As a general rule, a woman has her period once a month (in a period between 28-35 days depending on the case) and it usually lasts no more than 7 days. During those days it is common to find yourself in a general malaise, with cramps, leg pain and many other symptoms that may indicate that something is not right.
This is the case of menorrhagia. Do you know what it is and what this problem consists of? It is a medical problem in which the menstrual periods are very long in time and are quite abundant. And, in addition, it is usually accompanied by other warning symptoms that you must attend to in order to see a doctor as soon as possible.
Heavy menstrual bleeding is not normal; however, it is normal for you to have doubts because each woman has a quite different concept on the subject. To clarify all the issues, in this article we are going to tell you about some causes and solutions to menorrhagia. Your health is in your own hands!
Do you have menorrhagia? Pay attention to the symptoms!
Before knowing the causes and possible solutions that can be found to this problem, it is necessary to warn about the symptoms to realize that, indeed, you are suffering from menorrhagia. Do you feel identified with any of them? Do not hesitate to consult your doctor.
Heavy menstrual bleeding: it is the most important indication that you are suffering from menorrhagia. If you have to change your pad or tampon every 2 hours, if you notice that hygiene products are too stained or if you even have to get up in the middle of the night to change, it’s a warning sign.
- Too long bleeding: if you notice that your period lasts more than 8 or 10 days, or even if you have leaks between periods, you should take the necessary precautions.
- Too large clots: you should pay close attention to the clots that you expel during menstruation. If they are more or less the size of a coin, you should see a doctor if you are concerned.
- Too intense pain: experiencing great pain during menstruation is not normal, and it is common for dysmenorrhea (very strong menstrual cramps) to also occur during menorrhagia.
- Tiredness or fatigue: abundant bleeding can cause anemia, that is, a very important lack of iron. This translates into a lot of tiredness, weakness, you lack energy and may even have mood swings.
Most common causes of menorrhagia
Heavy menstrual bleeding can be caused by numerous causes, including those that we are going to tell you about below. But, yes, keep in mind that it is always better for the doctor to determine what your problem has been and what will be the best treatment for you. These are the most common causes for which menorrhagia can occur:
Hormonal imbalances can occur at any time in our lives, however it is more common for them to occur during the first (adolescence) and last periods, when menopause is close. This imbalance can be caused by many other pathologies, such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, thyroid or obesity, among many others.
Why does this mismatch occur? The hormones estrogen and progesterone are responsible for regulating the accumulation of the endometrium, which is eliminated during menstruation. When these hormones become unbalanced, the endometrium develops intensely and abundant menstruation occurs, causing menorrhagia.
Polyps are small benign tumors that form in the endometrium, which lines the inside of the uterus. These uterine polyps can be the cause of heavy or prolonged bleeding, so it is important to find a solution as soon as possible.
Using an IUD
Heavy bleeding can also be one of the consequences of having an intrauterine device. The reason? The body identifies it as something strange, and tries to expel it with abundant bleeding. Of course, keep in mind that this will only occur if your IUD is made of copper, with hormonal ones it does not usually happen. But calm down! The doctor will help you find a correct solution according to your case.
Although it is not very common, there are certain drugs that can cause a heavier period than you normally have. They usually occur with anti-inflammatories, with anticoagulants or with certain hormonal medications. If you are taking any of them and notice that your period lasts longer, go to your doctor to discuss your case and he will know the steps you have to follow.
Did your mother or grandmother have heavy periods? Although the same does not have to happen to you, the genetic component has a lot to say about your pathologies and, in general, about your body. If your ancestors had menorrhagia, you may also have to deal with it.
Endometriosis or adenomyosis
Endometriosis occurs when the endometrium shifts outside of the uterus, or grows too large within it. For its part, adenomyosis appears when the glands that form the endometrium settle in the uterus. In both cases, the bleeding can be very abundant, and the menstrual periods so painful that they are a sign that something is not going quite right in your body.
Fibroids are also known as uterine fibroids, and they are benign tumors found in the uterus during a woman’s childbearing years. They can occur for many reasons, such as genetics or hormonal imbalance, and are one of the most common causes of heavy bleeding.
Frequent solutions for menorrhagia
- There are many treatments to solve the problem of menorrhagia, but it is very important to attend a medical consultation to study your case. Not all cases are the same, and each woman can experience unusual bleeding for a specific cause, so it will be the doctor who can best help you solve your problem. They are the ones who can give you the pertinent tests and who know your medical history perfectly to be able to help you as soon as possible.
- In any case, it is quite common for heavy bleeding or menorrhagia to be treated with oral contraceptives, that is, with the contraceptive pill. In addition to preventing pregnancy, these pills can help you a lot to regulate menstrual cycles or excessive bleeding. And, if it is a problem due to a copper IUD, it is normal to change it to a hormonal IUD or Mirena. It is also common for the intake of the progesterone hormone to help correct the hormonal imbalance that we talked about before, if this is your case. However, many other drugs can also be recommended depending on the specific case to be treated.
- In any case, we repeat once again that if you notice any change in your body, whatever it may be, you should not hesitate to see a doctor as soon as possible. In this way, they will be able to diagnose the problem you have and recommend the best treatments to solve your menorrhagia.