Author – Dr. Surabhi Siddhartha MBBS, DGO
Consultant – Obstetrician & Gynaecologist at Motherhood Hospital Kharghar, Mumbai
While menstruation can lead to many disruptions in everyday life, some women may also suffer from a disorder known as heavy menstrual bleeding or menorrhagia. It refers to heavy bleeding that can last for more than seven days. During menorrhagia heavy bleeding with clots is a common sight. You are bound to change your tampon every 2 hours.
Quick Fact – It has been seen that around one in four women experiences heavy menstrual bleeding, which is common in women aged between 30 to 50.
Heavy menstrual bleeding
When the heavy bleeding lasts for more than 7 days, it is referred to as menorrhagia. It is advised to consult an expert Gynaecologist who will provide you professional health care if you are having continuous heavy bleeding. Avoiding it may cause anaemia and restrict you from being at your optimum.
Causes of heavy menstrual bleeding
Though in many cases, the cause of heavy periods is unknown, yet there are several conditions that relate to it:
- Hormonal imbalance: The hormones that regulate the lining of the uterus called endometrium are progesterone and estrogen, which are balanced in normal bleeding. If any imbalance occurs in these two, the endometrium lining can develop in excess where its shedding relates to heavy bleeding.
- Bleeding disorder due to ovaries: Ovaries release an egg during the menstrual cycle, whereas progesterone is produced during a regular menstrual cycle. However, your ovaries may not release an egg which leads to an imbalance in the progesterone levels and lead to heavy menstrual bleeding.
- Uterine problems: In extreme cases, cancer of the uterus or cervix can be one of the causes. Besides, any growth on the uterus, called uterine fibroids or polyps, can also lead to heavy periods.
- Infections: Infections or injuries in the vagina can also lead to heavy bleeding
- Pregnancy-related problems: In the case of ectopic pregnancy (when the fertilised egg gets implanted outside the uterus), a person may suffer from heavy bleeding during periods.A miscarriage can also cause heavy periods.
Signs and symptoms of heavy menstrual bleeding
The leading signs of menorrhagia are:
- Frequent change of sanitary pads every hour
- Using double sanitary protection to control the blood flow
- Feeling the need to change the tampon during the night due to heavy flow
- Bleeding for more than seven days or a week
- Discharging blood clots that are larger in size
- Experiencing symptoms of anaemia due to blood loss like tiredness, shortness of breath etc.
- Diagnosis and testing
When consulting with your lady gynaecologist, she will inquire about your menstrual cycles along with medical history. She may also suggest taking some common blood tests, pap tests, endometrial biopsy or ultrasound.
Treatment of heavy menstrual bleeding
Treatment for heavy periods will depend on many factors. Some common approaches are:
- Medications, including NSAIDs, oral contraceptives, oral progesterone etc.
- Surgical procedures like uterine artery embolization, dilation and curettage, focused ultrasound surgery etc.
Heavy bleeding should not be considered normal especially if it extends for more than 7 days. In such cases, it is best to consult with a gynaecologist who will diagnose your heavy menstrual bleeding situation and provide an accurate line of treatment.
At Motherhood Hospitals, we have a team of experienced super specialists backed by the latest in infrastructure and facilities. We have the best Gynaecologist specialists in Kharghar, Mumbai. We are experts in handling complex deliveries, gynaecological, and other surgeries including a range of laparoscopic surgeries.
Do take an appointment with the best Gynaecology hospital in Kharghar, Mumbai at a centre closest to you. Meet with our doctors who will carry out the required investigations, diagnose the issue and recommend the most appropriate treatment, enabling you to lead an active life.