Vaginal bleeding occurs during the days when a woman is menstruating. Abnormally heavy and prolonged vaginal bleeding during periods can be defined as menorrhagia. Abnormal bleeding may include bleeding after you have gone through menopause, vaginal bleeding or spotting in between periods, bleeding after sex, or heavy bleeding that requires changing a sanitary pad or tampon every 2 to 3hrs. A period that lasts for more than 7 days is also a menorrhagia symptom and requires attention.
Menorrhagia or abnormal vaginal bleeding can occur due to a variety of reasons, which include:
- Menorrhagia may be a result of hormonal imbalance including disturbance in the levels of oestrogen and progesterone, which is most common with the onset of periods and when a woman nears the menopausal stage.
- Excessive bleeding can also occur due to fibroids or non-cancerous tumours in the uterus.
- Menorrhagia also occurs due to miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy.
- It can also be the side effect of using blood thinning drugs and medications
- Pelvic inflammatory diseases, infection of uterus and other organs of the reproductive system, problem with non hormonal intrauterine device etc. are also responsible for menorrhagia.
- When the glands from the uterus lining get embedded in the wall of uterus (a very common condition in women who have several children) it may result in menorrhagia.
- Cancer of the uterus, ovaries or cervix and other medical conditions like liver disorders, kidney and thyroid diseases as well as blood and platelet disorders can cause abnormal and heavy vaginal bleeding.
Excessive vaginal bleeding in women can lead to iron deficiency and anaemia. Iron supplements can help maintain good health until the condition is cured. Treatment for menorrhagia depends on the cause. Once the doctor identifies the cause of abnormal and excessive vaginal bleeding an effective treatment plan can be charted out.
- Non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like naproxen and ibuprofen are helpful in reducing excessive blood loss and easing the pain.
- If excessive vaginal bleeding is caused by hormonal imbalance, hormone therapy or supplements can help.
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding due to thinning of blood can be cured by using lysteda (tranexamic acid).
There are also various surgeries that can cause abnormal vaginal bleeding. They are:
- Dilation and curettage involving surgical scraping of uterine lining
- Hysteroscopy and myometry procedures, which are used to probe uterus through the vagina and cervix and remove fibroids or any other growths that cause abnormal vaginal bleeding.
- Women who have already had children undergo endometrial resection or ablation. It includes removal of the uterine lining, which makes it impossible to have babies after the procedure.
- Hysterectomy is another surgical produce involving removal of uterus and cervix. This surgery is also performed on women who already have kids and have surgically removed these reproductive organs, making it impossible to conceive.