Menorrhagia or heavy menstrual periods are a common occurrence in many women. This causes heavy loss of blood accompanied by cramps such that it is difficult to carry out the day to day activities also. Normally a woman has menstrual periods in which she loses 35 to 40 milliliters of blood on an average. Prolonged and excessive bleeding results in more blood loss as much as 80 milliliters. This excess loss of blood can cause other medical problems in a woman.
The causes of heavy menstrual periods are
1. Anovulation: Anovulation means the ovaries do not produce or release an egg and is a common cause of this condition. There is no ovulation once a month and therefore the periods tend to be irregular or absent. This is seen in women nearing menopause or in adolescents. Women who have PCOS or polycystic ovary syndrome also have problems with ovulation.
2. Abnormal growths: Having abnormal growths in the uterus can also cause menorrhagia. These growths can be non cancerous like uterine fibroids, polyps or overgrowth of the lining of the uterus.
3. Tendency to Bleed: Certain conditions make a woman prone to bleeding like certain diseases and a low platelet count.
4. Medications: Some medications cause make a woman bleed more during periods like blood thinners.
5. Surgery: Recent surgeries or uterine procedures can lead to this condition.
6. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: Infection in the uterus can cause heavy menstrual periods.
7. IUDs: This birth control device may cause pain and bleeding.
8. Medical Conditions: Diabetes, cirrhosis of the liver, thyroid and pituitary disorders can cause this too.
9. Pregnancy Complications: Complications may result in miscarriage which causes the bleeding.
10. Hormonal Imbalances: If there is an imbalance of the hormones estrogen and progesterone, the endometrium develops in excess and sheds by heavy menstrual bleeding.
Apart from these lifestyle changes such as dietary changes, sudden loss of weight or gain of weight, travel, illness or stress can lead to heavy menstrual periods.
The symptoms of menorrhagia can be bleeding for prolonged times, heavy bleeding, passing of large blood clots, iron deficiency, frequent changing of pads or tampons, heavy menstrual periods such that it interferes with your daily routines, experiencing tiredness, fatigue and shortness of breath.
The treatment of menorrhagia may be given considering factors like your medical history, cause of the condition, pregnancy plans and tolerance of medications. Some of the treatments of this condition are as follows:
1. Medications: Iron supplements are given if this condition is accompanied by anemia or if your iron levels are low in the body. Non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs can help to reduce the bleeding and decrease the cramps. Oral contraceptive pills aid in regulation of the cycles and reduce excessive bleeding. Oral progesterone can help in correcting the hormonal imbalances in the body.
2. Hysteroscopy: This will surgically remove a polyp if present using a tiny tube with light.
3. Hysterectomy: This is a permanent solution which involves the removal of the uterus. This results in stoppage of the menstrual periods altogether.
4. Dilation and curettage: This involves dilation of the cervix to scrape the tissues from the lining of the uterus to reduce the heavy bleeding.
5. Endometrial ablation: In this the lining of the uterus is permanently destroyed but this also reduces the chance to get pregnant.
One needs to take enough rest during this condition of excessive bleeding and follow the treatment.
About the Author:
By: Peter Filinovich