Menorrhagia

Menorrhagia

What is menorrhagia?

Menorrhagia is the most common type of abnormal uterine bleeding characterized by heavy and prolonged menstrual bleeding. In some cases, bleeding may be so severe and relentless that daily activities become interrupted. Other types of abnormal uterine bleeding (also called dysfunctional uterine bleeding) include:

Polymenorrhea Too frequent menstruation
Oligomenorrhea Infrequent or light menstrual cycles
Metrorrhagia Any irregular, acyclic nonmenstrual bleeding from the uterus; bleeding between menstrual periods
Postmenopausal bleeding Any bleeding that occurs more than one year after the last normal menstrual period at menopause

What causes menorrhagia?

There are several possible causes of menorrhagia, including the following:

What are the symptoms of menorrhagia?

In general, bleeding is considered excessive when a woman soaks through enough sanitary products (sanitary napkins or tampons) to require changing every hour. In addition, bleeding is considered prolonged when a woman experiences a menstrual period that lasts longer than seven days in duration. The following are the most common (other) symptoms of menorrhagia. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

The symptoms of menorrhagia may resemble other menstrual conditions or medical problems. Always consult your health care provider for a diagnosis.

How is menorrhagia diagnosed?

Diagnosis begins with a health care provider evaluating a woman's medical history and a complete physical examination including a pelvic examination. A diagnosis of menorrhagia can only be certain when the health care provider rules out other menstrual disorders, medical conditions, or medications that may be causing or aggravating the condition. Other diagnostic procedures for menorrhagia may include the following:

Treatment for menorrhagia

Specific treatment for menorrhagia will be determined by your health care provider based on:

Treatment for menorrhagia may include:

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