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Female Reproductive System: Menorrhagia, a Menstrual Problem

By HERWriter
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Menorrhagia is defined as abnormally heavy or prolonged menstrual periods. The New York-Presbyterian Hospital (NYPH) says menorrhagia is the most common type of abnormal uterine bleeding.

The Mayo Clinic reports while heavy menstrual bleeding is a common concern among premenopausal women, most women do not experience blood loss severe enough to be defined as menorrhagia.

It is normal for some periods to be heavier on some days than others. But telltale signs of menorrhagia are soaking through at least one sanitary pad or tampon an hour for several hours in a row or periods lasting longer than seven days.

The Mayo Clinic lists other symptoms as passing large blood clots with menstrual flow and restriction of daily activities due to heavy menstrual flow. Women with menorrhagia also experience symptoms of anemia, such as tiredness, fatigue or shortness of breath.

It is important to note menorrhagia symptoms may resemble other menstrual conditions or medical problems.

KidsHealth.org says the most frequent cause of menorrhagia is an imbalance between the levels of estrogen and progesterone, which allows the uterine lining (endometrium) to keep building up. When the endometrium is finally shed during menstruation, the resulting bleeding is particularly heavy.

NYPH says other causes include pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), uterine fibroids, abnormal pregnancy (i.e., miscarriage, ectopic), infection, tumors, or polyps in the pelvic cavity, bleeding or platelet disorders, high levels of prostaglandins (chemical substances which help to control the muscle contractions of the uterus); high levels of endothelins (chemical substances which help the blood vessels in the body dilate); and liver, kidney, or thyroid disease.

The Mayo Clinic adds menorrhagia is a well-known side effect of using a non-hormonal intrauterine device (IUD) for birth control.

Heavy or prolonged bleeding can lead to iron deficiency anemia and severe pain due to painful menstrual cramps.

There are several effective treatments for menorrhagia. Drug therapy may include iron supplements for women with anemia, oral contraceptives, oral progesterone and the hormonal IUD.

Add a Comment1 Comments

The two best things for managing menorrhagia;

1. Tranexamic Acid - from your doctor or available in some countries from some pharmacies, you take a few tablets for the first few days of your period and it can reduce flow and length by up to half. A far less extreme and effective medical method of dealing with primary menorrhagia than hormonal birth control.

2. Menstrual cups - these hold a LOT more flow than tampons and/or pads and have light suction so don't leak like tampons or pads. Plus cups can be worn safely for 12 hours, including overnight, save a fortune in sanitary products, and many women report lessened flow and menstrual cramps.

I got my Mooncup http://www.mooncup.co.uk/wc.php?u=1741 nine years ago BEST THING EVER it made my super-heavy flow a million times easier to manage. I'd NEVER go back to tampons or pads.

September 27, 2011 - 2:13pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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