Menorrhagia is the medical term given for excessive bleeding during menstruation. This condition is different from prolonged bleeding that occurs during pre-menopause stage. In menorrhagia there will be heavy loss of blood and the affected woman cannot manage daily activities due to heavy cramps and loss of blood. You need to talk to your gynecologist to take proper treatment for excessive bleeding.
There will be heavy menstrual bleeding that makes one change sanitary pads more frequently than others. Some women will have to use double sanitary protection to prevent soaking.
Excessive menstrual bleeding will prolong for many days even for a week. The affected women will have to wakeup many times for changing pads during night. Heavy bleeding and menstrual cramps will hinder in daily activities. There will be fatigue, extreme tiredness and signs of anemia.
Exact cause of excessive menstrual bleeding is not known. It can be due to some of the factors given below :-
Imbalanced Hormone : Due to hormonal imbalance, the endometric cells of the uterus grow in excess breaking away the muscle of the walls of uterus causing heavy bleeding.
Ovulation Problem : Menstrual cycle may not occur properly if ovulation is not regular which reduces or stops secreting progesterone. This will lead to hormonal imbalance causing heavy bleeding.
Fibroids : Presence of uterine fibroids can cause heavy bleeding.
Polyps : Polyps are small tissue growth on the uterine wall. It can cause prolonged bleeding in women of reproductive ages.
Adenomyosis : This is a condition in which the endometrium cells outgrow the uterine muscle causing excessive bleeding with painful cramps.
Intrauterine Device : Using devices for birth control can cause excessive menstrual bleeding.
Complications in Pregnancy : Ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage can cause this problem. Uterus cancer or ovarian cancer can cause excess bleeding.
Intake of certain medications like anticoagulants or anti-inflammatory drugs can cause prolonged bleeding. Finally thyroid problems, liver disease and kidney problem can cause excess of bleeding. In severe cases, anemia can occur due to depletion of iron and low hemoglobin levels.
Your doctor will physically examine your body and collect information about the symptoms. She may order for Pap test, blood culture, and ultrasound scan for verifying the condition of uterus and for collecting sample cells from the cervix. For some women, hysteroscopy is done by sending tiny tube into the vagina for viewing the inside of uterus.
Treatment for excessive bleeding depends on factors like your age, general health condition, usage of contraceptive device and medical history. Further your gynecologist will also ask about future pregnancy plans before giving any treatment. Non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen, Aleve for managing pain during periods.
Iron supplements are given after checking your blood test report in case you are likely to become anemic. She may also give suggestions to use oral contraceptive pills which will control excess of bleeding apart from preventing pregnancy. For correcting hormonal imbalance oral progesterone is given for 10-15 days. Hormonal intrauterine device called levonorgestrel is inserted into the uterus which in turn controls menstrual flow and cramps.
Surgery is the last option for excessive bleeding and this is done only if the drugs are not effective. Dilation and curettage is done by opening the cervix region, by scraping the excess of tissue from the lining of uterus. This procedure is effective in controlling excess of bleeding during periods.
Hysteroscopy is done for removing polyps or fibroids from the uterus. Entire inner lining of the uterus is destroyed using endometrial ablation process which will stop menstrual flow completely. Hysterectomy is done for surgically removing the uterus if none of the above methods are successful.