Heavy or prolonged bleeding during menses is medically known as 'menorrhagia'. It is more common as you approach menopause but can occur at any age. The bleeding has to be severe enough to interfere with your daily activities.
The cause could be hormonal, pregnancy complications, bleeding disorder or a structural lesion like a fibroid, polyp, endometriosis or adenomyosis.
In advanced age cancer of the uterus or cervix has to be ruled out.
Symptoms of heavy periods
- Soaking a pad or tampon every 2-3 hrs or less in a day
- Passage large blood clots during menstruation
- Your period lasts more than seven days
- You become anemic due to excessive blood loss
How to manage excessive bleeding
- Maintain a record: Maintain a record of the no of days and pattern of heavy bleeding.
- Increase your intake of fluids and salt: You should increase your intake of fluids and especially salty fluids during heavy menstruation. You can have vegetable juices like tomato juice as well as salty broths during such times. This will help you especially when your blood volume goes down (which is characterized by dizziness or pounding of heart) when you get up after lying down. Your body would need more than four to six cups on such a day.
- Increase the intake of iron: Increase your iron intake through natural sources like green vegetables, egg yolks, red meat, liver and dried fruits like raisins and prunes. You can also start an iron tablet once a day for faster recovery from anemia.
- Visit your gynecologist: A good history, few blood tests, and a simple ultrasound generally leads to the diagnosis. Sometimes a biopsy is required to rule out cancer. Multiple new drugs have been added in the last few years which have avoided the need for surgery.
An early diagnosis ends up with better results. Hence, it is important to act early. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a gynaecologist.