Heavy Periods (Menorrhagia)
This condition is characterised by excessively heavy menstrual bleeding to the point that it becomes abnormal. Menstrual bleeding that requires a woman to change sanitary towels or tampons every hour or menstrual bleeding that lasts longer than seven days as well as spotting or bleeding between menstrual periods is known as menorrhagia. This condition can affect the quality of life if left untreated and it is, therefore, essential to discuss your menstrual cycle with doctor Lerm to assess whether or not what you are experiencing is normal or not. Other types of menorrhagia include light or infrequent bleeding as well as bleeding that occurs after menopause.
What are the symptoms?
Experiencing heavy menstrual bleeding that requires a change of sanitary towels or tampons every hour is abnormal, and your gynaecologist can help manage and treat this issue. Symptoms of anaemia, such as tiredness, fatigue or shortness of breath are also common among women with menorrhagia.
How is Menorrhagia diagnosed?
Dr Lerm will need to perform a combination of the following tests to diagnose the cause of your symptoms accurately. She may make use of the following diagnostic procedures:
- Firstly, a blood test may be done to test iron levels of the blood for deficiency and anaemia.
- A pap smear may be done to test for abnormal cells in the uterus.
- An ultrasound may be used to give her an image of the pelvic organs and view abnormalities and growths.
- Hysteroscopy, which is a thing scope may be inserted into the vagina to the cervix, may be used by your gynaecologist to view the uterus walls.
- A sample of the endometrial wall may be taken during an endometrial biopsy to test the tissue.
- Alternatively, a sonohysterography may be done by placing fluid inside the uterus using a thin tube to take internal ultrasound images of the uterus.
What about treatment?
Treatment of menorrhagia may include medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), Tranexamic acid and hormonal IUDs like the Mirena may be used to reduce blood loss and painful menstrual cramps, while oral contraceptives can help manage prolonged menstrual bleeding.
In other cases, surgical procedures such as dilation and curettage (D&C), uterine artery embolisation, myomectomy, hysterectomy, endometrial ablation or endometrial resection may be considered to treat heavy menstrual periods.