The menstrual cycle is a very important phenomenon in a woman's life. Alterations in the rate of blood flow and change in color of the blood within the period of menstruation cycle is considered quite normal. However, some women experience heavy bleeding during menstruation. Heavy blood flow during menstruation is called menorrhagia in medical terms. This condition can be a sign of some serious illness or can just indicate hormonal changes in the body. The duration of a normal period is between 2 to 7 days, but in case of menorrhagia, the period lasts for more than 7 days.
During menstruation, the egg is released from the ovary. If this egg is fertilized by the sperm, it goes to the uterus through the fallopian tube and gets attached to the lining of the uterus. Hence, to support the fertilized egg, the lining of the uterus thickens. If the egg is not fertilized, the lining of the uterus starts shedding, which can be seen as blood. The normal menstruation cycle is of 28 days; however, it may vary in some women.
Some women may have a cycle of 21 days while some may have a 35 days cycle. The period normally lasts for 2 to 7 days, and the amount of blood lost is around 4 to 12 teaspoons. But, some women experience heavy bleeding during periods, which can be serious. Due to the heavy bleeding the body is not able to excrete the entire amount of blood, which results in blood clots.
There are many reasons behind prolonged heavy menstruation which need to get diagnosed. Following are some of the possible reasons behind it:
- Uterine fibroids can be a major cause of severe blood flow during periods. These are non-cancerous tumors which form inside the uterus. They do not have any other symptoms, but they restrict the flow of the blood which results in clots and heavy bleeding.
- Very heavy menstrual blood flow may be a sign of a miscarriage. If you are pregnant and are experiencing this condition, then consult a doctor immediately. You will observe blood clots or gray clumps of tissue.
- Hormonal changes can also cause severe bleeding during periods. Progesterone and estrogen are two hormones which regulate the thickening and shedding of the uterus lining. Any problem with these hormones may result in excess bleeding clots.
- During pregnancy the uterus enlarges and usually comes back to its original size after the childbirth. But in some cases, the uterus size does not decrease completely, which results in a large uterus. Hence, the blood takes time to collect inside the uterus which results in blood clots during periods.
- Any type of obstruction in the blood flow may result in blood clots. The flow of the blood slows down at the time of menopause, which may further result in collection of blood which clots.
Symptoms of Menorrhagia
Menorrhagia symptoms can be easily noticed. Following are some of them:
- Dark brown to black big-blood clots.
- Heavy blood flow for more than 7 days.
- Severe menstrual cramps with fatigue.
- Pale complexion with some anemic symptoms.
If you are facing the aforementioned symptoms, then consult a doctor immediately. You may be prescribed with the following treatment options:
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) help restore the normal bleeding and reduce the amount of blood loss.
- In case of hormonal imbalance, doctors advice oral progesterone drugs, which maintain a balance and reduce excess bleeding.
- In case of tumors in the uterus, the uterus is removed surgically. In some cases, if the woman is not planning to have any kids, the uterus is removed from her body.
- Dilation and curettage, endometrial resection, endometrial ablation, operative hysteroscopy, and hysterectomy are some of the surgical operations which are also conducted to get the problem fixed.
- Some oral contraceptives are also given in order to maintain a proper menstruation cycle.
Disclaimer: This HerHaleness article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.