Menorrhagia is the term for excessive (greater than 80ml blood loss) and/or prolonged (no longer than nine days) menstrual bleeding. Menorrhagia due to hormonal factors is most common in the first years of menarche, and approaching menopause due to hormonal influences, and may be exacerbated by other pathology, most commonly, uterine fibroids.
Excessive menstrual flow may contain blood clots, as blood loss exceeds normal fibrinolytic mechanisms in the uterus and begins to clot. The most important complication of ongoing menorrhagia is an increased risk of anaemia that may, in turn, lead to heavier bleeding. Other causes of menorrhagia include:
- Annovulation (failure to ovulate)
- Uterine fibroids
- Cervical and/uterine polyps
- Adenomyosis (i.e. endometrial thickening with the uterine wall)
- Intra-uterine contraceptive devices
- Abnormal blood clotting
- Uterine, cervical or vaginal cancer
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Excessive oestrogen and/or unopposed oestrogen
Anovulatory cycles commonly lead to menorrhagia in both early menstrual development and during peri-menopause. During these times there is no trigger for ovulation. Due to lack of the Luteinising Hormone surge mid-cycle, ovulation fails to occur with a subsequent lack of progesterone secretion. Progesterone strengthens and stabilises the endometrium. Without progesterone, the endometrium proliferates excessively under the influence of unopposed oestrogen which may then lead to the prolonged heavy bleeding.
To relieve pain and heavy menstruation we consider formulas based on traditional Chinese herbal medicine. Warming properties help to relieve menstrual pain by invigorating and moving stagnated blood in the abdomen and uterus. Herbs may also assist in the management of painful menstruation via the regulation of blood circulation. This reduces the stagnation of blood that may be associated with heavy, congested and painful periods. Of course for every woman, menorrhagia has a very individual relevance and one of our dedicated Naturopaths would be happy to discuss this with you and look for a prescription or advice specifically to support your hormones back into a balanced state.
Watch this space for future posts on other conditions in more detail!Disclaimer: The advice on this website is of a general nature only and Nurtura Health expressly disclaims all liability arising out of the improper use of the information provided. Nurtura Health actively discourages any self-diagnosis or self-medication. Please consult your health practitioner regarding these important health issues. All rights reserved.