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