Menorrhagia - What Is It?
“The menses symptoms start around Day 25. There is back pain, headache. I feel bloated. That’s when I know I should start cancelling events, put my light coloured clothes inside, the next days will be hell.”
Does your period sound like what 19-year-old Akshara describes here? Chances are you are suffering from menorrhagia.
Menorrhagia is characterised by extremely heavy menstrual bleeding—above 80 ml per period. (For most women it’s 40ml). Menorrhagia symptoms include:
- Periods that last 5-7 days
- Heavy periods coupled with debilitating pain
- Heavy periods coupled with weakness
- Constant fear of staining
- Having to change pads/tampons every two-three hours
- Staining frequently at night
- Iron deficiency
- Clots the size of Rs 5 coins
Menorrhagia - Why does it happen?
Menorrhagia causes could include stress, birth control pills, uterine issues, pregnancy, puberty, menopause, or even be genetic. But other conditions that can be symptomised by menorrhagia include:
- PCOS or Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Cushing syndrome
- Uterine fibroids
- Certain cancers
- Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH)
- Thyroid issues
- Liver or kidney issues
- Bleeding disorders
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
Read more about menorrhagia causes.
“These seven days of super heavy periods every month is terrible,” says Rachana, a professional from Bengaluru. “I wish I could remove my uterus entirely. My husband and I anyway do not want children.”
While removing one’s uterus may not always be an option—due to the expense of the surgery, and the hormonal changes its removal will cause, there are ways to deal with menorrhagia symptoms such as RIO heavy Flow pads.
Further, it is very important to have the correct information on heavy menstrual bleeding. Read more to know!
Myth vs Fact #1
Myth: Heavy Menstrual Bleeding happens post pregnancy
Heavy menstrual bleeding is mostly a cause of hormone imbalance. This occurs most commonly when the egg does not get released during ovulation, resulting in an imbalance in the amount of progesterone in the body. Menorrhagia is also a common symptom of puberty or menopause. It can also be caused by eating disorders, low body fat, over exercising, and certain medications.
Myth vs Fact #2
Myth: Supplements don’t have any effects on hormones
Supplements made from ginseng, flax oil, and soy especially can bind with estrogen receptors in your body and cause changes in the production of hormones such as estrogen. Make sure to always tell gynecologists the full list of supplements you are on.
Myth vs Fact #3
Myth: Periods pain
While discomfort is a part of periods, pain, especially excruciating pain isn’t. If you have pain that is hampering your daily function, coupled with fever, or fainting consult your doctor. You may be suffering from dysmenorrhea.
Myth vs Fact #4
Myth: Heavy periods go away on their own
It is true that heavy periods may go away on their own when causes such as supplements or stress are removed. But it is important to remember that menorrhagia and menorrhagia symptoms are often indicative of underlying issues such as hormonal imbalance or more serious issues such as fibroids or cancer.
Periods should not just be seen as key to fertility, but also as whetstone for the proper functioning of the body. If you consistently have unnaturally heavy menstrual bleeding, it would be best to speak to your doctor.
Myth vs Fact #5
Myth: Soaking through pads/tampons indicates menorrhagia
While menorrhagia symptoms do include the need to constantly change one's pad or tampons, this may also be indicative of the fact that you are using the wrong period product. Various sanitary napkins are not built to deal with heavy periods. As a result women often use two pads at the same time, sandwiched between their legs; or end up waking up every 2-3 hours at night to change their pads.
The simple solution is to switch to specialised heavy flow pads such as RIO pads. RIO heavy flow pads are super-absorbent and built with world-class wood pulp and super absorbent polymer which hold up to 100ml of period blood. The SAP converts the blood into a gel form and prevents backflow of any sort.
“I started sleeping again after using RIO. The best part is the pads are so soft! They are comfortable. I went from using three pads to feeling like I am not even wearing a pad,” says Jilly, a 45-year-old baker from Chandigarh.
To conclude, heavy flow periods don’t always indicate complications and can simply be because of your body’s hormonal cycle, or may differ from one day to the next. However, if you are constantly having heavy flow periods resulting in pain and weakness, it is best to understand the root cause of your menorrhagia.
How to know if I have a worryingly heavy period flow?
If your RIO pad fills in less than 4 hours, consult a doctor.
Is heavy flow something to worry about?
Heavy menstrual bleeding could be a sign of issues such as PCOS, diabetes, uterine fibroids and certain cancers. But they are also common during puberty, menopause and due to stress.
Does heavy menstrual bleeding mean I have cancer?
No. Menorrhagia could be caused due to puberty, menopause or hormonal imbalances due to change in lifestyle.
- How do I deal with heavy periods?
Switch to heavy flow pads such as RIO pads.
- How do I stop staining?
Stop using sanitary napkins and start using super-absorbent heavy flow pads made by RIO.