What Causes Heavy Bleeding During Periods?

Menstruation

Heavy menstrual bleeding, also known as menorrhagia, can have various underlying causes. It’s important to note that what is considered “heavy” bleeding can vary from person to person, but if you’re experiencing menstrual bleeding that significantly impacts your daily activities or requires changing sanitary products very frequently, it’s recommended to consult a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and diagnosis. Here are some common causes of heavy menstrual bleeding:

  • Hormonal Imbalances:
    • Hormonal Contraceptives: Some forms of birth control, such as intrauterine devices (IUDs), hormonal implants, or certain birth control pills, can cause changes in menstrual bleeding patterns.
    • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): PCOS is a hormonal disorder that can lead to irregular periods and heavy bleeding.
    • Hormonal Fluctuations: Fluctuations in hormone levels, particularly estrogen and progesterone, can affect the uterine lining and contribute to heavy bleeding.
  • Uterine Conditions:
    • Fibroids: Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths that can lead to heavy or prolonged periods.
    • Adenomyosis: This condition involves the tissue that lines the uterus growing into the muscular wall of the uterus, causing heavy bleeding and pain.
    • Uterine Polyps: Small growths on the inner lining of the uterus can cause heavy bleeding.
  • Medical Conditions:
    • Blood Disorders: Some bleeding disorders, such as von Willebrand disease, can lead to heavy menstrual bleeding.
    • Thyroid Disorders: Thyroid imbalances can affect menstrual cycles and lead to heavy bleeding.
    • Liver or Kidney Disease: Certain medical conditions can impact blood clotting and contribute to heavy bleeding.
  • Medications: Certain medications, such as anticoagulants (blood thinners) and some nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can increase bleeding during periods.
  • Infections or Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID): Infections in the reproductive organs can lead to heavy bleeding and other symptoms.
  • IUDs: Copper intrauterine devices (IUDs) can sometimes lead to heavier periods.
  • Endometrial Hyperplasia: An overgrowth of the uterine lining can lead to heavy or prolonged bleeding.
  • Cancer: While rare, endometrial or cervical cancer can cause heavy bleeding as a symptom.
  • Lifestyle Factors: Factors such as obesity, excessive exercise, and extreme weight loss can affect menstrual cycles and contribute to heavy bleeding.

If you’re experiencing heavy menstrual bleeding, a healthcare professional, typically a gynecologist, can conduct a physical examination, take a medical history, and possibly recommend tests to determine the underlying cause. Treatment options will depend on the specific cause identified and may include hormonal therapies, medications to reduce bleeding, minimally invasive procedures, or surgical interventions. It’s important to seek medical advice if you have concerns about your menstrual bleeding, as heavy bleeding can sometimes lead to anemia or other complications if left untreated.

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