Banner Health Services  

Heavy menstrual period

Dr. Jamal Mourad  

Dr. Jamal Mourad is an OB/Gynecologist practicing at Banner Desert Medical Center.

Question: I have been experiencing excessive bleeding during my menstrual cycle during the last couple of months. Is this normal?
 
Answer: If you bleed excessively, bleed for more than seven days or require pad/tampon changes every one to two hours, it is considered abnormal and you should see a doctor. This is especially true if it is a new occurrence. The medical term for this condition is menorrhagia.  Menorrhagia affects about 32 percent of women in their reproductive age, impacting their quality of life, health and daily routine.
 
The most common signs of menorrhagia:

  • prolonged periods with heavy bleeding
  • clotting
  • cramping
  • nausea
  • dizziness
  • weakness
  • eventually fatigue and anemia

In addition to the obvious health issues, most women who suffer from menorrhagia experience a significant change in lifestyle such as missed work days, inability to exercise and loss of intimacy.
 
Treatment for menorrhagia varies depending on the cause of the problem. Most women can avoid extensive surgical procedures by having an endometrial ablation. Endometrial ablation is a procedure that leads to elimination of the lining of the uterus by freezing (cryoablation), or by heating (thermal ablation). Hysterectomies should be reserved for patients with extensive uterine abnormalities, such as large uterine fibroids and pre-cancerous/cancerous changes of the uterus.  Myomectomy is a procedure that is intended to remove fibroids and preserve the uterus in cases where fertility is still desired.
 
If you think you are experiencing excessive menstrual bleeding, your doctor can help you determine the cause and the best treatment option.

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Page Last Modified: 02/22/2010
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