Generally, a woman’s menstrual period lasts 3-7 days. However, should the bleeding last more than 7 days (and this occurs for several months), or you need to change pads or tampons every 1-2 hours, find blood clots the size of a quarter or larger on your pad or tampon or feel very tired or short of breath, then you may have a problem that requires medical attention. This phenomena is generally called heavy bleeding or Menorrhagia.
Causes of heavy bleeding can be categorized in three areas:
Uterine-related problems such as
- Tumors of the uterus that are not cancer (uterine fibroids or polyps).
- Uterus or cervix cancer.
- Certain types of birth control like an intrauterine device (IUD).
- Problems related to pregnancy, such as a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy, can also cause abnormal bleeding.
Other illnesses or disorders such as
- Bleeding-related disorders, platelet function disorder.
- Non-bleeding-related disorders such as liver, pelvic inflammatory disease.
- In addition, certain drugs, such as aspirin, can cause increased bleeding.
Your doctor may first take some physical test like blood test and maybe PAP smear when you approach them. Based on the results, certain tests such as Ultrasound, Endometrial biopsy, Hysteroscopy may be further conducted.
The kind of treatment you get depend on the cause of your bleeding and how serious it is. Other things such as your age, general health, and medical history; how you respond to certain medicines, procedures, or therapies; and your wants and needs are looked at. The treatment you may undergo can be either drug treatment or surgical treatment.
Menorrhagia is very common among women. However, many women are not aware that they can get help for it and others do not get help because they are too uncomfortable to talk with a doctor about it. Talking openly with your doctor is very important in making sure you are diagnosed properly and get the right treatment.