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Menorrhagia — Heavy And Prolonged Periods
Heavy and prolonged periods that follow a regular cycle are medically referred to as menorrhagia. Every individual woman's menstrual cycle is different, and the same goes for the length of menstrual flow itself. It is still possible to say that a normal, average menstrual cycle lasts somewhere between 24 and 32 days. Most women bleed between four and six days during most cycles. Your typical woman will lose between 25 and 80 ml of menstrual fluids during any given cycle.
Those suffering from menorrhagia experience periods that are longer and heavier than normal. If a woman's menstrual bleeding continues beyond seven days during a typical cycle and she loses more than 80 ml of blood and related fluids, she meets the conditions to be diagnosed with menorrhagia, in other words heavy and prolonged periods.
Unfortunately, menorrhagia is coupled with dysmenorrhea, unusually painful periods, quite frequently. A menorrhagia diagnosis requires the woman to still have her periods at regular and predictable intervals; those who also have more frequent or unpredictable periods will get another diagnosis, such as menometrorrhagia.
Do you recognize yourself in this? Any woman who has periods “from hell” that she dreads on a monthly basis should absolutely seek care. You should see your family doctor or OBGYN whether you think your period is unusually long, abnormally heavy, or very painful.
If your periods are so bad that you regularly take time off work or other activities, speedily seeing your healthcare provider is strongly recommended. You should see your doctor because you deserve treatment for highly unpleasant menstrual periods, but also because these periods could point to another medical problem.
Many women wonder how they can be sure their period is unusually heavy. Most doctors don't actually measure the quantity of blood loss you experience, but with a reusable menstrual cup such as the Diva Cup, that is possible. Soaking through several menstrual pads or tampons within an hour, and needing to change your menstrual pads or tampons a few times at night too are good indications that you have really heavy bleeding.
There is a long list of possible causes of heavy and prolonged menstrual bleeding. We'll go through some of them now, but I'll stress that this is for informative purposes only. You need to see a doctor for diagnosis — and should not be tempted to ignore your horrible periods, as you will conclude yourself after seeing what can cause them.
In the next section, I'll go through the possible causes of heavy and prolonged periods. I'll discuss whether a particular cause can negatively impact your fertility. In short, the answer to the question whether heavy and prolonged periods could indicate a fertility problem is yes. In some cases, menorrhagia is caused by a problem that can also make you infertile. This is only one reason to take quick action.