Menorrhagia is the condition of very heavy and/or long menstrual bleeding. Menorrhagia is characterized by extreme blood loss, such as having to replace a tampon/pad every 1 to 2 hours, and bleeding for 7 days or more.
Symptoms of anemia, such as shortness of breath, fatigue and weakness, are also common due to the blood loss. Other common symptoms include having to restrict daily activities, needing to change sanitary protection in the middle of the night, and passing blood clots larger than a quarter.
Menorrhagia can be caused by hormone imbalances, or issues such as ovarian dysfunction, non-cancerous growths (i.e. fibroids and polyps), adenomyosis (the growth of endometrial tissue into the uterine wall), or cancer. It can also be a rare side-effect of an intrauterine birth control device (IUD). Menorrhagia in young/adolescent females is typically due to ovary dysfunction, while menorrhagia in older women is typically due to fibroids, adenomyosis, and polyps.
Menorrhagia is typically diagnosed with a clinical history, blood test, pap smear, ultrasound, or uterine biopsy. Treatment includes over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines like ibuprofen and aspirin, birth control, and progesterone treatment. More invasive methods that deal with the removal or treatment of the uterus may be suggested if patients do not respond to medications.
If you or a family member has been diagnosed with menorrhagia, speak with your doctor about the most current treatment options.
Description Last Updated: Aug 20, 2018