Thyroid malfunction
  • Endometriosis
  • Cancer
  • Liver or kidney disease

Menorrhagia is most likely caused by hormone imbalance, which produces menstrual cycles lacking ovulation. Hormonal changes are most common in adolescents, and women in their 40­50s approaching menopause.

These methods will be used to investigate menorrhagia: ­

  • Blood test
  • Ultrasound
  • Endometrial biopsy (tissue sample)

Once investigated, the following treatments are available: ­

  • Anti­inflammatory medication
  • Oral contraceptive pill (OCP)
  • Tranexamic acid
  • Surgical hysteroscopy
  • Polypectomy
  • Myomectomy
  • Other alternative treatments.