Also called as Menorrhagia, heavy menstrual bleeding is usually characterized by abnormal uterine bleeding that would require you to change your pad or tampon at least once in two hours. Menorrhagia is also characterized by heavy bleeding that extends well over the time frame that is considered normal for a menstrual cycle (7 days), heavy spotting in between menstrual cycles and frequent abdominal cramps.
Causes Of Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
So what exactly causes heavy menstrual bleeding? Although every woman out there would experience heavy bleeding at least once in her lifetime, abnormal menstrual bleeding or menorrhagia is a cause for concern. And here are some of the more common causes for the condition.
One of the main causes for heavy menstrual bleeding happens to be hormonal imbalances that tend to create havoc on our otherwise normal, balance lives. From the time of puberty to menopause, a woman would experience several physical and emotional issues in her body owing to significant hormonal changes. And heavy menstrual bleeding happens to be one of them.
Accordingly, this imbalance in hormonal levels leads to the formation of a thick uterine lining which causes heavy bleeding when shed during menstruation.
Another very common cause for heavy menstrual bleeding, uterine fibroids are non cancerous growths that occur in the uterus due to excessive estrogen in the body. These tumors attach themselves to the uterine walls and come out along with the same during shedding. And this may cause excessive menstrual bleeding in some women.
The same can be said for cervical polyps (that occur in and around the cervical surface and the endocervical canal) and endometrial polyps (that occur in the lining of the uterus), both of which are benign growths in the body that are caused by excessive estrogen and cause heavy menstrual bleeding during shedding.
Also called as IUDs, these devices are non-hormonal treatments for contraception. Usually inserted into the uterus to control child birth, these devices are preferred by plenty of women who are averse to taking contraceptive pills or using other methods of birth control.
In some cases, they may cause excessive menstrual bleeding. In case a woman experiences prolonged and heavy menstrual shedding after fitting an IUD, she may have to remove it.
It is possible for some women to suffer from inherited bleeding disorders that can cause heavy menstrual bleeding. For example, the von Willebrand’s disease is a common bleeding disorder that is handed down via the family tree. The disease makes the blood clotting factor in the body non functional and deficit, and so leads to heavy menstrual bleeding.
Complication during Pregnancy
Miscarriages can cause heavy menstrual bleeding in the month that they occur. Ectopic pregnancies can also cause heavy menstrual bleeding. However, if the bleeding is high only during menstruation and not otherwise, chances are it could not be due to a pregnancy complication.
Some medications are known to cause hormonal changes in the body and can lead to heavy menstrual bleeding. Even certain drugs that possess anti inflammatory and anticoagulant properties can cause heavy bleeding during menstruation. Hormonal medications that are not properly followed can also cause excessive menstrual bleeding in certain cases.
Alternate Medical Conditions
In addition to the above mentioned causes, heavy menstrual bleeding can be caused by several other medical conditions that need to be checked out by a doctor for correct diagnosis and treatment.
These include conditions like endometriosis, uterine cancer, adenomyosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, kidney/liver disease, cervical cancer, ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer and lupus.