Menstrual bleeding that’s abnormally heavy, irregular or lasts more than seven days is known as menorrhagia. The condition may be temporary, or it may indicate something more serious. Abnormal periods also may lead to other health problems, such as anemia—a red-blood-cell deficiency that can affect your entire body. That’s why it’s important to recognize what’s “normal” for you and to discuss any changes with your doctor.
Because every woman’s menstrual flow is different, what’s considered abnormal for one woman may not be for another. The following signs may indicate you have abnormal bleeding and need to seek medical advice:
- Menstrual bleeding that lasts more than one week
- Menstrual flow so heavy it interferes with your normal routine
- Soaking through one or more pads or tampons per hour for several hours in a row or passing blood clots the size of a quarter or larger
- Needing to use a pad and a tampon at the same time to absorb heavy flow
- Needing to change pads or tampons during the night
- Constant pain or pressure in your lower stomach during your periods
Keep a record of your symptoms to share with your doctor.
Bleeding After Menopause
Any vaginal bleeding after menopause is abnormal and should be discussed with your doctor.
What Cause Abnormal Vaginal Bleeding
Menorrhagia and post-menopausal bleeding can have a number of causes including:
- Hormonal disorders
- Uterine fibroids or polyps – Noncancerous growths or tumors of the uterus
- Cancer of the uterus, cervix or other internal organs
- Bleeding-related disorders, such as platelet function disorder and von Willebrand disease
- Other disorders, including polycystic ovary syndrome, kidney disease, liver disease and pelvic infections
- Pregnancy-related causes, such as miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy (when a fetus starts to grow outside the uterus)
- Certain drugs, such as blood thinners and steroids
What to Do Next
Get medical help as soon as you suspect something is not right, particularly with heavy bleeding. Often, the cause of the bleeding can be treated successfully once diagnosed. As with many medical conditions, the sooner it’s diagnosed, the more effective the treatment is likely to be. Waiting can lead to more serious problems.
Schedule an appointment to talk with one of our highly respected gynecologists by completing the form on this page.
Talk with one of our highly respected gynecologists. Complete the form on this page to schedule an appointment.
Treatment for Heavy Bleeding
Treatment for abnormally heavy bleeding depends on the cause and can range from lifestyle changes to medication and even surgery. That’s why it’s important to get an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional you trust.
The caring, board-certified gynecologists at Pella Regional Health Center hold extensive experience in diagnosing and treating abnormal bleeding and a range of other pelvic conditions. If you do need surgery, you’re in skilled hands with Pella Regional’s trusted gynecology surgeons and options that include minimally invasive da Vinci robotic hysterectomy.
Talk with one of our highly respected gynecologists. Complete this form to schedule an appointment.