Menorrhagia is a condition in which heavy loss of blood is seen during the monthly menstrual cycle. The blood flow is either very heavy or lasts for about 9 – 14 days or both.
Regular menstrual flow occurs every 20-35 days. The cycle duration differs from one person to another. However, the regularity of flow will help the person predict the date when the next menstrual cycle flow is due. Menstrual flow or bleeding will last for about 3 – 7 days, with blood loss of about 2 to 3 tablespoons.
However, menstrual flow differs from one woman to another. Some may experience early menstrual period, while others may encounter late menstrual cycle. Then again, some have less blood flow, while some lose more blood. Women losing more than 5 – 6 tablespoons of blood during their menstrual cycle are said to have menorrhagia or hypermenorrhea.
Symptoms of Menorrhagia
The different menorrhagia symptoms are as follows:
Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
Women with menorrhagia will experience blood flow for about 2 weeks, wherein, the person has to use one pad an hour. This means over 10 pads are to be changed on a daily basis. These women also need to use double sanitary protection to counter the heavy bleeding. Changing pads during the night is also mandatory. Such heavy blood flow is often seen to disrupt routine life.
Besides heavy bleeding, one will also notice presence of conspicuous blood clots on the pads. The blood clots may be as large as an inch in size.
As per the survey conducted by the NWHRC in 2005, about 40% women with menorrhagia are seen to develop anemia. This is because, with excess blood flow, the body loses hemoglobin from the RBCs, which contains iron. Thus, a lot of iron content is lost from the body thereby leading to anemia.
Woman with menorrhagia will also experience a constant, gnawing pain in the lower abdomen all throughout menstruation. Besides abdominal pain, one also experiences fatigue and shortness of breath.
Menorrhagia is a form of dysfunctional uterine bleeding and can result from different factors like stress, endocrine gland dysfunction, uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, hormonal imbalance, etc. The type of treatment will depend on the cause of menorrhagia. Birth control pills, progesterone pills or hormone replacement therapy is carried out to regularize the blood flow. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are also prescribed to reduce the blood flow. Iron supplements will be given to treat the anemic conditions.
On a general note, the patient is asked to take bed rest and refrain from exerting oneself, both mentally as well as physically. You should not go for rigorous activities or exercises and avoid being anxious and apprehensive. If none of the medications work, surgery will have to be carried out. Some home remedies such as consuming tea prepared from coriander seeds or cinnamon seeds is also used to reduce the menstrual flow. Hysterectomy is unfortunate and involves surgical removal of uterus and ovaries. This is the last resort in menorrhagia treatment.
If in an hour, one needs to use more than two pads and if this happens for two hours consecutively, one needs to consult a gynecologist immediately. This kind of heavy bleeding can be deleterious and needs to be dealt with on an urgent basis. Do not neglect the symptoms and get it treated as soon as possible.