Menorrhagia, or Heavy Menses, is one of the most common issues women report to their OB/GYN. Heavy Menses is an abnormal bleeding from the uterus and affects approximately one in five American women. Menorrhagia occurs when a menstrual period’s flow produces enough blood to soak a pad or tampon every hour for several hours, or if a woman passes blood clots larger than a quarter. While heavy bleeding is a concern for most women, a Menorrhagia patient’s period causes enough blood loss and cramping to derail daily activities. Additionally, Heavy Menses can lead to anemia, which in turn causes fatigue and shortness of breath.
Reasons for Menorrhagia range from natural causes, such as hormonal imbalances to unnatural causes like sexual abuse. However, it is critical to see your doctor to provide an accurate diagnosis and establish a customized treatment plan. Once you have made your appointment, you can help your doctor by preparing some of the following background information ahead of time:
• Contact family members to see if any have been diagnosed or treated for a blood disorder.
• Journal any symptoms you experience and how long they have occurred. It is important you don’t feel embarrassed to document the most personal of details, like breast tenderness and pelvic pain, and share them with your doctor.
• Take note of any changes in your personal life, such as a new job or relationship.
• Document any medications that you are taking and their dosage.
• Write down your questions as you think of them so that you don’t forget at your appointment.
Your doctor will suggest options for your treatment. These are typically medicinal, but more severe cases call for surgical procedures. Iron supplements might be coupled with either type of treatment to help with anemia.
Speak up: don’t let a case of the Menses stop you from living your life to the fullest.