Menorrhagia is when there is heavy or prolonged vaginal bleeding with a menstrual cycle. Heavy periods can have causes that aren’t due to underlying disease.
Symptoms of Heavy Periods
Signs and symptoms of menorrhagia may include:
- Soaking through one or more sanitary pads or tampons every hour for several consecutive hours
- Needing to use double sanitary protection to control your menstrual flow
- Needing to wake up to change sanitary protection during the night
- Bleeding for longer than a week
- Passing blood clots larger than a quarter
- Restricting daily activities due to heavy menstrual flow
- Symptoms of anemia, such as tiredness, fatigue or shortness of breath
Some examples of common causes of aenorrhagia include ovulatory dysfunction, bleeding disorders, changes in hormone levels, stress, thyroid abnormalities or side effects from contraception or medication use. Many women can have structural uterine pathology that can cause heavy periods such as fibroids, endometrial polyps or adenomyosis.
Taking an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen or naproxen may help reduce blood loss for some women.
Contact your doctor immediately if you are experiencing any of the following:
- Soak through more than one pad or tampon an hour over several hours
- Have fatigue or shortness of breath due to heavy bleeding