Menorrhagia: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Menorrhagia usually isn’t caused by anything serious, but if it occurs you must visit a specialist and they will determine how serious it is
Menorrhagia: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Written by Ángela Aragón

Last update: 30 May, 2022

Bleeding during the menstrual period can vary a lot. Not all women bleed with the same intensity or for the same duration. Because of this, it’s difficult to know when it might be too much or vice versa.

Obviously, we could tell if it were an excess of fluid, but, how do you measure this? The first thing is to observe yourself.

It’s important to perceive changes since there may be a problem behind them.

But what can we consider menorrhagia? When do we start to consider it a disease? Read on to answer these questions that can cause people to worry.

Symptoms of menorrhagia

We talked before about excessive bleeding. The frequency with which you need to change your sanitary products – If you have to change every hour, you likely suffer from this problem.

Of course, if this continues during the night, you should also take notice.

Also, if you suffer from menorrhagia, menstruation usually lasts more than seven days.

  • As a rule, it may last up to a week, but if you cross that line, you should be concerned. Especially if during all this time you experience the same volume of fluid.
  • A period like this causes fatigue and a choking sensation. In fact, it’s not strange that we can find anaemia or similar problems in women who suffer from this condition.

Causes of menorrhagia

The origin of the condition can be very diverse. Therefore, the diagnosis can be complicated, as well as the form of treatment.

However, the following factors can all be important:

  • Hormone imbalance: Oestrogen and progesterone interact to maintain the lining of the uterus. However, if there is an imbalance between them, the lining becomes too wide and generates excessive bleeding.
  • Dysfunction of the ovaries: It may sound odd, but it is possible not to ovulate but still menstruate. Under these circumstances, the bleeding starts, and menorrhagia occurs.
  • Polyps: They are small benign cysts that either absorb blood, produce it.

Many women who have this problem have stages of menorrhagia and others in which the opposite happens.

As well as this, periods are more painful, and they feel more bloated.

  • Uterine fibroids: The name itself indicates that they’re benign, even though they’re tumours found in the uterus. In the same way as polyps, they trigger a large amount of fluid.
  • Adenomyosis: Here we’re talking about the uterine glands sticking in the uterus. They also intensify menstrual pain considerably.
  • Complication with an IUD coil: Whilst it’s a widely used method of contraception, some women have problems with it.
  • Cancer: This is the most feared cause, but the least common. It comes about with cancer of the ovary, uterus, or cervix. Only this cause is a good enough reason to inform the doctor of what’s happening.

Treatment of menorrhagia

Although treatment will depend on the cause, these are the most common:

  • Anti-inflammatories: Many women find relief with this simple solution. The most effective are those made up of mefenamic acid, naproxen, or ibuprofen.
  • Placement of the IUD coil: This device serves to release hormones, which is very beneficial for those who have the mismatch mentioned above.
  • Contraceptive pill: As we have already mentioned, there are females who have problems with an IUD coil, so they can try the contraceptive pill to regulate the activity of their reproductive system
  • Tranexamic acid: This works by coagulating the blood, so that its expulsion is reduced. Being not so diluted, it’s not as uncomfortable.
  • Surgery: This is recommended for polyps, adhesions, and malignant tumours. As long as it’s possible, it’s the fastest way to root out them.

As you can see, despite the fears about menorrhagia, its usually not caused by anything serious.

It’s always best to visit a doctor, identify the source of the problem and treat it as appropriate. Also, remember to go to your gynaecological exams, even if you feel well.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.