Menorrhagia – causes, symptoms and treatment

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The hardest part of women’s life is menstrual-related problems. There are several complications, diseases and disorders related to the menstrual cycle.

One such problem is Menorrhagia, which is a medical term used to refer to abnormally heavy or long menstrual bleeding. Heavy or normal blood loss is common for every woman at the time of menstruation. The concern is required when the blood loss is abnormally heavy.

The menstrual cycle depends on the body of women. Every woman experiences a menstrual cycle differently. For some, the cycle may last for 5-6 days, for some 3-4 days. The days of the cycle also vary; some may have a 28 days cycle and some may experience a 22 days cycle.

Menorrhagia is the condition of excess blood loss or prolonged menstrual cycle. If untreated the complication might get severe.

What causes Menorrhagia?

There are several causes of Menorrhagia. From hormone problems to medications, they list even stress and anxiety as a cause for Menorrhagia.

The following gives the common cause for Menorrhagia:

Hormone imbalance: Oestrogen and progesterone are the hormones that help to regulate the menstrual cycle. These hormones regulate blood loss and so on. The imbalance in this hormone can cause different problems and one among them is Menorrhagia.

Thyroid disease, Anovulation, Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), obesity and insulin resistance are a few of the common causes that create an imbalance in the hormone.

Ovary Dysfunction: Ovary dysfunction is a condition where the ovaries did not release any eggs. During ovary dysfunction menstruation (release of the egg) can be irregular. This shows that ovulation can be irregular. This thickens the endometrium (lining of the uterus) and causes heavy bleeding.

Uterine fibroids: The non-cancerous growth that develops from the muscles of the uterus. This non-cancerous growth develops in women during the childbearing years. This causes heavier bleeding than the normal flow.

Polyps: Polyps is another non-cancerous growth that develops in the uterus’s lining. Polyps are common before or after menopause. This abnormal tissue growth can lead to heavy bleeding.

Adenomyosis: Adenomyosis is one of the non-cancerous growths. In adenomyosis, the endometrial cells grow into the walls of the uterus. The growth of endometrial cells results in the enlargement of the uterine muscles.

However, causing pain and heavy bleeding.

Intrauterine device (IUD): Menorrhagia is one of the major side effects caused by the use of the intrauterine device (IUD). IUD is a birth control device.

Pelvic Inflammatory disease (PID): A bacterial infection that is sexually transmitted causes PID. Heavy bleeding is one of the major symptoms of PID. This condition occurs during menstruation, childbirth, abortion or miscarriage. PID can affect the whole pelvic region.

Cancer: Cancer that develops in the uterus can cause heavy bleeding. The common cancers are Uterine cancer and cervical cancer.

Infection: Trichomoniasis, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia and Chronic endometritis are some of the sexually transmitted diseases (STD) that can cause heavy bleeding during the menstrual cycle.

Apart from the above-listed causes pregnancy complications and certain medications can also cause abnormally heavy and prolonged periods.

What are the symptoms of Menorrhagia?

The following are the familiar symptoms of Menorrhagia.

  • Heavy bleeding (during or in-between menstrual cycle)
  • Abdominal pain
  • Prolonged periods
  • Blood clots
  • Painful menstrual cramps

How is Menorrhagia diagnosed?

When the tables turn to the menstrual cycle and related problems, it is well and good to consider a doctor. The longer the wait the more severe the complications. The diagnosis will start with the family medical history. Then followed by a physical examination.

The following are the further diagnosis steps:

  • Blood test
  • Pap test (cervix cells are collected and tested for infection)
  • Endometrial biopsy
  • Imagery test

The above-listed are the primary tests that help to diagnose the causes. If the diagnosis process is still unclear, then the following tests will be performed.

Sonohysterography: This test is used to check for abnormalities in the uterus’s lining. During the test, a liquid is injected into the uterus through a tube. Using the ultrasound, the abnormalities will be detected.

Hysteroscopy: Hysteroscopy is used to check for non-cancerous growth or abnormal tissue growth in the uterus. This test involves the insertion of a small instrument into the vagina. Then it is processed into the uterus, the instrument allows you to see the inside of the uterus.

What are the treatments for Menorrhagia?

The treatment of the disease is always dependent on the cause of the disease. The treatment for Menorrhagia can include:

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): The anti-inflammatory drugs can reduce heavy blood loss and menstrual pain.

Oral progesterone: Oral progesterone will help to regulate the hormone imbalance.

Tranexamic acid: Helps to provide relief from menstrual blood clotting, thus slowing the heavy flow of blood.

Birth control pills: Birth control pills are used to stop ovulation and reduce heavy bleeding.

If Menorrhagia is not improving through the medication provided, then surgical procedures can be performed to cure the disease. The surgical procedure includes:

Endometrial ablation: Ablation is the surgical procedure of destroying the lining of the uterus (endometrium). To destroy the lining laser, radio-frequency or heat is applied.

Endometrial resection: The procedure aims to remove the lining of the uterus. But instead of a laser, an electrosurgical wire is used to destroy or remove the endometrium.

Hysterectomy: The surgical process which removes the whole uterus and cervix. By doing so, this procedure puts a stop to the menstrual cycle and the chance of getting pregnant.

Myomectomy: A surgical procedure used to remove the uterine fibroids. This surgery is performed through open surgery or laparoscopy. Depending upon the size, location and number of occurrences of the uterine fibroids.

Focused ultrasound surgery: This surgery aims to destroy or reduce the size of uterine fibroids by using ultrasound. This surgery involves no incision.


Can heavy bleeding be life-threatening? If it is untreated, it can turn into life-threatening. Some people will go for home remedies to stop prolonged periods, it is good to know such remedies. But those remedies will not always be helpful. It is better to consider a doctor, rather than checking for home remedies to stop heavy periods without even attempting to know the causes.

If an irregular menstrual cycle, prolonged period, or heavy blood flow is experienced, don’t bear with it. With the advancement in medical technology, it is easy to manage and cure symptoms and diseases.

Don’t let the problems of the menstrual cycle come into the way of your success path.  


The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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