Women experience heavy menstrual bleeding from time to time. Menorrhagia is the term describing abnormally heavy menstruation in medical books. Its common signs include a menstrual period lasting more than seven days, excessive bleeding that require women to change pads per hour, presentation of blood clots, and bleeding that affect daily routines. Monitor changes in menstrual flow and consult with a physician to find out the actual cause or to see if the heavy bleeding is actually menorrhagia. This article explains on the possible causes of heavy period and how you can deal with it.
Why Is My Period So Heavy?
1. Hormonal Imbalance
Fluctuating hormone levels during adolescence and menopausal age can induce abnormally heavy menstrual bleeding. Considering the cause, hormone therapy through contraceptive pills and other options are regarded as possible menorrhagia treatment.
2. Intrauterine Contraceptive Devices (IUDs)
IUD is a copper and plastic device characterized by its T-shape and it is inserted into the uterus by professionals for contraception. While this product is proven effective for contraception, it also induces longer and heavier periods that may improve after several months.
3. Anticoagulant Medication
Anticoagulants like warfarin and heparin are prescribed to reduce the blood’s ability to clot. Excessive clotting may cause heart attack or stroke as they block blood vessels. One of its side effects is excessive bleeding, which imply that a woman taking this medication have high chances of experiencing this issue.
4. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
This refers to the infection on several organs that also affects a woman’s reproductive organs like fallopian tubes, cervix and uterus. Although this infection is usually regarded as a sexually transmitted disease, PID can also occur after childbirth, gynecological procedures, and abortion. Women with this problem undergo antibiotic therapy as treatment.
5. Uterine Fibroid Tumors
A fibroid tumor is an estrogen-dependent mass that develops along the uterine wall and is usually benign in nature. Surgical approach and pharmacological treatments can take care of these tumors, but they can also shrink and clear out naturally when menopause takes place.
6. Cervical Polyps
Unlike fibroid tumors, cervical polyps are smaller and frail masses found along the endocervical canal protruding through cervical opening or on the cervix itself. Also known as the cause of heavy uterine bleeding, these polyps are often linked as the aftermath of high estrogen level, an infection, or cervical blood vessel congestion. Treatment options are non-invasive by administering antibiotics.
7. Endometrial Polyps
In contrast to cervical polyps, endometrial polyps form along the uterine wall and present as benign masses. Their formation is often linked to ovarian tumors or unnecessary estrogen induced by hormone treatment. Removing endometrial polyps are conducted through hysteroscopy then subjecting them to biopsy for possibilities of cancer.
8. Cervical Cancer
This cancer occurs when cervical cells mutate and multiply uncontrollably, which is often linked with human papillomavirus (HPV). In the long run, cancer will metastasize or spread to other healthy organs. Just like in other cancer types, treatment options for cervical cancer include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery.
9. Endometrial Cancer
In this cancer type, malignant cells are found on the endometrium or the uterine wall lining or on the uterus itself. The cancer’s actual cause remains unknown, but several reports indicate risk factors surrounding the cancer like endometrial hyperplasia, hormone replacement therapy, or age factors. Documents state that women aged 50 and above tend to have this cancer.
How to Deal with Heavy Periods
Similarly with other health issues, treatment for heavy periods is dependent on the cause. Consult your primary care provider for diagnosis and testing. Being on the menopausal age may prompt a physician to suggest if bleeding will cease soon. However, other conditions inducing menorrhagia, like thyroid disorder will require you to take specific medications or treatment options.
- Ferrous sulfate or iron supplements can also be prescribed to women suffering from this condition with their increase chances of experiencing anemia.
- As menorrhagia can also be induced by hormonal changes, a physician may also prescribe hormone replacement option for patients. Simple hormonal treatment includes prescribing birth control pills or hormonal IUD.
- Excessive bleeding can also induce intense menstrual pain. Pain management often includes prescribing non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs. On top of alleviating pain, NSAIDs can also reduce blood flow.
- On the other hand, several patients must undergo surgery to be free from the pain. Common surgical procedures are a hysterectomy or removing the uterus, endometrial ablation or complete endometrium removal, and dilation and curettage (D&C) to reduce endometrium.
- Alcohol induces excessive blood flow. Women are advised to stay away from alcoholic beverages when they experience heavy bleeding.
- Diet change also aids in dealing with excessive menstrual flow. Avoid eating red meats, but make sure to take in sufficient amount of protein from other sources.
- Another helpful tip is to avoid standing for a long time as much as possible. Sit while at work as long as it is allowed.
- Menstruation-induced discomfort can be treated by taking in Tylenol (acetaminophen). Do not take in aspirin or Ibuprofen while menstruating as they make blood thinner and aggravate menstrual flow.