Heavy periods, also known as menorrhagia refers to abnormally heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding in women. This can disrupt a woman’s normal activities as she has so much blood loss and cramping.
A woman’s blood loss during menstruation is usually between 30 to 40 milliliters or two to three tablespoons. This lasts for about four to five days. But menorrhagia is a loss of around 80 milliliters of blood in one cycle which is over twice of the usual amount and can last more than seven days.
About 1 in 20 women experience this every year. It can become an obstacle in their lifestyle hence the need to get appropriate advise and care.
Causes of Heavy Period
Abnormal or heavy menstrual flow can occur without a known cause. But it usually occurs as a result of causes such as endometriosis, fibroids and other conditions.
When there is no known cause the condition is referred to as dysfunctional uterine bleeding or idiopathic menorrhagia. This occurs about 50 percent of the time the condition is reported. In this case, both the womb (uterus) and the ovaries remain the same. There is no noticeable change or abnormality.
Other known causes of menorrhagia include:
- Changes in hormone levels otherwise known as hormone imbalances. Women having conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome and others with underactive thyroid gland are susceptible to heavy periods.
- Difficulty forming blood clots by the body
- Infections (especially those involving the womb)
- Bleeding disorders
- Pregnancy-related conditions. Sometimes an intrauterine contraceptive device (IUCD, or coil) can also cause heavy and lengthy blood flows.
- Inflammatory disease or infection of the pelvis. Infections such as Chlamydia can cause heavy bleeding. But these infections can be treated by using antibiotics.
- This involves benign enlargements of muscle in the wall of the womb
- Cancer of the womb lining also known as endometrial carcinoma
- These are small fleshy lumps
- Heavy periods could also be a side effect of medicines such as warfarin or its likes.
Signs and Symptoms
- Excessive bleeding more than usual
- Requiring a new sanitary pad or tampon every few hours
- Longer lasting of the menstrual cycle, usually longer than seven days
- Menstrual clotting larger than one inch in diameter
- Disruption of normal daily activities as a result of the flow
Diagnosis and Treatment
As the signs and symptoms worsen, it is important to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis. Your doctor or healthcare provider should be able to determine the real cause of the bleeding after a careful observation, and running some tests.
Endometrial biopsy is one of the methods used to check for abnormal cells after a sample of tissue has been taken from the uterine lining for observation.
Using ultrasound or X-ray images of the uterus for tests or other devices to look inside the uterus or abdomen are also good ways to find the cause. Causes usually include one of the causes enumerated above. Where hormone imbalances are responsible for the condition, the necessary prescription will be made to bring them to normal.
If necessary, your doctor or health care provider may want to carry out an internal (vaginal) exam to check the neck of your womb (cervix). A blood test may also be carried out. Treatment will then be recommended based on the doctor’s findings.
A little bleeding, in some cases, may not be something to worry about, but if it becomes unbearable, consult your doctor for appropriate advice and professional care.
Natural Treatment for Heavy Bleeding (Menorrhagia)
There are several herbs, natural or home remedies used in treating menorrhagia. While most can be found all over the internet, only a few are actually effective.
One of the best natural and permanent cure for heavy bleeding or menorrhagia is the herbs. Click here to read details about treating menorrhagia with natural herbs.
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