Often, women believe they’re experiencing abnormally heavy bleeding between periods when they’re not. It just seems so. “Menorrhagia” is the term used by medical professionals for menstrual periods with abnormally heavy or prolonged bleeding. The simplest way to know whether you’re experiencing this condition is to keep track of how often you need to change your feminine hygiene products. If your period lasts more than one full week or you need to change your pad or tampon more than every one or two hours, it’s possible that you’re experiencing menorrhagia. There are several reasons this may be happening. Read on to learn about some of the top causes of heavy menstrual bleeding or menorrhagia.
Menopause or a hormonal imbalance during adolescence
These are the most common causes. Hormone levels are fluctuating just after a girl’s first period and again for several years before the onset of menopause.
Uterine fibroid tumors
These tumors are estrogen-dependent and commonly occur in the uterus of women during their thirties or forties. They are usually non-cancerous.
Women most affected by cervical polyps already have children and are over twenty. These are small, delicate growths that begin in either the endocervical canal or the mucosal surface of the cervix, and protrude through the cervix opening. The cause is unknown, but they’re typically a result of infection and associated with an unusual response to increased levels of estrogen or congestion of cervical blood vessels.
These are growths that are usually non-cancerous and protrude from the uterine lining. Endometrial polyps are often associated with certain types of ovarian tumors or hormone treatment that leads to an excess of estrogen.
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
PID is typically a sexually transmitted disease, but can occur following childbirth, abortion or other gynecological procedures. PID is an infection of one or multiple organs that affects the cervix, uterus and fallopian tubes.
When cells in the cervix are abnormal and multiply out of control ,while doing damage to healthy parts of the body, cervical cancer occurs. Ninety percent of all cervical cancers are caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV).
When cells in the endometrium or uterus multiple out of control and cause damage to the uterus and other organs, endometrial cancer occurs. Women with this type of cancer are usually over fifty, often use hormone replacement therapy and have endometrial hyperplasia.
Intrauterine devices (IUDs) may cause heavy menstruation or menorrhagia. IUDs should be removed if women experience heavy or prolonged periods while on them.
There are several types of bleeding disorders, the most common for women being von Willebrand Disease (VWD), which causes extended or excessive bleeding. It’s usually inherited, but can occur later in life.
Any information can be helpful for your journey to better health, but make sure to allow your doctor to determine the cause of your heavy menstrual bleeding.