Menorrhagia is a medical condition where the menstrual periods are heavier than usual and lasts for a longer period of time. It may be caused due to a number of reasons like endometriosis or thickening of the endometrium, cervical or endometrial cancer, thyroid disorders, hormonal imbalance, vaginal or uterine infection, polyps or fibroid, and dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding. Sometimes, the blood loss during every menstrual cycle is so heavy that an woman can become anemic. The pain and the blood loss associated with Menorrhagia is so acute that the patient sometimes become too weak and ill to carry out her day to day activity. It is the most common type of abnormal menstrual bleeding in women.
The Most Common Symptoms Of Menorrhagia Are:
1. Heavy Bleeding
When a woman complains of heavy periods, it is however difficult to determine if it is heavy when compared to other women. Menstrual bleeding is considered heavy when the bleeding is so much that it soaks up a tampoons or pad within an hour. With menorrhagia, heavy bleeding continues for several consecutive hours or days. Sometimes the flow of blood may be so heavy that double sanitary protection is required to control the flow. Frequent night-time bleeding may require the patient to keep waking up to change the sanitary protection.
2. Large Clots In Blood
Every women experience some amount of clotting in their menstrual blood from time to time which are shed on the heaviest days. The passing of multiple clots makes the blood flow look unusually thicker and denser. Anticoagulants are released by the body to prevent menstrual blood from clotting while when blood is released. But when the bleeding is heavy and rapid, the anticoagulants do not get enough time to stop the formation of clots. A patient of menorrhagia continues to pass large clots of blood during menstruation.
3. Pelvic Pain And Cramps
Pelvic pain and cramps are very common and normal for many women. However, the severity of the pain is not an indicator of menorrhagia. If it extends several days into the periods, it can be a cause of concern. Therefore, it should be co-related with other symptoms of menorrhagia and a thorough pelvic examination should be done.
4. Prolonged Bleeding
The duration of menstrual bleeding vary between women to women. Normally, it lasts from four to eight days. A menstrual bleeding that lasts for more than 7 days is termed as prolonged bleeding. With menorrhagia, a patients continue to bleed for several days or weeks. Therefore, if this happen consecutively during every menstrual cycle, it may be a possible indicator of menorrhagia.
Huge blood loss due to prolonged bleeding, clotted blood and heavy menstrual bleeding makes a patient of menorrhagia anemic. Anemia due to menorrhagia may decrease the levels of iron present in the blood. Iron is associated with the level of hemoglobin in blood. The patient is likely to develop pale skin, fatigue and weakness. Iron supplements and diet can be of some relief, although the symptoms will remain until the underlying condition persists.
The level of iron dips due to heavy bleeding. Therefore, the body does not have sufficient red blood cells to carry oxygen to its many parts. This may cause fatigue, shortness in breath, dizziness, cold hands and feet, and other similar symptoms. Moreover, the heart has to over-work to provide oxygen-rich blood to the various parts of the body. With menorrhagia, since the heavy bleeding does not go in a week, the body tends to get weaker over time.