Menorrhagia is the medical term that refers to abnormally heavy or prolonged bleeding. Many women experience heavy bleeding, but they are usually not severe enough to be considered menorrhagia.
You may have menorrhagia if:
- You need one or more sanitary pads or tampons to contain your menstrual flow every hour for several hours in a row.
- Your period lasts more than seven days.
- You have to constantly change your pad or tampon.
- You need to change pads during the night.
- Your menstrual flow contains blood clots about the size of a quarter or larger.
- Every period causes blood loss and cramping that are severe enough to interfere with your daily activities and prevent you from carrying on like on a normal day.
- You have constant pain in the abdomen during your periods.
- You lack energy, or you are short of breath.
Menorrhagia can be caused by a number of things, including hormonal imbalances, uterine fibroids, negative reaction to an IUD, and other medical conditions. Treatment is available, but will depend on what causes your menorrhagia.
If your periods are heavy and painful enough for you to dread having it monthly, it’s best to talk to your doctor for possible treatment options.