What is Menometrorrhagia?
This condition is characterized by heavy, prolonged, as well as irregular menstrual bleeding. The average person loses around 30 ml of blood each period, but someone with Menometrorrhagia will lose 80 ml or more.
This condition can result in anemia, particularly for vegetarians. Check with your doctor to learn if this condition affects you.
In addition, you might also experience unexpected bleeding. For example, outside your normal period. It could be light and mistaken for spotting. Or, it can also be very heavy and you might think your period has come earlier than normal.
Combination of Two Disorders
Menometrorrhagia is actually a combination of two menstrual cycle disorders:
Signs and Symptoms of Menometrorrhagia
There is no one “smoking gun” symptom that will lead a doctor to diagnose you with this condition. The menstrual cycle varies. Although 28 days in a normal cycle length, it can vary from 21-35.
Some people lose only 20 ml of blood, while others lose more than 80. Most periods last 5 days, while some people bleed for up to 10.
That said, there are a few things your doctor will ask you about:
- How often you change your pad or tampon (ever hour for multiple hours?)
- Cycles that last longer than 8 days
- Bleeding at a time of the month that is not your normal period time
- Large blood clots (larger than a quarter)
- Severe cramps
- Signs of anemia (low iron levels) such as fatigue, weakness, etc.
Learn more about Menometrorrhagia
What Causes Menometrorrhagia?
There are a few reasons why someone might have this condition. Please see your doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
Higher than normal levels of estrogen causes the lining of the uterus to grow thicker. When menstruation occurs, it can lead to blood clots and a high volume.
Stress, obesity and a range of other things can cause hormonal imbalances.
This is the most common cause of heavy bleeding during perimenopause.
Taking birth control pills not according to your doctor’s instructions can also cause irregularities in your period. Be sure to follow the directions they give you precisely.
Polyps and fibroids are (usually) non-cancerous growths that can cause excessive bleeding, or bleeding between periods. They place pressure on the uterus, as well as the blood vessels where the growth occurs.
In the case of heavy bleeding among older women, it could be Adenomyosis. The uterine lining grows into the muscles in the uterus.
Using an IUD is a possible cause, so please let your doctor know if you’re using one.
Normally, the uterine lining grows only within the uterus. But, with endometriosis, it can happen in the fallopian tubes, ovaries or pelvis, which can lead to significant bleeding when shedding occurs.
Learn more here: Endometriosis Symptoms.
Lack of ovulation
Ovulation is what signals the uterine lining to shed. If no ovulation occurs, the lining can just keep growing until it’s forced to shed, and bleeding is often very significant.
It can also cause bleeding at unexpected times (very, very late period for example).
Disorders Related to Blood clotting
If your blood is unable to clot well, bleeding can be heavier. In addition to losing menstrual fluid, you may be losing additional blood. Lack of clotting can happen for variety of reasons.
One common reason for lack of clotting is if you’re taking blood thinners for some reason.
This could lead to a single, significant period that happens at an unusual time.
This is a possible cause of very heavy and/or prolonged bleeding. Please check with your doctor to rule this out.
There are some meds that can cause more intense periods. Do let your doctor know what medications you’re on.
Should I see a Doctor about This Condition?
If you are bleeding very heavily, and/or irregularly, it’s time to see your doctor. There are treatment available (see below) which can reduce your period intensity, as well as get it on a more regular schedule.
In addition, there are some potentially serious conditions like cancer that should be ruled out.
Treatments for Menometrorrhagia
There are various treatments for this, but it depends on the underlying cause. Please check with your doctor to find out the best option for you individual circumstances.
If you have a fibroid or polyp, surgery may be an option. If you’re past childbearing age, or don’t want to have children, removal of the uterus could be considered.
However, some less invasive treatment options include:
- Birth control pills which can normalize hormone levels
- A check to make sure you’re taking birth control pills regularly, if you’re already on them
- Progesterone, which helps to reduce the thickness of the uterine lining
- NSAIDs such as Ibuprofen which help to reduce menstrual flow, and also relieve pain from cramps
- Iron supplements if you have low iron levels (you can know with a simple blood test)
- Hormonal IUD
These pharmaceutical treatment options are usually tried first before surgical ones.
How to Deal with Menometrorrhagia
There are various ways to deal with heavy and/or irregular bleeding. Some of them include the following.
Get your Iron Levels Tested
Are you feeling weak, fatigued, or short of breath? You may have low iron levels if your period is extremely heavy.
Ask your doctor to do a simple blood test and find out for you.
Although taking an iron supplement will do nothing to solving your heavy, irregular bleeding, it can help to alleviate one of the main complications of it.
Consider Using a Menstrual Cup
A regular tampon has a capacity of around 5 ml, while a jumbo tampon is 10 ml. If you have an extremely heavy period, you may have to change it every hour or two.
The average menstrual cup has a capacity of 30 ml (the Diva Cup for example). There are even some high-capacity menstrual cups that can hold up to 50 ml. That’s kind of a game-changer if you have a heavy period. 5x more than a jumbo tampon!
Pair up one of these higher-capacity period cups, with a heavy, overnight pad and you might even be able to sleep through the night.
One of our favourite high-capacity menstrual cups is the Super Jennie. The large size holds 42 ml. It’s soft, comfortable and has some excellent user reviews and ratings from customers.
Another thing we love about menstrual cups? If you have a heavy period and are using a couple boxes of tampons each month, you’ll save thousands of dollars over a lifetime by making the switch.
What about Cloth Pads?
If you have a very heavy period, you may be spending A LOT of money on disposable sanitary napkins. Consider making the switch to reusable ones that are made from cloth, bamboo, charcoal and other natural materials.
You’ll also be making a better choice for the environment, as disposables pads are made largely from plastic.
For some of our top picks, check out this comparison chart below:
Try out some Period Panties
The final eco-friendly period protection option you’ll want to consider are period panties. Some of them have just a leakproof layer, while others have that, along with absorbent padding. If you have Menometrorrhagia, you’ll probably want the second option.
If you’re looking for some serious absorbency, then consider Modibodi.
Their heavy flow menstrual underwear can hold around the same amount as a jumbo pad. In particular, we love the huge range of sizes and style options, so you’re sure to find something that will work for you.
Check them out here:
Modibodi Leakproof Menstrual Underwear Review
Menometrorrhagia: Have your Say!
Do you suffer from this condition? What did you find worked for you in terms of treatment?
Leave a comment below and share your thoughts with us.
Reference: Doctor’s Health Press.