Menorrhagia is defined as an unusually heavy menstrual cycle that lasts longer than seven days. Women who have menorrhagia lose about twice as much blood as the average amount and often struggle to manage it.
This problem is one of the most common issues women voice to their OB/GYNs because of the significant effects it has on their everyday activities. Menorrhagia often alters a woman’s life during her monthly cycles and severely limits her activities.
Common Symptoms of Menorrhagia
In addition to limited activity and long, heavy cycles, here are some signs and symptoms of menorrhagia to watch for:
- Needing to change sanitary pads or tampons every hour.
- Needing to change sanitary pads or tampons during the night.
- Passing blood clots that are bigger than a quarter.
- Experiencing constant and severe stomach pain or cramping.
- Experiencing extreme tiredness, fatigue, and/or weakness.
Possible Causes of Menorrhagia
Anovulation (or not producing an egg during your cycle) is the most common cause of menorrhagia. This often happens to teen girls that have just started their period or to older women going through menopause.
There are numerous other possible causes of menorrhagia too that are more serious underlying women’s health issues. Some of these include:
- Uterine fibroids or polyps
- PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome)
- PID (pelvic inflammatory disease)
- Hormonal imbalances
- Certain medications and IUDs
- Uterine, cervical or ovarian cancer
To learn more about menorrhagia, talk to your women’s doctor about possible treatments.