For some women, periods are a breeze. Maybe they come and go with little fanfare, or maybe they’re just a minor annoyance. But for others, periods can be downright debilitating. Heavy bleeding, painful cramps, bloating, and fatigue are just some of the symptoms that can make it hard to get through the day.

Menorrhagia is a condition characterized by heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding. Women with menorrhagia may bleed for more than seven days and pass clots of the size of quarters or larger. In some cases, they may experience periods that are so heavy that they need to change their tampon or pad every hour. This condition may be accompanied by severe menstrual cramps. It is important to know that untreated menorrhagia can lead to anemia (iron deficiency).

What Causes a Heavy Period?

While there are a number of potential causes, here are 8 of the most common:

1. IUD (intrauterine device) side effect

The IUD is a small, T-shaped device inserted into the uterus to prevent pregnancy. IUDs are one of the most effective forms of birth control, but they can also cause side effects, such as heavier and longer periods. Copper IUDs are commonly associated with heavy bleeding. This is because the IUD interferes with the lining of the uterus, making it thicker and more likely to lead to heavy bleeding during periods.

Related Post: Birth Control: Learn More About IUDs

2. Uterine Fibroids

Fibroids are non-cancerous growths that develop in or around the uterus. They’re relatively common, and as many as 3 out of 4 women will develop fibroids at some point in their lives. Fibroids can vary in size from tiny seedlings to large masses, and they can cause heavy bleeding, pain, and pressure.

Related Post: An Overview Of Uterine Fibroids

3. Uterine Polyps

Polyps are growths that form on the lining of the uterus. Like fibroids, they’re usually non-cancerous—but they can still cause unusually heavy flow during menstrual periods and other symptoms. Polyps tend to be small—about the size of a grape—but they can grow larger over time if left untreated.

4. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

PID is an infection of the reproductive organs that can cause inflammation and scarring of the fallopian tubes and ovaries. PID is usually caused by sexually transmitted diseases, and it can lead to heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding during periods and pelvic pain. If left untreated, PID can lead to infertility.

Related Post: What Is Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

5. Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a condition in which tissue from the lining of the uterus grows outside of the uterine cavity. This excess tissue can attach itself to the ovaries or fallopian tubes and cause pain, cramping, and heavy bleeding during menstruation. Endometriosis affects an estimated 1 in 10 women of childbearing age.

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6. Adenomyosis

Adenomyosis is a condition in which the inner lining of the uterus breaks through the muscle wall of the uterus. This can lead to heavier-than-normal periods, cramping, and pain during menstruation. Adenomyosis is most common in women over 40 who have had children—but it can affect women of any age.

7. Hormonal Imbalance

Heavy periods can also be caused by a hormonal imbalance—specifically, an imbalance of estrogen and progesterone. This hormonal imbalance can result from conditions like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), thyroid problems, or simply from normal changes related to menopause or perimenopause (the years leading up to menopause). Hormonal imbalances often cause other symptoms like irregular periods, weight gain, anxiety, and hair loss—so if you’re experiencing any of these things along with heavy periods, it’s worth talking to your doctor about possible hormonal issues.

8. Ectopic Pregnancy and Miscarriage

Many women experience changes in their menstrual cycle from time to time. However, a sudden and significant change in the heaviness of your period can be a cause for concern. In some cases, it can be a sign of an ectopic pregnancy, which occurs when a fertilized egg implants itself outside of the uterus. This is a potentially life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention. Miscarriage is another possible cause of heavy bleeding. Although it can be heartbreaking, miscarrying is a relatively common experience, and most women go on to have healthy pregnancies in the future. If you’re concerned about a sudden change in your period, it’s best to speak to your doctor for guidance.

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Final Thoughts

For many women, menorrhagia is a manageable condition that does not significantly impact their quality of life. However, it can be a source of considerable discomfort and inconvenience. If you think you may have menorrhagia, there’s no need to suffer in silence. Speaking to your doctor for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan is important. With proper treatment, you can get your period symptoms under control so that you can get back to living your life!

References

  1. Why Is My Period Heavy: One Month, First Day, Heavy and Painful (healthline.com)
  2. Can an IUD Cause a Heavy Period? (healthline.com)
  3. Menorrhagia (heavy menstrual bleeding) – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic
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About the Author

Hermione M.

My name is Hermione. I am the founder of WomenH and I write about women's health, wellness, mental health, and personal growth. I created this platform to inspire women to take care of themselves mentally, physically, and emotionally to become their best selves. Thank you for stopping by.

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