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The Causes and Treatment of Hypermenorrhea

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Hypermenorrhea, also known as menorrhagia, is a disruption in the normal menstrual flow of girls and women. When a girl or woman experiences hypermenorrhea, she is losing more blood than she normally would during an average menstruation cycle, although the timing of her cycle may remain completely within the time frame of what usually occurs for her.

Menstruation is a woman’s monthly cycle of the rising and falling of hormones and the preparation for pregnancy. When a pregnancy does not occur, the lining of the uterus is shed from the body through the vagina, causing the bleeding to occur.

As mentrual cycles are variable, there is no one set time that a woman will bleed every month. However, regularity usually begins to help with a pattern that a woman can count on, particularly as she grows older and heads out of adolescence. An average cycle of mentruation is 28 days, counted from the beginning of one to the beginning of another.

However, there is a wide margin for what is still considered to be “normal” and this includes cycles that last as little as 21 days or as long as 35 days. Similarly, the amount of blood that is shed can vary.

Lighter or heavier flows are still within healthy bounds. If this changes, and your flow becomes much heavier than normal, you need to monitor this closely and seek medical attention quickly.

The causes of hypermenorrhea can be varied. Some causes can include hormonal imbalance, abnormal blood clotting or a problem or disorder of the uterus. This type of problem, such as in cases of endometrial hyperplasia or excessive growth of the cells that line the uterus, may result from disruption of the two hormones (estrogen and progesterone) that control menstrual periods.

Hypermenorrhea symptoms include:

• Restricting daily activities due to heavy menstrual flow

• Bleeding for a week or longer

• Needing to wake up to change sanitary protection during the night

• Soaking through one or more sanitary pads or tampons every hour for several consecutive hours

• Needing to use double sanitary protection to control your menstrual flow

• Passing large blood clots with menstrual flow

• Symptoms of anemia, such as tiredness, fatigue or shortness of breath.

Hypermenorrhea can affect all women and girls of menstruating age.

Something to keep in mind, however, is that certain blood-thinning medications may contribute to this condition.Other causes of hypermennorhea can include a uterine infection or even cancer of the uterus.

If you are pregnant and experience vaginal bleeding, it is urgent that you seek immediate medical attention, even calling 911 if necessary.

If you are not pregnant, scheduling an exam with your health care provider will allow you to receive medical attention to determine the cause of your hypermenorrhea.

You will get a pelvic exam and possibly other tests. Questions will be asked to determine if things have changed in your level of stress, exercise, diet or ingestion of medications.

Treatment of hypermenorrhea include:

Iron supplements (for anemia associated with the loss of blood), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, (for the treatment of cramps and swelling),oral contraceptives (can regulate menstrual cycles and heavy flow).

More intensive treatments can include:

* operative hysteroscopy, a procedure which uses a tiny tube with a light to reduce bleeding and remove a polyp if necessary.

* D and C or dilation and curettage. This procedure dilates your cervix and then removes tissue from the uterus’ lining through suction or scraping.

• Endometrial resection. This surgical procedure removes the lining of the uterus, using an electrosurgical wire loop. This procedure, and the one following, will reduce your ability to conceive a child.

• Endometrial ablation. Using a variety of techniques, the lining of the uterus is destroyed completely. Following this procedure, most women no longer experience menstrual flow.

• Hysterectomy is the permanent removal of the cervix and uterus, causing sterility and a cessation of menstrual periods.


Better Medicine
Heavy Periods
Retrieved from the internet on November 8, 2011

eHealth Forum
. Causes of Hypermenorrhea. 
Retrieved from the internet on November 8, 2011.


Mayo Clinic
Menhorragia (Heavy Menstrual Bleeding)
by Mayo Clinic Staff
Retrieved from the internet on November 8, 2011.


Reviewed November 9, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

Add a Comment1 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

"oral contraceptives (can regulate menstrual cycles and heavy flow)"

This rarely has much of an effect, oral contraceptives also do not regulate menstrual cycles - they work to suppress menstrual cycles, women don't even menstruate while taking oral contraceptives (they get withdrawal bleeds).

There are also many other treatments for hypermenorrhea.

November 9, 2011 - 7:43pm
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