Definition - What does Menorrhagia mean?

Menorrhagia is menstrual bleeding that is abnormally heavy or prolonged. Abnormally heavy is classified as bleeding that lasts for more then 7 days, requires the changing of a tampon or pad more then every two hours, or produces blood clots larger then a quarter. Menorrhagia has the potential to disrupt daily life. It may also indicate serious health concerns, which may complicate or prevent pregnancy from occurring.

FertilitySmarts explains Menorrhagia

Menorrhagia has several possible causes:

  • Uterine issues, including growths, tumors, or pregnancy related complications such as miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy
  • Hormone issues
  • Certain illnesses or disorders

To diagnose menorrhagia, a physician uses patient provided information regarding menstrual period symptoms along with health history and a physical examination. Blood tests, Pap tests, ultrasounds, or an endometrial biopsy, which removes a tissue sample from the uterus for analysis, may be conducted.

Treatment of menorrhagia will depend on the diagnosed cause, severity of the condition, and expectations for the outcome. Possible treatment routes include:

  • Iron supplements, to address anemia, if present
  • Oral birth control or Intrauterine contraception device (IUD), to regulate periods and reduce bleeding
  • Hormone treatment
  • Dilation and curettage (D&C), a procedure to remove the top layer of the uterine lining
  • Endometrial ablation resection, a surgical procedure to removes the lining of the uterus
  • Hysterectomy, a surgical procedure to remove the uterus
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