Menorrhagia is characterized by heavy periods with excessive and prolonged bleeding. In normal menstrual cycles, bleeding lasts for an average of 5 days, with less than 80ml of blood-loss. One is said to have menorrhagia, when monthly blood-loss is more than 80 ml or when menstruation lasts for more than 7 days. In menorrhagia, cycles can become very distressing and troublesome. In severe cases, the excessive blood-loss can result in gross anemia. Though the causes of menorrhagia can be many, it is the main symptom of a condition called Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding (DUB).
Menstrual bleeding is generally considered heavy if you:
soak one or more sanitary pads or tampons every hour
often need to use double protection
often need to change sanitary protection during the night
have menstrual periods that last longer than 7 days
have large blood clots in your menstrual flow
bleed so heavily that it interferes with your normal daily activities
The most common symptoms and signs of menorrhagia include:
Changing sanitary products every hour
Changing sanitary products during the night
Bleeding is prolonged – menstrual period lasts longer than seven days
Using double sanitary protection to control menstrual flow
Bleeding and spotting between menstrual periods
Continuous cramping during menstrual period
Short or irregular menstrual cycles
Bleeding or spotting during pregnancy
Heavy bleeding interferes with daily life
Fatigue, low energy levels and shortness of breath (anemia)
Help for Menorrhagia
Treatment options for menorrhagia are usually determined by the cause of the problem. Over-the-counter medication such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen may help to decrease blood flow and alleviate menstrual cramps. Your health practitioner may prescribe iron and folic supplements if you are anemic.
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Home Remedies for Menorrhagia
Hormonal birth control (low-dose oral contraceptive pill) may help to regulate your menstrual cycle and make periods lighter. Progesterone therapy may also be recommended if you are experiencing prolonged heavy bleeding. In cases where menorrhagia is severe, surgical options may be required. These procedures include a hysterectomy, endometrial ablation (intense ultrasound waves kill endometrial lining) or dilation and curettage (cervix is dilated and tissue is scraped from the lining of the uterus).
Herbal and homeopathic remedies are a more natural alternative that can be used to regulate the menstrual cycle. These remedies are gentle and safe for the body’s system without the harsh side effects of conventional medications. Herbs such as Artemisia vulgaris and Capsella bursa-pastoris help to promote and support menstrual and hormonal health.
Calendula officinalis acts as a menstrual cycle regulator and provides a soothing effect while Viburnum opulus (Cramp Bark) helps to ease nervous tension and reduce menstrual cramps. In addition, homeopathic ingredients such as Calc. carb, Sepia and Belladonna promote normal menstrual flow and a balanced mood while China encourages healthy levels of iron in the blood and increases energy levels.
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