Menorrhagia refers to menstrual periods with heavier bleeding than normal or periods that last for seven days or longer each month. For women with menorrhagia, every period causes so much blood loss and cramping that they can’t perform their usual daily activities. It’s more common in the years when women first begin their periods and in the years right before menopause.
Common causes of menorrhagia include hormone imbalances, dysfunction of the ovaries, abnormal growths in the uterus, inherited bleeding disorders or certain medications. Rarely, menorrhagia may be a sign of cancer of the uterus, ovaries or cervix.
Symptoms of menorrhagia include:
- Menstrual bleeding that soaks through one or more sanitary pads or tampons every hour for several consecutive hours
- Needing to use both a tampon and a pad to control bleeding
- Needing to get up in the night to change a pad or tampon
- Periods that last one week or longer
- Passing large blood clots in the menstrual blood
- Restricting activities due to heavy bleeding
- Signs of anemia, such as tiredness, fatigue or shortness of breath
Doctors Who Treat Menorrhagia
- Gynecologist: A doctor who specializes in the reproductive and sexual health of women. A gynecologist diagnoses, treats and monitors menstrual problems such as menorrhagia.
- Internist or Family Physician: Doctors who provide general medical care for adults. Women with menorrhagia may be monitored by both an internist or family physician and a gynecologist.
- Pediatrician: A doctor who specializes in the medical care of children. Girls who are menstruating and experience menorrhagia may be monitored by both a pediatrician and a gynecologist.