It's possible that at some point in your menstruation you have asked yourself if the amount of your period flow is normal or not.
Menorrhagia is a condition characterized by a large amount of flow or lasting for a long time. As explained by the Mayo Clinic, most women do not have a flow heavy enough to present menorrhagia. This is characterized by heavy bleeding and cramping that prevents the woman from continuing with her daily activities.
How much blood is normal?
A major symptom of menorrhagia is the need to change sanitary pads or tampons every hour for several consecutive hours, and even use double protection to prevent run-off.
It is difficult to define exactly how much flow a "normal" woman releases. A work published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology showed that factors such as age, motherhood and (to a lesser extent) height affect the amount of menstruation that is released in each period; it is estimated that the average is between 10 and 35 ml. But among the study participants, some menstruated from just one spot to two cups. The common duration of a period ranges from four to six days.
For this reason it is important to consult with your family doctor in case you suspect having menorrhagia. Keeping a written record of your bleeding can also be very helpful, as well as using a menstrual cup with marks for measurement. According to the Ovulation and Menstrual Cycle Research Center, a flow of more than 80 ml (16 completely soaked sanitary products) within a single period is considered menorrhagia.
Why does it happen?
There are several causes behind menorrhagia, and sometimes it is not so easy to identify them. The Mayo Clinic notes that the most common are hormonal imbalances. Estrogen and progesterone are the hormones that control the growth of the endometrium (the lining of the uterus that is created to receive a possible embryo). When the levels between both hormones lose their balance, the endometrium can grow more than usual, which will cause a more abundant flow.
This hormonal change happens, to mention a few reasons, due to polycystic ovary syndrome, ovarian malfunction, obesity or thyroid problems. Cancer, interaction with some medications, uterine fibers and polyps can also trigger menorrhagia.
What's the treatment?
This diversity of causes requires a health professional to evaluate each case to prescribe the best treatment. To prevent menorrhagia from generating a case of anemia (due to the great loss of red blood cells and iron) or intense pain, doctors usually resort to hormonal medications (such as contraceptives) or steroid-free anti-inflammatories.
You Might Also Like