Any menstrual period longer than eight days or one that involves bleeding through more than two pads in an hour for four hours in a row is considered heavy.
As a woman, you can determine a change in your menstrual flow by asking yourself if there’s a change in your bleeding—if it’s heavier than your normal flow. If that is the case, and you notice tiredness, light-headedness, fatigue and heat palpitations, you should see a doctor as soon as possible.
While it may be possible that your condition has to do with nothing, it may also mean there are some serious underlying issues. Here is a list of 5 medical conditions that may be responsible for your heavy flow that you should give serious attention.
An alteration in the levels of one of several hormones in the body can cause you to have heavy menstrual bleeding. The oestrogen hormone helps to build up the lining of the uterus while progesterone counteracts the effect by stabilising the uterus linings. An imbalance or alteration in the level of the two hormones can result in excessive bleeding and in serious cases, uterine cancer.
Treatment measures usually involve hormone-replacing or hormone-stimulating drugs which can be very effective in treatment.
Uterine Fibroids are non-cancerous tumours that are benign and are usually formed in the muscle wall of the uterus. As much as 70 percent of all women will experience one or more type of uterine Fibroids before they attain the age of 50. One common symptom of fibroids is heavy menstrual bleeding and lower-belly pain, cramps and spot bleeding between periods are symptoms.
Treatments may range from doing virtually nothing to using drugs and having it removed which is all dependent on the location of the fibroids.
Hyperplasia In The Endometrium
Endometrial Hyperplasia is an overgrowth of the lining of the uterus or the endometrium. Hyperplasia can increase the risk of endometrial cancer in women. Hormonal imbalances, especially an increase in oestrogen is responsible for endometrial hyperplasia. Excess oestrogen without sufficient progesterone can result in hyperplasia which mostly occurs after menopause in women because the body stops the production of progesterone when ovulation ceases. Treatment usually entails usage of drugs to correct shortage of hormones.
Uterine Polyps are grape-like growths that originate from the lining of the uterus. Polyps are harmless a lot of the time but they can cause miscarriage and infertility. A common symptom of uterine Polyps are heavy menstrual bleeding associated with irregular periods or bleeding between periods.
A doctor may choose to prescribe drugs to treat hormonal imbalances that cause the formation of polyps or remove them completely.
Various Bleeding Disorders
Any medical condition that affects the formation of clots or how the blood should normally flow in the veins of the body can result in heavy menstrual bleeding. There are an array of bleeding disorders responsible for heavy menstrual flow but the most common one is von Willebrand disease (VWD), which affects a large percentage of women. Von Willebrand disease is a hereditary condition where the sufferers are lacking a specific type of blood clotting protein. This makes it easy for sufferers to bruise easily and also suffer from nosebleeds.
Lastly, a number of medical conditions including endometriosis, infections of the pelvis, Cancer, liver or kidney disease and thyroid disease can cause unusually heavy bleeding. More so, pregnancy can also cause heavy bleeding in some women of reproductive age. While it is almost impossible to diagnose a lot of these conditions on your own based on symptoms alone, it is best to see a doctor if you are experiencing unusually heavy period.