Prolonged Menstrual Bleeding
Menorrhagia is a medical term for prolonged menstrual bleeding. It is an abnormal menstrual bleeding which is commonly heavy and lasts more than a week. Prolonged and heavy menstrual bleeding can interfere in woman's daily activities and cause enormous discomfort. Some women may suffer from heavy and prolonged menstrual bleeding all their lives. But if this occurs all of a sudden and has never occurred before a woman is due to inform her gynecologist since the underlying cause can be some serious medical condition. If left untreated prolonged and heavy menstrual bleeding may even cause anemia.
Causes of Prolonged Menstrual Bleeding
Hormonal imbalance is one of the potential causes of menorrhagia. Proper balance between estrogen and progesterone leads to regular menstrual bleeding accompanied by appropriate loss of blood. Still, if these hormones are not balanced enough a woman may suffer from menorrhagia.
Another cause of prolonged menstrual bleeding are fibroids. These are benign tumors which develop in the uterus and may in certain number of women induce either heavy or prolonged bleeding.
Uterine polyps are another benign tumors arising from the surface of the uterus. They affect women in their reproductive years and are most commonly caused by increased level of certain hormones. Since, they originate from the inner surface of the uterus they may cause prolonged menstrual bleeding.
Furthermore, adenomyosis is another gynecological disease that potentially causes menorrhagia. It typically affects women in late reproductive age.
Prolonged bleeding in women who are pregnant points to forthcoming miscarriage. Even ectopic pregnancy can lead to menorrhagia and heavy bleeding.
Apart from the previously mentioned there are several more conditions which feature with prolonged or heavy bleeding including liver and kidney disease, pelvic inflammatory disease and certain cancers. Cervical cancer as well as uterine cancer feature with prolonged bleeding which may accompany menstruation or occur alone.
And finally, certain medications such as anti-inflammatory drugs or hormone medicines may be responsible for menorrhagia.
Treatment for Prolonged Menstrual Bleeding
Treatment is based on general health of the woman, comorbidities and severity of the problem.
Irregular menstrual cycles and consequent menorrhagia can be perfectly brought under control by contraceptives.
If prolonged bleeding is caused by certain medications they are discontinued and patients are prescribed with new ones which will not cause the same problems.
In some women even surgery is an option. There are several surgical treatments available and they include endometrial resection, dilation and curettage, endometrial ablation and hysterectomy. Some of the previously mentioned surgical procedures can be only performed in women who do not want to have any more children.
And finally, if there are symptoms of anemia caused by prolonged menstrual bleeding the woman is treated with additional medications until the normal number of red blood cells is obtained.