What is Menorrhagia?
Most women do experience some forms of bleeding, they don’t bleed enough for it to be classified as menorrhagia.
Menorrhagia is a medical condition that is characterized by an abnormal menstrual period or prolonged vaginal bleeding. Here, the blood loss and cramps are extremely severe, making it difficult to carry out everyday activities like walking or working on a computer.
The condition causes a woman to lose more than 80 ml of blood. The variation in menstrual cycles and other health conditions make it difficult to know if you have menorrhagia. Therefore, a medical diagnosis is required to see if you have the condition or is it just regular bleeding.
While most women do experience some forms of bleeding, they don’t bleed enough for it to be classified as menorrhagia. However, it is still good to know about the condition and see how you can prevent it.
Causes of Menorrhagia
The cause of heavy periods or menorrhagia is not entirely known. However, medical studies point towards some possible factors such as.
Hormonal imbalanceThe normal function of the menstrual cycle is dependent upon the balance of two hormones i.e. oestrogen and progesterone. Sometimes, the balance between these hormones can change. Additionally, there is excessive development of endometrium, the uterine lining buildup, which can cause excessive menstrual shedding.
Uterine fibroidsUterine fibroids can develop during the reproductive age. It is a noncancerous growth of tumours that may lead to abnormal menstrual bleeding.
Dysfunctional ovariesOvaries carry out the essential function of regulating the menstrual cycle. If they do not release an egg for ovulation, there is no production of progesterone. This, in turn, causes hormonal balance that could lead to heavy period flow.
Pregnancy complicationA low-lying placenta or a miscarriage can cause sudden heavy bleeding.
Medical conditionsIn some cases, medical conditions like liver or kidney diseases and their medication can cause __menorrhagia.__
Signs of menorrhagia:
If you do have menorrhagia, you may notice evident signs such as:
- Incessant menstrual bleeding. It is so heavy that you have to change your pad or tampon several times in a day to absorb the flow
- Inability to sleep at night due to the heavy period flow
- Menstrual periods last for more than 7 days
- Nausea and weakness that restrain you from doing basic activities
- Shortness of breath
- Lingering pain in the abdomen throughout the period
Time to see the doctor
It is essential to seek medical help if you experience the following:
- Heavy vaginal bleeding that seems very abnormal
- Vaginal bleeding beyond the period days
- Vaginal bleeding post menopause
Maintaining a log of your heavy flow days can help your doctor better evaluate your symptoms.
Diagnosis of Menorrhagia
Menorrhagia is diagnosed after evaluating the medical history and pattern of your menstrual cycle. The doctor will ask you to journal the bleeding period and track days of heavy flow. Post this, you will be asked to undergo the following tests:
Blood testA blood sample helps the doctor detect iron deficiency, blood clotting, or any other blood-related conditions.
UltrasoundUltrasound is commonly used to capture images of the ovaries and uterus. This method employs the use of sound waves.
Pap testThe pap test includes a collection of cells from the cervix for infection or inflammatory testing. It helps in detecting any cancerous growth or changes in the cells.
Endometrial biopsyIn rare cases, the doctor may take a sample tissue from the uterus. This sample is then examined by a pathologist to detect any abnormality.
Treatment of Menorrhagia
The treatment of menorrhagia depends upon several factors such as medical history, current health situation, the severity of the condition, the body’s acceptance of procedures or therapies, childbearing plans, and personal preferences.
Medication is given to control the effects of the condition and stop heavy menstruation. It is also essential to undertake lifestyle changes, especially if the current habits are extremely unhealthy.
Menorrhagia can have adverse effects on your health and overall wellbeing if it is not detected in early stages. So, make sure that you watch out for its signs and focus on building healthy habits. In order to help you cope with your heavy flow, you can explore a wide range of Always products like sanitary pads, panty liners & tampons.