Menorrhagia – Patient Education Overview

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. Read more in our patient education guide.

Menorrhagia is 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


Written by Laurie LaRusso, MS, ELS

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