Do you suffer from significantly heavy menstrual periods? You are not alone. About one-third of menstruating women also deal with heavy periods, also called Menorrhagia.
Menorrhagia occurs when one experiences heavy menstrual bleeding of at least 80 milliliters. (That is, approximately three full menstrual cups.) Heavy menstrual periods are no harm to everyone, but some people may experience anemia or iron deficiency due to menorrhagia. Symptoms, like anemia- include fatigue, weakness and dizziness, and they can be seen in low hemoglobin or blood iron values. If your doctor has diagnosed you with menorrhagia, your hemoglobin may be monitored on a regular basis. If the bleeding is profuse and irregular you should visit the gynecologist; the background may be, for example, hormonal disorders.
What to do?
Menstrual bleeding may be heavy from the very first day or your first period, but it can also become more severe later in life. If you experience a menstrual cycle that is suddenly much more “heavy” than your normal, it is good to speak with your doctor to ensure that endometriosis, blood disorders or gynecological cancer-causing the profuse bleeding. Also, ruptured cysts or large fibrous tumors may increase the amount of bleeding. For some people, the intrauterine device (IUD) used for pregnancy prevention may be the cause of heavy menstrual bleeding.
Menorrhagia can be treated in many ways. If heavy bleeding during your menstrual cycles disrupts your everyday life, you should seek medical help.
Tranexamic acid is a treatment that can help blood clotting for those who are diagnosed with menorrhagia. Tranexamic acid has been known to decrease severe menstrual bleeding by an average of 20-60%. This treatment is also suitable for those wishing to become pregnant, and it usually has no side effects.
Combined oral contraceptive drugs may reduce the amount of bleeding by 20-50%
In addition to preventing pregnancy, oral contraceptives may help with menorrhagia. The most common adverse reactions with taking oral contraceptives are changes in mood and libido, dizziness, migraines and high blood pressure. Therefore, it is important to speak with your healthcare professional to discuss if oral contraceptive drugs are a good fit for you.
Use of an intrauterine device (IUD) may reduce the amount of menstrual related bleeding significantly, up to 70-96%
Menstruation may completely stop after the insertion of the IUD. However embarrassing spotting leaks may still occur. The IUD lasts for 3-5 years, and can be used safely in adolescents. It is important to note, that like the oral contraceptive, the IUD does not prevent sexually transmitted diseases.
In severe cases, menorrhagia can be treated with surgery therapy
The lining of the uterus may be completely removed, or heat treatment can destroy it. Pregnancy is usually not affected by surgical treatment. If uterine fibroids cause heavy menstrual bleeding, they can be removed under local anesthesia.
The most radical treatment is a hysterectomy
Hysterectomy is considered in situations where medicinal treatment can not be used; it does not work, or if a minor surgical treatment has already been tried. However, hysterectomy is the ultimate solution, which is also associated with the risk of complications. Also, hysterectomy impairs the ovarian function and advances the onset of menopausal symptoms.
It is good to remember that if a large amount of leakage does not complicate your life, there is no need to be treated. The disorder is not dangerous, and many other women suffer from it together with you! If, however, menorrhagia is affecting the quality of life, you don’t have to suffer alone!