Periods can be a challenge even on your best days. But if they are accompanied by continuous heavy bleeding, things can get worse. Statistics show that about 60% of menstruating women in India, at some stage in their life, experience excessive bleeding during their periods. The medical term for this condition is menorrhagia. This medical condition is characterized by periods that last for over 7 days or continuous heavy bleeding that makes you change your sanitary pads or tampons every one to two hours.
However, not every case of heavy menstrual bleeding can be considered menorrhagia. There are certain determining symptoms that can help your doctor in diagnosing the condition. Also, whether or not you have menorrhagia, continuous and excessive bleeding during periods can be a matter of concern. In such a situation, you should visit your doctor for a proper check-up and control and manage your menstrual bleeding.
The article below follows a detailed account of menorrhagia, its symptoms and causes, and diagnosis and treatment options.
Is Excessive Bleeding In Periods Normal?
Sometimes you might experience heavy bleeding and need to change your pads or tampons more frequently than usual. It could be caused by hormonal imbalance, untimely periods, or some lifestyle and eating factors and is not usually a matter of concern. However, if this happens continuously, for over a week, or almost every menstrual cycle, it is not normal. Abnormal heavy bleeding can also be caused by some underlying factors that require medical attention. And even if the cause is not a serious one, losing too much blood can lead to anemia, fatigue, and other illnesses, and can interfere with your daily life.
Hence, if you experience excessive bleeding, visit your gynecologist and tell them about your concerns. Difficulties related to periods are not a matter of stigma or shame. A large part of the female population faces it and you should feel free to talk about it and seek medical help if and whenever needed.
Symptoms Of Menorrhagia
It could be difficult to tell whether or not you have menorrhagia. Gynecologists follow a certain set of characteristics to diagnose this condition. Those symptoms include:
- Your periods last for more than 7 days
- You need to change your pads or tampons continuously every one or two hours
- The menstrual clots are bigger than a quarter
- You require double protection like a tampon and a pad or two pads to prevent leakage and staining
- You experience constant pain in your lower pelvic area
- You are showing symptoms of anemia like fatigue, sleepiness, and shortness of breath
- You are facing difficulty keeping up with your daily schedule and completing important tasks
If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, we advise you to seek medical help. A gynecologist would help you control the bleeding and determine the exact cause behind it to prevent such heavy discharge thereon. Also, even if your bleeding is not as severe but is causing you great discomfort and interfering with your daily routine, visiting a gynecologist could help you relieve your discomfort.
Excessive Bleeding During Periods Causes
Several minor and major factors can cause heavy menstrual bleeding in women. Some causes are not a medical concern and get resolved on their own or by making a few small changes in your food and lifestyle habits. However, some causative factors may require immediate medical help. Hence, it is important to determine why excessive bleeding during periods is happening to ensure and maintain your good health.
Some common reasons for excessive bleeding during periods include:
- Non-cancerous cell growth in the uterus; could be fibroids or polyps that interfere with the hormonal balance and the normal functioning of the uterus, causing heavy bleeding
- Cancer of the uterus, cervix, or ovaries can also lead to abnormal menstrual bleeding
- An imbalance in the levels of hormones like estrogen and progesterone that regulate the menstrual cycle can cause excessive bleeding
- Conditions like PCOS and others; cause irregular menstrual cycle and long gaps between periods which could cause heavy bleeding when you finally get your periods
- Adenomyosis can cause heavy bleeding and pain during menstruation; it is a condition in which the endometrial glands of the uterus get embedded into the uterine muscles
- Medications like aspirin have blood-thinning factors and their constant use might contribute to heavy menstrual bleeding
- Birth control methods like intrauterine devices (IUDs) are often associated with abnormal bleeding
- Health conditions like a kidney, liver, or thyroid disease or infection or inflammation of the pelvis can indirectly affect the menstrual bleeding
- Bleeding disorders like von Willebrand Disease
- Some women also might inherit conditions associated with heavy menstrual bleeding
Diagnosis For Menorrhagia
A gynecologist would inquire about your medical and family history first. Then, they would ask questions like when did you start getting periods, how long is your usual menstrual cycle, how many days do your periods last, what extent of bleeding do you experience, for how long have you been having heavy bleeding, and similar ones. This information would give the doctor an idea of your condition and the possible causes.
Following this session, the doctor would prescribe you some tests like:
- A blood test to determine whether you have anemia or thyroid imbalance and if your blood clotting system is functioning properly
- An ultrasound to view your uterus, ovaries, cervix, and surrounding regions to detect any unusual cell mass or any other abnormality
- A pap test in which they would take tissue samples from your cervix and test it for any infection, inflammation, or signs of cancer
- An endometrial biopsy involving taking tissue samples from the endometrium, the innermost layer of the uterus, and testing it for infections, inflammation, any abnormalities, and cancer
- A hysteroscopy to get a clear view of the inside of the uterus and spot any fibroids, polyps, or other abnormalities
- A sonohysterogram which involves injecting a fluid into the uterus through the cervix to view the inside more clearly; it is performed only if the previous tests indicate some abnormality
The doctor would perform a combination of only a few of these tests. It depends on their understanding of the possible reasons for excessive bleeding during periods after listening to your experience.
Treatment For Excessive Bleeding During Periods
The treatment options for heavy bleeding or menorrhagia involve the use of both drugs and surgery. However, the best approach depends on the excessive bleeding during periods and hence is customized for every woman. Doctors usually prefer treating the condition using medications if the surgical approach could be avoided.
- Iron supplements to relieve the symptoms of anemia
- Birth control pills to control bleeding by inducing regular periods
- Ibuprofen to reduce the period cramps and prevent heavy bleeding
- Intrauterine devices (IUDs) to induce regular periods and regulate normal bleeding
- Hormone therapy to maintain hormonal balance
- Desmopressin nasal spray for women with bleeding disorders
There are several surgical options to treat menorrhagia, but some of the most common ones are:
- Dilation & Curettage (D&C) to remove the top innermost layer of the uterus
- Operational hysteroscopy to view inside the uterus and remove fibroids, polyps, or similar growths and abnormalities
- A myomectomy to remove fibroids from the uterus
- Hysterectomy to remove the uterus in women who do not plan on having children in the future
Why Choose Mulberry Women Care Clinic?
At Mulberry Women Care, we deal with your problems with great care and expertise. Dr. Ravjyot Kaur, our specialist, is the best gynecologist in Gurgaon with high proficiency in her knowledge of the field and possesses unmatched expertise in providing diagnoses, interpreting the results, and assisting treatment accordingly. Abreast with all the new trends, Dr. Ravjyot Kaur always assists her patients with the best possible approach to the treatment and care for all their issues, which makes her a reliable expert to resolve your gynecological issues to the farthest extent.
Mulberry Women Care is embedded with the latest hi-tech imaging instrumentations, ensuring accurate and high-quality imaging. We always consider the comfort and well-being of our patients and make sure to provide them with a clean and friendly environment for their diagnosis and treatment.
To resolve all your period-related problems in a cost-effective and healthy way, visit Mulberry Women Care now!