Menorrhagia – All You Need to Know
Women face various difficulties with menstrual periods and there’s a need to address common problems like Menorrhagia. Normally, menstrual periods last for 2 to 7 days on average. A condition in which a woman’s menstrual period lasts longer than this time period and heavy flow continues beyond this time frame is called Menorrhagia.
Statistics show that Menorrhagia is not uncommon. In the United States alone, it affects the lives of at least 10 million women every year.
What Is Menorrhagia?
During a normal menstrual period of at least five days, the total blood loss is estimated to be 40 millimeters at most. However, menorrhagia occurs when this loss of blood is measured at 80 millimeters or more during a cycle. During menorrhagia, the loss of blood is double in volume as compared to a normal period.
Most of the visits to gynecologists related to menstrual periods are because it disrupts the normal life of a woman significantly.
Another indication of menorrhagia is that the loss of blood during the period is more than the body can manage. To manage this amount of flow volume which continues for seven days and beyond, a sanitary pad or tampon has to be replaced every other hour and even more frequently than that.
Women experiencing menorrhagia can observe blood clots that are bigger than the size of a quarter and therefore, they may also experience anemia or deficiency of hemoglobin. It is among one of the most common problems that women present to gynecologists. However, it should not be taken lightly as in almost half of the cases of menorrhagia, there is a serious underlying problem that is the root cause.
Some of the signs and symptoms for early identification of menorrhagia are:
- Presence of blood clots larger than the size of a quarter in the flow.
- Frequent need to change tampons/sanitary pads even during the night.
- Heavy flow continues for days and results in the filling up of more than one sanitary pad/tampon during an hour.
- Menstrual periods which continue for more than 7 days
Anovulation is one of the causes of menorrhagia; it is a menstrual cycle without an egg (or ovulation). Anovulation accompanied by the menstrual period leads to menorrhagia because of the hormone imbalance as the body fails to develop an egg.
Anovulation is more common in young women who start to have their menstrual periods or in older women who are about to reach menopause. Apart from anovulation, there are some other reasons that can cause menorrhagia, such as:
- Hormonal imbalance can be because of a lack of progesterone production as an ovary fails to produce the egg. Ovarian dysfunction can cause menorrhagia.
- On the other hand, hormone levels can be triggered to overproduce because of uterine polyps.
- A contraceptive device known as an intrauterine device used as a means of birth control can lead to heavier flow and menorrhagia.
- Complications during pregnancy such as an ectopic pregnancy in which the egg is implanted in the fallopian tube, or a missed abortion can lead to abnormal blood flow.
- Failure of platelets to function properly leads to a bleeding disorder.
- A change in the normal level of estrogen and progesterone can cause the inner lining of the uterus known as endometrium to develop too much in anticipation of a fertilized egg which can then lead to heavy bleeding upon shedding.
- Benign tumors called fibroids present in the reproductive system which are non-cancerous in nature.
- Embedding of the glands present in the endometrium with the muscle tissue of the uterus. This condition is known as adenomyosis and it can cause menorrhagia.
- Inflammation of the reproductive system because of an infection known as pelvic inflammatory disorder. This can lead to serious complications.
- Cancers of the female reproductive system i.e. cancers of uterus, cervix, and ovaries.
- Medication regimes to address some other health problem can have anticoagulants in them which can cause heavy bleeding during a menstrual period.
How to Overcome It?
Women facing this problem are often searching for remedies on how to stop heavy periods. There are some options to control menorrhagia which can be utilized depending on the individual case. Drug therapy using oral hormones, tranexamic acid, and iron supplements can be used to ward off symptoms of menorrhagia and promise to restore hormonal balance. The problem is that they often leave new issues in their wake.
Health practitioners prescribe NSAIDs to women suffering from menorrhagia in order to relieve them of menstrual cramps but these can cause serious damage in the long run. In some cases, the doctor will suggest surgery as an option to alleviate symptoms of menorrhagia. Let’s find some remedies on how to stop heavy periods.
How to Stop Menorrhagia Naturally?
The best way to counter menorrhagia and its symptoms would be through herbal remedies instead of the traditional allopathic medicines. Medications for such issues often do more harm than good, so we’d focus on natural remedies on how to stop heavy periods.
Extensive literature reviews by researchers have enabled them to list a series of herbs and supplements deemed really helpful to mitigate the basic problems associated with menorrhagia i.e. to control the bleeding, ward off and counter anemia, and restore an acceptable menstrual pattern. We’re listing these for your convenience, these can be used separately or in the form of a product that combines the useful effects of various herbs for maximum effect. Check with your doctor for any contra-indications these herbs may have with medications you may be using.
Vitex berry or Chaste Tree-chasteberry is probably the best-known herb in Europe for countering hormonal imbalances and abnormal bleeding in women; it has been used for the full scope of menstrual disorders.
Dong-quai is used in Chinese medicine for helping with multiple gynecological conditions. Similarly, red clover, black cohosh and sage extracts are all being used for centuries by traditional herbalists to achieve hormonal balancing and alleviate the symptoms of menstrual problems.
Some other herbs that have been mentioned as helpful for menorrhagia are: Bayberry Bark (myrica cerifera), also known as Wax myrtle, blue cohosh, beth root and cinnamon etc. A careful combination of these herbs in the form a great product may work wonders for menorrhagia and similar problems.
A very useful product going by the name of female hormone balance uses the amazing properties of the mentioned herbs and other helpful herbs to help you achieve the hormonal harmony that your body desires during fertility and Menopause Complex may greatly reduce menopausal discomfort such as hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, and irritability when hormones are declining. In this way, it helps in warding off menorrhagia as well. Cycle balance progesterone cream is another great product to achieve hormonal balance and for countering all menstrual problems and menopausal syndrome.
Some of the following herbal remedies can help in regulating the duration of a menstrual period and also reduce the excessive loss of blood:
1. Ginger extract
2. Extract of flowers of pomegranate
3. Syrup prepared from myrtle fruit
In two studies, Ginger capsules and myrtle fruit syrup significantly reduced the menstrual duration. In another trial, pomegranate flower capsules were as effective as tranexamic acid capsules in reducing the pictorial blood loss. However, these herbal remedies are not supported by medical research and extensive testing is required to further confirm or rule out their role in addressing symptoms of heavy bleeding during a menstrual period.
Apart from the remedies, the first step toward how to stop menorrhagia naturally is to incorporate sufficient sleep and exercise into your routine.
So far, research studies have failed to correlate dietary routine with heavy bleeding during the menstrual cycle. It has not been established that a good diet has any role in relieving symptoms of menorrhagia except that somef believe plant based estrogens – phytoestrogens can be key.
But it is a general rule of nutritional balance that your body should be hydrated and well stocked with essential minerals and nutrients in order to ensure the health of women during a heavy menstrual cycle such as in menorrhagia. Following nutrients are important in this case:
- Vitamin C
Vitamin C helps the body in the swift up-take of iron from the diet. With the lack of vitamin C, this uptake is slowed. Therefore, the consumption of foods which are rich in vitamin C (i.e. citrus fruits, etc.) can help in maintaining sufficient iron levels in the body.
Blood contains a large percentage of iron present in the body. When blood is lost during the period so is iron. Lack of iron leads to a lack of capability in the body to produce more blood cells to compensate for the loss of blood. Iron supplements ensure that the iron levels are up to the mark and there is always sufficient blood present in the body to avert a situation such as anemia after a heavy period.
Iron-rich foods are meats, leafy vegetables which are dark in color, and legumes, etc.
An irregularly heavy menstrual cycle that occurs in menorrhagia leads to loss of water with the loss of blood. It is important to restore the level of hydration in the body so that the health of the body can be maintained.