Heavy menstrual bleeding is known as menorrhagia. Most women experience menorrhagia or heavy periods at some point or the other during their reproductive years. For some women heavy menstrual bleeding is a rare occurrence while others have to endure heavy menstrual flow month after month.
Menstrual bleeding can be categorized as light, medium or heavy. Women who suddenly notice a change in their menstrual flow should consult their doctor without delay. A woman is said to be having heavy menstrual bleeding if she has to change her pads or tampons every two hours.
Causes of Heavy Periods
There are many reasons for menorrhagia. These include fluctuating hormones, any change in the type of birth control a woman uses, or even anemia. It is extremely important to discover the underlying cause or causes of menorrhagia in women so that proper treatment measures can be administered to control heavy bleeding.
Fluctuating hormones or a sudden hormonal imbalance can result in menorrhagia or heavy menstrual bleeding. Menorrhagia or heavy menstrual bleeding is very common after a girl attains puberty and has her periods for the very first time, after delivery and around the time a women enters the peri menopausal stage. During these times the body hormonal levels fluctuate wildly and results in heavy menstrual flow.
Another reason behind menorrhagia is the presence of uterine fibroids. Most women suffer from the problem of uterine fibroids. In fact, nearly one in three women who are in their reproductive years is diagnosed with uterine fibroids. Uterine fibroids which are mostly benign tumors are responsible for heavy menstrual flow or longer than normal menstrual cycle. The problem of uterine fibroids and the resultant heavy menstrual cycle can be controlled by taking oral medication. In extreme situations the fibroids can be removed through surgery.
Another reason for heavy periods is the presence of cervical polyps. Cervical polyps not only cause heavy menstrual bleeding but they can also cause severe vaginal bleeding after intercourse. Cervical polyps which are fragile growths appear along the endocervial canal or along the mucosal surface of the cervix. Polyps appear because of some infection, when there is sudden blockage in the blood vessels situated along the cervix or due to a spurt in the blood estrogen levels. The heavy menstrual flow caused by the presence polyps can be controlled through the surgical removal of these growths.
Endometrial polyps are benign or non cancerous growths. When a woman undergoes hormonal therapy there is a sudden increase in the amount of blood estrogen levels. This increase in estrogen levels results in the formation of endometrial polyps which are small nodules or cysts found along the uterine lining. Women who undergo D & C / Dilating and Curetting or opt for hysterectomy find relief from heavy menstrual bleeding caused by endometrial polyps.
Intra Uterine Devices
Some women opt for intra uterine devices instead of oral contraceptive for birth control. The presence of these devices can result in heavy bleeding or longer than normal menstrual cycle.
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
When the reproductive organs including the cervix, fallopian tubes or the uterus become inflamed it can lead to menorrhagia. A woman can be infected with Pelvic Inflammatory Disease or PID during routine gynec procedure including like abortion or child birth. Other women suffer from this disease when they have unprotected sex with a partner who may be having some venereal disease.