The term hypermenorrhea refers to excessively heavy menstruation. This leads to significantly increased blood loss and an additional loss of tissue. The causes lie in changes in the reproductive organs or other mental and physical illnesses. Depending on the individual reason for the symptoms, hypermenorrhea can be treated differently.
What is hypermenorrhea?
Hypermenorrhea manifests itself primarily through significantly increased menstruation, in which the patient has to change her hygiene articles very often. Sanitary pads and tampons are saturated after just a few hours and sometimes can hardly withstand the amount of blood. See AbbreviationFinder for abbreviations related to Hypermenorrhea.
Experts understand hypermenorrhea to mean an excessively heavy failure of female menstruation. On average, women lose up to 150 milliliters of blood during their period. If this amount is sometimes significantly exceeded, doctors speak of hypermenorrhea. This also applies if more than five pads are used daily or if a tampon becomes so saturated in less than two hours that it has to be changed.
The secretion of larger blood clots (blood clots) can also be a sign of increased menstrual bleeding. Hypermenorrhea can be accompanied by menstrual pain and other symptoms, but it doesn’t have to be. If particularly heavy bleeding occurs, which lasts for several days, the quality of life can be significantly impaired.
The causes of hypermenorrhea are mostly organic in nature and thus represent a symptom of an underlying disease or a tissue change. Under certain circumstances, however, severe stress can also lead to unusually heavy bleeding.
In up to 80 percent of cases, hypermenorrhea is caused by an organic change in the reproductive organs. These can be benign fibroids (tumors) or polyps in the uterus or an inflammation of the organ, but the fallopian tubes can also be affected by endometriosis (growths) or inflammation of the fallopian tubes.
Serious diseases such as uterine cancer can also lead to increased menstrual bleeding. In some women, however, the contraceptive is also responsible for the symptoms. The spiral in particular can have a direct influence on the strength of menstruation. If the patient has a hormone disorder in which too little progestin is formed or is present, the hypermenorrhea can also be due to this.
Under certain circumstances, however, other causes outside the reproductive organs can also be identified as the cause. Severe stress or a general blood clotting disorder can cause increased menstrual bleeding.
Symptoms, Ailments & Signs
Hypermenorrhea manifests itself primarily through significantly increased menstruation, in which the patient has to change her hygiene articles very often. Sanitary pads and tampons are saturated after just a few hours and sometimes can hardly withstand the amount of blood. It is not uncommon for larger clumps of blood and tissue to be found in the blood, which also pass with the urine when you go to the toilet.
Pain, abdominal cramps and other typical menstrual problems can occur in this context; however, hypermenorrhea can occur independently of other symptoms. If there is very heavy bleeding over a period of several days, the patient can suffer from circulatory problems and temporary anemia (low blood count). This can also lead to a lack of red blood cells.
Diagnosis & course of disease
The diagnosis of hypermenorrhea is comparatively simple and can usually be recognized by the patient herself. If a gynecologist is consulted, in addition to a detailed discussion, he will also carry out an ultrasound examination in order to detect or rule out any changes or inflammation of the genitals.
Under certain circumstances, an internist must be consulted to clarify the cause, unless it can be found in the gynecological area. The course of hypermenorrhea or the underlying disease depends on the type of the same. They all require medical treatment, because particularly serious diseases can lead to infertility or even cause a life-threatening condition.
In most cases, hypermenorrhea causes not only physical but also psychological problems for the patient. Increased monthly bleeding occurs in the woman, which can also be associated with severe pain. The patient suffers from severe cramps in the abdomen.
The urine can also be red in color. Hypermenorrhoea severely limits quality of life for a short period of time. Circulatory problems also occur if the sufferer loses too much blood. In the worst case, this can lead to a loss of consciousness. As a rule, hypermenorrhea also has a negative effect on the patient’s psyche and can thus lead to mood swings and general irritability.
In this case, the partner may also suffer from psychological complaints. There are no further complications during the treatment itself. This usually takes place with the help of medication. If it is a tumor, it can be removed. However, complications can arise if the tumor has already spread to other parts of the body.
When should you go to the doctor?
In the case of hypermenorrhea, the doctor should be consulted to clarify the cause even if it occurs once. Blood loss is not a problem during normal menstrual bleeding, but can lead to problems with blood flow if it is significantly higher and exceeds the healthy level. Of course it can happen that a menstrual period is heavier than usual, that’s no reason to worry. But if this happens more frequently or even regularly, then the cause should be clarified in the long term. The use of pads or tampons can be an indication of the need to see a doctor, because hypermenorrhea is defined as 5 pads or more per day or when a tampon is saturated in less than 2 hours.
If clots are observed in the menstrual blood, this also indicates hypermenorrhea, which must be examined by a doctor. If you experience dizziness, nausea, severe abdominal pain or even brief fainting shortly before or during such heavy bleeding, you should not wait any longer to see a doctor. Women who are currently trying to become pregnant should rule out the possibility that the pregnancy was successful but that they lost the fetus again very early. This can also be behind a suspected hypermenorrhea, the affected patient should then be examined for possible residues of the uterine lining.
Treatment & Therapy
The treatment of hypermenorrhea is cause-related and therefore depends on the disease that is responsible for the increased bleeding. Inflammation of the uterus or fallopian tubes can often be treated with medication. After the infection has subsided, the bleeding will also become noticeably weaker. If fibroids in the uterus are the reason for the symptoms, surgical removal of the tumors is advisable in many cases, even if they are benign.
Polyps can also be operated on in this way, which also leads to a significant improvement in symptoms. Hormone imbalances can be corrected with medication. In particularly severe cases, scraping the uterus can be the last resort to get hypermenorrhea under control. The mucous membrane is removed in layers either with a special instrument, a suction device or a laser.
However, this measure should only be taken if no other therapy works, because it results in a complete absence of menstruation. This also means that the patient can no longer have children after a curettage. It is not uncommon for fever, pain and post- operative bleeding to occur after the procedure, which is why constant medical checks are essential in the first few days.
Outlook & Forecast
Hypermenorrhea is problematic for the affected patient during the period of menstruation due to the high blood loss. During this time, she could suffer from circulatory problems with dizziness and fainting, and the usual symptoms of menstruation can also occur more frequently with hypermenorrhea. Furthermore, it is difficult for many women to cope with their everyday life during hypermenorrhea, since they constantly have to be near a toilet and it is to be expected that clothing and underwear will still get soiled.
If a patient occasionally or regularly suffers from hypermenorrhea, this condition will probably not improve on its own without the administration of low-dose hormones. There are exceptions for young women whose cycle is just leveling off. Although hypermenorrhea is uncomfortable during puberty, it can regulate itself in early adulthood.
In the case of severe hypermenorrhea, it can be assumed that there is a hemorrhage in the uterus that is causing the bleeding. The hypermenorrhea will therefore not go away without a scraping and it is usually quickly necessary simply because of the severe symptoms. After that, the patient’s condition improves over a period of a few months through the administration of hormones, as soon as the medication is properly adjusted. If none of this helps and the hypermenorrhoea continues to occur even under treatment, then a removal of the uterus is conceivable as a last option – this of course means that all symptoms disappear for good.
Hypermenorrhea can only be prevented to a limited extent. A healthy lifestyle certainly helps reduce the risk of disease in the abdomen as well. Reducing stress at work and in your personal life can also lead to increased well-being and improved health.
If the symptoms occur and are visibly affecting the patient’s everyday life, it is advisable to consult a doctor. This is the only way to rule out a more serious cause for the heavy bleeding and initiate appropriate therapy.
After the hypermenorrhea has subsided, the patient must take it easy for a few days. It is important to replenish the nutrient depots, which can sometimes be severely depleted due to blood loss. It is best for those affected to adjust their diet in order to quickly compensate for the loss and not risk any further health complications.
Above all, fruit, vegetables, fish and protein-rich foods with sufficient minerals such as oatmeal or nuts should be consumed. Patients who regularly take medication should adjust their intake in consultation with their doctor. Especially shortly after hypermenorrhea, the hormonal balance and the immune system can be severely out of balance.
It is advisable to ensure sufficient exercise and avoid stress. Typical triggers of heavy bleeding should now be avoided. If the symptoms recur or do not completely subside within a few days or weeks despite comprehensive follow-up care, we recommend that you see a doctor.
Regular visits to the gynecologist are also part of the aftercare. The doctor will take a medical history and, if necessary, perform a physical exam. If symptoms persist, a blood or saliva sample provides information about possible causes, which can then be treated in a targeted manner.
You can do that yourself
First of all, organic reasons for the hypermenorrhea should be ruled out by means of a gynecological examination. If there is no physical cause or if it cannot be remedied, self-treatment with various medicinal herbs can help in many cases. Typical “women’s herbs” such as shepherd’s purse, yarrow, lady’s mantle and tormentil can be enjoyed as a tea preparation or taken in the form of drops or dragees. Horseweed, knotweed and cinnamon also have a positive effect on heavy menstrual bleeding, and chaste tree has a regulating effect on the hormone balance.
On days when the bleeding is very heavy, it can be helpful to wear dark clothing: In this way, embarrassing situations caused by visible bloodstains on clothing can be avoided, particularly at work. It is also advisable to always have a supply of hygiene items ready at work or in your handbag. If pads or tampons are not enough, they can be combined with each other on the critical days.
If, as a result of the heavy blood loss, you are very tired during or after your period, the women affected should ensure that they have sufficient rest and recovery phases during this time. To counteract deficiency symptoms, lost iron can be replaced by eating iron-rich foods such as legumes, wheat bran, pumpkin seeds, flaxseed, meat and liver. Red berries and beetroot also contain a lot of iron, vegetable iron can be better absorbed by the body in combination with vitamin C.