Excessive bleeding is being defined as a loss of 5 – 6 tablespoons of blood in one menstrual cycle. On an average, a woman loses 2- 3 tablespoons of blood during her period over a period of three to seven days but if the amount of blood loss exceeds 2-3 tablespoons then in medical parlance it is called Menorrhagia.
Menorrhagia can be an indication of some other medical problem and it can also give way to other medical problems like iron deficiency anemia. On the other hand, heavy bleeding which qualifies as Menorrhagia is not experienced by women generally. Heavy bleeding is though common among pre menopausal women but it is not enough to be called as Menorrhagia.
When a woman faces Menorrhagia, she loses so much blood and faces so many cramps that it affects her day to day activities during periods and thereafter for next many days because of blood loss. If you face heavy bleeding during your periods and are frightened of your impending period, then it’s high time you talk to your doctor about it.
Causes of Excessive Menstrual Bleeding
Some causes of heavy bleeding during menstruation are still unknown but still there are many other factors which are supposed to be responsible for heavy bleeding. Some of the common causes are as following:
A delicate balance between the two hormones – estrogen and progesterone regulates the menstruation period in a woman. If due to some factors, like menopause, puberty, medication, breastfeeding, or some other ailments this delicate balance is disturbed then it results in heavy bleeding.
Malfunctioning of Ovaries
Generally every month one of the two ovaries releases an egg in a woman. Progesterone hormone is released by the body once the ovary releases the egg but if the egg is not released then progesterone hormone is also not released. This disturbs the balance between the estrogen and progesterone hormone in the body resulting in Menorrhagia.
Fibroids in Uterus
Fibroids are quite common in women during their childbearing years. These fibroids are benign tumors (non cancerous) and hence they do not pose any life threatening situation but they are sometimes responsible for heavier bleeding along with formation of huge clots or prolonged bleeding.
The fibroids develop during the reproductive years of a woman and continue to grow during her reproductive years along with the menstruation. Sometimes these fibroids become as large as a football in a woman’s uterus and cause heavy bleeding and weight gain. When they become huge in size then they need to be surgically removed.
Uterine polyps are other foreign elements in the uterus which can cause heavy bleeding in a woman. Polyps are tiny and harmless growth on the lining of the uterus which can cause abnormal bleeding in a woman.
Polyps are usually found in women during their reproductive age because of higher levels of hormones during that period. The polys can be very small in size which needs a microscope to be seen but eventually they can grow as big as a tennis ball.
Adenomyosis is a painful situation in which glands of the uterus get buried deep in the uterine muscles. This causes heavier bleeding and painful cramps during menstrual periods.
Intrauterine Device (IUD)
Sometimes inserting an IUD, as a birth control method triggers heavy menstrual bleeding in a woman. If heavy bleeding continues after insertion of an IUD then it should be removed for stopping heavy bleeding.
Sometimes cancer of reproductive organs like uterine cancer, ovarian cancer and cervical cancer can trigger heavy bleeding.
There are many kinds of bleeding disorders but the one which is quite common among women is Von Willebrand’s disease. This disorder is inherited by women and causes deficiency or impairment of blood clotting factor leading to heavy and abnormal bleeding.
Some drugs like anti –inflammatory drugs, anticoagulants, hormone based medicines can also cause abnormal bleeding in women during menstruation.
Certain Medical Conditions
Certain medical conditions like Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), thyroid, endometriosis, etc. can also cause abnormally heavy bleeding in a woman.
Menorrhagia is though not a life threatening problem but certainly is a very disturbing condition. A woman who suffers from Menorrhagia finds very less productive days in her menstruation cycle since pain, heavy bleeding and anemia make it tough to lead a normal and productive life during menstruation cycle and thereafter. However, the good news is that in most cases Menorrhagia is curable. There are many effective treatments for Menorrhagia.