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Today in Health & Wellness
HEALTH CONDITIONS

Menorrhagia

Overview
Symptoms
Risk Factors
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
Home Remedies
Doctors to Consult
Overview

Common Name/Other Name: Hematomunia, heavy menstrual period, heavy menstrual bleeding

Menorrhagia is the abnormally heavy and prolonged menstrual period at regular intervals. It may be associated with dysmenorrhea and blood loss. It can be caused by abnormal hormone regulation, blood clotting or disorder of the uterine lining.

Symptoms
  • Soaked sanity pads or tampons every hour (consecutive hours).
  • Irregular sleep (waking up in between sleep to change sanitary pads).
  • Long-term bleeding for more than a week.
  • Blood clots during menstrual flow for more than 1 day.
  • Anemia causing symptoms (e.g. fatigue/weakness, shortness of breath)
Risk Factors
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Obesity
  • Dysfunction of ovaries/anovulation
  • Benign tumors of the uterus (uterine fibroids)
  • Non-hormonal intrauterine devices (IUD) for birth control
  • Pregnancy complications
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (infection of the uterus, fallopian tubes and other organs of the reproductive system)
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
  • NSAIDs (ibuprofen, naproxen) provides pain-killing, fever-inducing and anti-inflammatory (in high dose) effects. Side effects: Stomach indigestion, stomach ulcer and bleeding, anemia, heart failure, high blood pressure. Drug interactions: Diuretics, lithium, ACE inhibitors, anticoagulants, anti-diabetic drugs, cardiac glycosides, corticosteroids, other NSAIDs.
  • Tranexamic acid is an antifibrinolytic that prevents excessive blood loss by inhibiting the activation of plasminogen to plasmin (responsible for the degradation of fibrin, a protein that forms blood clots). Side effects: Bowel disorder, hypersensitivity reactions or intolerance. Drug interactions: Anticoagulants, fibrinolytic drugs, penicillins.
  • Iron supplements (ferrous salts) help manage blood loss. Side effects: Black stool, constipation, stomach irritation, temporary staining on teeth. Drug interactions: Certain antibiotics, tetracycline, thyroid replacement drugs, levodopa, methyldopa, bisphosphates.
  • Oral progestogens (norethisterone, progesterone, pedroxyprogesterone) help correct hormonal imbalance. Precaution: Fluid retention, decrease glucose tolerance, weight change, drowsiness, dizziness, circulatory disorders, history of psychic depression. Side effects: Milk discharge from the breast, itchy rash, acne, blocking of blood clot, menstrual irregularities, drowsiness, headache, nausea, mental depression. Drug interactions: Estrogens, hepatic enzyme-inducing drugs (carbamazepine, barbiturates, antiepileptic drugs), griseofulvin.
  • Hormonal IUD releases levonorgestrel which decreases menstrual cramps and bleeding, and makes the uterine lining thin.
Treatment and Management
Home Remedies
  • Herbal teas like chamomile tea help reduce menstrual pain and bleeding.
  • Ginger (raw or tea) helps regulate blood flow and eases cramps. To make ginger tea, boil 200 grams grated ginger in approx. 500 ml water for 10-12 minutes. Strain the grated ginger and allow the liquid to cool down before drinking. Honey can be poured into the drink to mask the bitter taste.
  • Unripe papaya helps regulate heavy bleeding during menstrual periods by smoothening uterine constriction, but not recommended to women in their 1st trimester of pregnancy as it will lead to miscarriage.
  • Cinnamon powder can be used to cure menorrhagia. A teaspoon of cinnamon powder in a glass of cold water, drink this 3 times during the day.
  • Parsley juice by boiling parsley leaves in distilled water, let it cool and drink 3 times during the day.
  • Magnesium rich food like sesame seeds, pumpkin/squash (kalabasa) in dietary intake help reduce bleeding.
Doctors to Consult
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