Excessive Uterine Bleeding
Excessive uterine bleeding is commonly called menorrhagia. During this medical condition, abnormally heavy or prolonged bleeding is seen during menstrual periods. Although it is a common concern amongst most women it is difficult to keep up the routine activities with heavy blood loss and cramps.
Symptoms of excessive uterine bleeding may include
- Profuse or heavy bleeding
- Bleeding for more than a week
- Presence of blood clots larger than a quarter
- Need to change sanitary pads or tampons every hour or two
- Waking up at night only to change sanitary protection
- Restricting daily activities due to heavy menstrual flow
- Signs and symptoms of anemia, like tiredness, lethargy or breathlessness
Causes of excessive vaginal bleeding:
- Idiopathic: Occasionally, the cause of excessive uterine bleeding is unknown.
- Fibroid: One of the chief causes of heavy bleeding during childbearing age is a submucous uterine fibroid. These are noncancerous (benign) tumors of the uterus. Uterine fibroid can cause profuse bleeding and a prolonged menstrual cycle.
- Uterine polyps: These are small benign growths on the inner lining of the uterus These are the second most common causes for a heavy or prolonged menstrual cycle.
- Adenomyosis: This condition occurs late in childbearing age and mostly disappears after menopause. In this condition the endometrial tissue exists in the uterine muscle, causing heavy and painful periods.
- Hormone imbalance: During a normal menstrual cycle, the hormones estrogen and progesterone regulates the buildup and shedding of the lining of the uterus called endometrium. The imbalance in the secretion of these hormones causes the development of endometrium in excess and at the end of cycles which sheds by way of heavy menstrual bleeding. Conditions including polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), obesity, insulin resistance, and thyroid problems contribute to hormone imbalances.
- Dysfunction of ovaries: Metropathia hemmoragica and anovulation are the abnormal activity of ovaries. It means when the ovaries don’t release an egg during a menstrual cycle, therefore there is no secretion of the hormone progesterone, which leads to hormone imbalance and may cause excessive bleeding from the uterus.
- Cancer: Cancer of uterus, ovaries and cervical cancer may cause excessive menstrual bleeding, predominantly in postmenopausal females who have an abnormal Pap test in the routine examination.
- IUD: Profuse bleeding after insertion of IUD is a well-known inevitable consequence. Most of the women using IUD do not experience a very heavy flow to be considered as menorrhagia.
- Complications of pregnancy: Placenta previa (low lying uterus) placenta abruptio, a miscarriage can cause a single, heavy, late period.
- Inherited bleeding disorders: Inherited disorders associated with the deficiency of blood clotting factors such as von Willebrand’s disease can cause heavy and abnormal menstrual bleeding.
- Medications: Use of medications, including warfarin, Lovenox, anti-inflammatory medications, hormonal medications like estrogen and progestins (progesterone-only pills) may contribute to profuse or prolonged menstrual bleeding
- Other medical conditions: Chronic diseases or medical conditions associated with the liver or kidney can contribute to menorrhagia.
Risk factors of excessive uterine bleeding
Risk factors of excessive uterine bleeding varies with age and whether there is a presence of other serious medical conditions. Heavy cycles in adolescent girls are mostly due to anovulation.
During a normal cycle, the ovaries release an egg which stimulates the production of the hormone progesterone. Progesterone is a female hormone most responsible for compliance of periods to be regular every month. Imbalance or impaired secretion of the hormone progesterone can cause heavy bleeding and disturb the normal functioning of the body.
However, in older women of reproductive age, it is frequently due to uterine pathology, including fibroids, polyps, and adenomyosis. Although, diseases of liver and kidney, uterine cancer, bleeding disorders, side effects of medicines should be ruled out.
Complications of excessive uterine bleeding
- Anemia. Heavy blood loss causes anemia by a reduction in the number of circulating red blood cells. It is the most common complication of menorrhagia. The skin becomes pale, the body feels weak. You may feel behavioral changes like poor concentration, brain fag, depression, sadness, loss of appetite and fatigue.
- Intense pain. Mostly dysmenorrhea is seen along with heavy menstrual bleeding, experienced as painful menstrual cramps. Sometimes the cramps are so intense that requires the aid of medical supervision.
Visit a medical professional if you experience the following:
- Heavy vaginal bleeding soaking one pad or tampon in an hour or more than two hours
- Irregular menses or bleeding between periods
- The occurrence of any vaginal bleeding after climacteric (menopause)
The doctor will perform a physical examination and recommend the following tests to confirm the diagnosis: Blood tests, thyroid function test, pap test, ultrasonography, endometrial biopsy, hysteroscopy. Dilatation and curettage, cervical smear should be taken to rule out any suspicion.
Homeopathic treatment: Homeopathy is a holistic science based on the theory of individualization and symptom similarity. The aim is to address the underlying cause and to treat the individual susceptibility of the patient. As far as the focus is on the therapeutic treatment of excessive uterine bleeding, several remedies are available to treat and control the risk factors: Millefolium pentarkan, Actea racemosa, China, Phosporus, Ustilago maydise, Thlaspi bursa.
- Millefolium pentarkan: Excessive bleeding from vagina which is bright red in color. Heamorrhagic diathesis; profuse, prolonged bleeding starts early.
- Actea racemosa: Indications are irregular and painful periods, with shooting pains travelling downwards to hips and thighs The cramps in abdomen are similar to labor-pains.
- China: Best indicated when there is bleeding in between the normal menstrual cycle is accompanied with extreme exhaustion, weakness or faintness.
- Phosphorus: Phosphorus is pondered upon other medicines when the woman encounters slight vaginal bleeding in between periods. Bright red uterine hemorrhage due to fibroids, polyps and cancer of uterus is effectively treated by Phosphorus.
- Ustilago maydise: Profuse menses. Blood dark coagulated during climacteric periodin form of long black strings. Much clotting. Uterus is enlarged, excessive uterine bleeding after delivery or miscarriage.
- Thlaspi bursa: Thlaspi is one of the best homeopathic medicine used when a woman experiences bleeding in between periods accompanied by intense colicky pains in uterine region. Large clots may be present during menses.
Other commonly used homeopathic remedies are: Aletris farinosa, Lachesis, Pulsatilla, Sabina, Erigeron, Ferrum met, Cyclamen etc. For an individualized case study and better medical results, you should visit a homeopathic doctor so he can advise an individualized treatment plan according to your constitution.
Conventional treatment : Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), Tranexamic acid (Lysteda), Oral contraceptives, Oral progesterone, Hormonal IUD (Liletta, Mirena).