Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
by Michelle Badash, MS
Heavy menstrual bleeding (also called menorrhagia) is excessive menstrual blood loss that interferes with a woman's quality of life.
In some cases, the cause is not known. However, many conditions have been associated with menorrhagia, such as:
Risk Factors TOP
Factors that may increase the risk of menorrhagia include:
Symptoms of menorrhagia include:
When Should I Call My Doctor?
Call your doctor if you have symptoms of menorrhagia.
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical examination, including a pelvic exam, will be done. Tests may include:
Treatment depends on the underlying cause of the heavy menstrual bleeding. Your doctor will work with you to create a treatment plan.
Your doctor may recommend:
In some cases, surgery may be needed, such as:
There are no specific steps to prevent this condition.
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
The National Women’s Health Information Center
The Canadian Women's Health Network
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada
Apgar B, Kaufman A, George-Nwogu U, Kittendorf A. Treatment of menorrhagia. American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://www.aafp.org/afp/2007/0615/p1813.html . Published June 15, 2007. Accessed August 14, 2012.
Heavy menstrual bleeding. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/ . Updated May 25, 2012. Accessed August 14, 2012.
Menorrhagia (heavy menstrual bleeding). Mayo Clinic website. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/menorrhagia/DS00394 . Updated June 25, 2011. Accessed August 14, 2012.
11/20/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php : FDA approves Lysteda to treat heavy menstrual bleeding. United States Food and Drug Administration website. Available at: http://www.fda.gov... . Published November 13, 2009. Accessed November 20, 2009.
Last reviewed September 2013 by Andrea Chisholm, MD
Last Updated: 9/30/2013