Definition - What does Hypermenorrhea mean?

Hypermenorrhea is excessive menstrual bleeding. Some women naturally bleed more than others, but excessive menstrual bleeding can also occur where serious health problems or fertility problems are present.

Commonly used definitions of hypermenorrhea include:

  • Soaking through two or more pads or tampons in one hour
  • Soaking through more than one pad or tampon per hour for several hours
  • Bleeding for more than ten days each month (either as part of one long period, or due to menstruating multiple times each month)

Hypermenorrhea is also called menorrhagia.

FertilitySmarts explains Hypermenorrhea

The menstrual cycle is controlled by a complex interplay of hormones and reproductive organs. If hormones are unbalanced, or there is a problem with the ovaries or uterus, hypermenorrhea may result. Possible causes of hypermenorrhea include:

  • Hypothyroidism
  • Endometriosis
  • Adenomyosis
  • Miscarriage
  • Tumors in the uterus or ovaries. Both cancer and the presence of benign fibroids may result in hypermenorrhea.
  • Long cycles (more than 35 days). Cycles of more than 35 days typically indicate that ovulation is not happening regularly.
  • Short cycles (less than 21 days). Cycles of less than 21 days typically indicate that menstruation is occurring without ovulation due to a hormone imbalance.

Depending on other symptoms, such as presence or absence of pain, a variety of tests may be done to determine the cause of hypermenorrhea. Tests may include:

  • Blood tests may be done to measure hormone levels.
  • Pelvic exams and pap smears may be done to look for problems in the reproductive system.
  • Pelvic ultrasound and hysteroscopy may also be used to search for abnormalities such as growths.
  • Tissue biopsies may also be used to look for unusual cellular growth.

Some causes of hypermenorrhea, such as hypothyroidism, are easily treated to restore normal quality of life and fertility. Other causes may be more challenging to treat.

In some cases, no underlying problem may be found, and treatment may be limited to symptom management.

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