- 1 Definition and Cause of Menorrhagia: Excessive Bleeding and Health Problems
- 2 Diagnosis of Menorrhagia: When to Seek Medical Attention
- 3 Treatment of Menorrhagia: Options for Controlling Excessive Uterine Bleeding
- 4 Managing Health Issues related to Menorrhagia
Definition and Cause of Menorrhagia: Excessive Bleeding and Health Problems
Menorrhagia, also known as hypermenorrhea, is a condition of excessive uterine bleeding during menstrual bleeding cycles. It is estimated to occur in up to 24% of women and is the most common cause of abnormal uterine bleeding. It is characterized by a heavy and prolonged menstrual flow, often with clots, lasting more than seven days. The amount of menstrual blood loss usually per cycle is greater than 80 ml, which is 2-3x higher than a normal cycle.
Menorrhagia can have a serious effect on a woman’s quality of life and lead to anemia and related medical conditions, such as fatigue, cold intolerance, and headaches. The cause of menorrhagia can vary and may include hormonal imbalance, uterine polyps, fibroids, pelvic inflammatory disease, adenomyosis, cancer, infection, clotting disorders, medications, and other conditions.
Diagnosis of Menorrhagia: When to Seek Medical Attention
If you are experiencing menorrhagia it is important to seek prompt medical advice. Your healthcare provider may order a series of tests, such as a physical exam, pelvic ultrasound, hormone analysis, and other diagnostic tests to determine the underlying cause of your symptoms. Treatment will depend on the cause.
Treatment of Menorrhagia: Options for Controlling Excessive Uterine Bleeding
Once the cause of menorrhagia is identified, your healthcare provider may recommend one or a combination of treatments to help manage and reduce the amount of bleeding. Treatment options include:
- Hormonal Therapy: Hormonal therapy is the most common treatment for menorrhagia, and may involve using birth control, progesterone, or the combination of the two. Hormonal therapy is used to regulate menstrual cycle, reduce menstrual bleeding, and prevent excessive bleeding.
- Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen, can help reduce menstrual bleeding by decreasing prostaglandin levels. Prostaglandins are chemicals that can increase the strength of uterine contractions.
- Antifibrinolytics: These medications can help prevent excessive uterine bleeding by reducing the breakdown of blood clots.
- Iron Supplements: Iron supplements can help treat anemia caused by excessive bleeding and replenish lost iron.
Some causes of menorrhagia require surgery to correct the condition. These may include uterine fibroids or polyps that require removal, endometrial ablation or a procedure to destroy the lining of the uterus. In some cases a hysterectomy (removal of the uterus) may be necessary.
Women suffering from menorrhagia should pay close attention to their health and manage any related issues, such as anemia. Iron supplements and taking care to have balanced diet can help ensure adequate iron levels. Regular exercise, relaxation techniques, and stress management may also help improve overall health and manage the symptoms of menorrhagia.
Menorrhagia is a condition that affects many women, and seeking prompt and appropriate treatment is essential. If you are experiencing menorrhagia, talk to your healthcare provider about the available options for diagnosis and treatment.