Menorrhagia is a clinical condition in which a woman experiences heavy or excessive bleeding during her periods. Women usually have menstrual cycle ranging from 21-35 days. Normal blood loss during an average cycle is around 40 mL. Women experiencing heavy blood loss or suffering from menorrhagia lose around 80 mL of blood or more, in a single cycle. Some women may turn anemic due to such heavy blood loss. A normal menstrual cycle lasts for around 4-7 days. Women suffering from menorrhagia experience blood loss for more than 7 days. Doctors have a set of treatment guidelines. Based on these guidelines, a doctor identifies the actual cause of menorrhagia and depending on the underlying problem, treatment is provided.
- Presence of intrauterine devices
- Hormonal imbalance
- Improper functioning of ovaries
- Certain drugs
- Complications in pregnancy
- Thyroid, Liver or Kidney diseases
Menorrhagia symptoms include; bleeding heavy enough to raise the need of changing sanitary pad every hour, presence of blood clots in menstrual bleeding, menstrual cycle exceeding 7 days, difficulty in performing regular activities normally, feeling tired during the cycle, spotting between periods, and pain in the lower abdomen.
Several factors are taken into account prior to treating menorrhagia. The treatment varies from person to person. The gynecologist takes into account the medical history of the patient, any associated medical condition, fertility issues, preference of the patient for treatment method, and severity of bleeding. There are two menorrhagia treatment options, and the gynecologist decides which method is best suitable for an individual. The choices include drug therapy and surgery.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: NSAIDs are prescribed by a gynecologist to control menorrhagia. These drugs also help in relieving abdominal pain associated with menses due to their analgesic property.
- Contraceptives: Apart from NSAIDs, contraceptives are also a choice to treat menorrhagia. Excessive blood loss is regulated and the time span of the cycle is also brought under control using oral contraceptives.
- Hormonal therapy: Progesterone is administered to correct hormonal imbalance in the body thus, reducing excessive and prolonged bleeding.
- Hormonal intrauterine device therapy: This type of IUD releases levonorgestrel which reduces uterus lining resulting in less bleeding.
- Administration of iron supplements: If a woman is found to be anemic due to severe blood loss, iron supplements are prescribed to meet the necessary requirement of iron in the body.
- Hysterectomy: This surgical procedure involves complete removal of the uterus. This results in sterility causing the loss of childbearing ability. The procedure is carried out when an underlying cancer is also present. This treatment option is the last resort to treat menorrhagia.
- Dilatation and curettage: This method is used to gently scrap off, or suck out the tissues accumulated in the uterine lining using a curette. The procedure has to be repeated in case of recurrence of the problem. A person with pelvic infection is not treated using this method. Certain risks like infection and uterine perforation are associated with this method.
- Endometrial ablation technique: This method involves permanent destruction of the endometrium. Childbearing ability is lost due to this surgical procedure.
- Endometrial resection technique: This method uses a loop of electro-surgical wire to remove the uterine lining. This procedure reduces the childbearing ability in women. The technique can be used to treat women who have no need for fertility and suffer from very heavy blood loss.
- Surgery: Removal of polyps and fibroids are carried out using surgical procedures which are one of the causes of menorrhagia.
- Myomectomy: Cases having single myomas can be treated using myomectomy. This procedure involves heavy blood loss. It can be used to treat women who wish to retain their fertility and uterus.
Menorrhagia occurs due to the presence of an underlying disease. Treatment of the underlying disease will ultimately cure it. Homeopathy is also an option to treat menorrhagia. Women looking for a natural cure of their problem can get in touch with a homeopath who can help them. It is important to remember that apart from taking medical treatment, a well-balanced diet and proper rest will help in better management of menorrhagia. Contact your gynecologist immediately if you show any symptoms pertaining to menorrhagia. This will help you to identify and resolve the problem at the earliest.