Excessive bleeding during menstruation is the bane of countless women’s lives worldwide. Your doctor will classify your periods as heavy if you bleed enough to soak a pad every hour for several consecutive hours.
Passing large clots during menstruation and a period that lasts over seven days also are counted as excessive menstrual bleeding. Apart from messing up with daily activities, heavy bleeding or menorrhagia can also lead to anaemia which in turn causes shortness of breath and fatigue.
Hormonal imbalance is a big cause. If you are a teenager, you can easily have an imbalance in oestrogen and progesterone leading to heavy periods. This imbalance also easily presents in menopausal women.
- Hormonal imbalance can also be seen if there is a problem in ovarian function.
- Fibroids are another cause of heavy bleeding. Non-cancerous tumours of the uterus are another cause. Fibroids mostly occur during childbearing years.
- Miscarriages or ectopic pregnancies that occur in fallopian tubes are another cause of heavy bleeding.
- Use of medicines that thin blood in people with heart problems
- Intrauterine devices or IUDs used for birth control can also cause heavy bleeding.
- Pelvic inflammatory disease, PID, which is an infection of the uterus, fallopian tubes, and other organs of the reproductive system, can cause heavy bleeding.
- Cervical, uterine and ovarian cancers can also cause this symptom.
- Low platelet counts that can prevent normal blood clotting due to liver, kidney, or thyroid disease.
The doctor will examine you and determine the cause of the heavy bleeding. And depending on the cause, treatment will be carried out. There are a few medicines that are prescribed for menorrhagia like:
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen to cut down on blood loss and minimise the pain
- Hormone therapy can be done for stabilising hormones as well as the lining of the uterus and regulate the menstrual cycle
- Inserted IUD can also be removed in case the bleeding is too excessive
Surgery can also be considered depending on your case history. One of the following surgical procedures is usually recommended
- Dilation and curettage - D&C involves dilating the cervix or the entrance of the uterus and cleaning the lining of the uterus.
- Hysteroscopy - A long, thin scope is inserted into the uterus through the vagina and the doctor is able to see and simultaneously remove uterine masses that may be causing heavy bleeding.
- Hysterectomy - If all else fails, the uterus is removed. This puts a stop to a woman’s chances of having a baby ever.
Heavy bleeding should not be ignored as it puts you at risk of iron-deficiency anaemia which can affect your whole body.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!