Menorrhagia – heavy menstrual bleeding
Menorrhagia is a very common disorder among women. It is bleeding that lasts longer than 7 days, and sometimes can be quite heavy.
What is menorrhagia, exactly?
Menorrhagia can be a common condition in women. Menorrhagia is the medical name for prolonged periods of bleeding lasting more than 7 days, is a condition known as menorrhagia. About one in 20 women suffers from menorrhagia and some bleeding can be extremely heavy.
If left untreated, menorrhagia could lead to anemia. The heavy bleeding can disrupt sleep, cause lower abdominal pain, or make engaging activities difficult.
Talk to your doctor if you experience weakness or disruptions in daily life because of heavy bleeding.
SYMPTOMS and CAUSES
What are the signs and symptoms for menorrhagia
Menorrhagia symptoms include:
- You can soak one or more tampons every hour for several consecutive hours.
- Double your pad purchases
- Long-lasting periods (lasts longer than 7 Days)
- Bleeding that keeps you from normal activities
- Constant pain in lower portion of stomach
- You are short of energy
- A shortness of breath
What causes menorrhagia
Other causes of menorrhagia include uterine problems, hormone issues or other illnesses. There are also other causes:
- Tumors or growths in the uterus that do not indicate cancer
- Cancer of the cervix, uterus
- Different types of birth control
- Miscarriage and ectopic pregnancies (when the fertilized egg implants are outside the uterus)
- Bleeding disorders
- Liver, kidney and thyroid disease
- You should not take certain drugs like aspirin
- The menopause transition, also known as the perimenopause
- Fibroids, or polyps, in the lining and muscle of your womb
DIAGNOSIS & TESTS
How can menorrhagia be diagnosed?
Your doctor will assess your medical history and examine your menstrual cycle to determine if you have menorrhagia. Our doctors may do further testing to determine if there is an anatomical reason for your bleeding.
- When you got your first period.
- The length of your menstrual cycles
- How long your period will last
- The number of days that your period is long
- If your quality of life is effected during your period
- If there is a family history of heavy bleeding, it may also be a member of your extended family.
- Stress that you are currently experiencing
- Probleme with weight
- Current medications
The following are some of the physical or psychological tests that may be used to diagnose menorrhagia:
- Pelvic exam
- Blood test to test for thyroid, check for anemia, and determine how blood clots
- Check your cervix for signs of changes with a Pap test
- Endometrial biopsy to examine uterine tissues for cancer and abnormalities
- Ultrasound can be used to verify the function of blood vessels and tissues.
Sometimes additional tests may still be necessary to identify the cause of bleeding.
- Sonohysterogram to examine the lining of your uterus for any problems
- Hysteroscopy for checking for fibroids and polyps
- Dilation and curettage (“D&C”) This test can also be used to treat bleeding. Under sedation, the lining of your uterus will be scraped.
TREATMENT AND MANAGEMENT
How is menorrhagia treated
The severity of your bleeding, the reason for it, your health, age, and other medical information will all affect the treatment. Your response to medications, your wishes and needs and how they affect your treatment are all important factors. You might not want to go through a period or want to lessen the bleeding. Your decision to get pregnant, or not, will impact the treatment you choose. You have the option to choose not to receive treatment if anemia is not present.
Some common treatments are:
- Iron supplements to add more iron to your blood
- Ibuprofen can be used to reduce bleeding and pain
- Birth control is used to increase periods and reduce bleeding (pills or vaginal ring, patch).
- Intrauterine contraception is used to reduce bleeding and make periods more frequent.
- Antifibrinolytic drugs to reduce bleeding
- To reduce bleeding, dilation and curettage (D&C) are performed by removing the top layer (uterus lining) of the uterus.
- Operative Hysteroscopy: Removal of fibroids and polyps or the removal of the lining
- Endometrial Ablation or Resection: To remove or destroy the lining of the uterus
- Hysterectomy: To remove your uterus surgically and you will no longer have periods
How is menorrhagia prevented
Menorrhagia is not preventable. Talking with our doctor about the diagnosis and treatment can help to prevent any other health problems in the future.
What is the outlook for menorrhagia patients?
Menorrhagia is a serious condition that can disrupt your daily life if it is not treated. You may feel weak and tired, and it can lead to anemia. If the bleeding problem does not get resolved, there are other health problems that can arise. Menorrhagia can usually be treated with doctor help and managed.
If you suspect that you might have menorrhagia, when should you call the doctor?
If you experience abnormal heavy bleeding, it’s best to call one of our doctors.