4 Telltale Symptoms of Menorrhagia

 4 Telltale Symptoms of Menorrhagia

About 33% of menstruating women seek help for menorrhagia — the official term for heavy menstrual bleeding. 

Here at Women's Health - Mid-Atlantic Women's Care in Newport News, Virginia, Dr. Cheri Coyle and our team routinely diagnose and treat heavy bleeding, so don’t hesitate to reach out for help if you are battling heavy periods each month.

In the meantime, continue reading to learn more about menorrhagia and the four signs that you’re dealing with it.

Defining menorrhagia

Menorrhagia means that your period comes at regular intervals, but your bleeding is excessive. 

It’s defined as:

Defining menorrhagia also considers your perception of whether or not your bleeding is heavy. The symptoms in the next section can help you determine if your bleeding falls into the excessive category. 

4 telltale symptoms of menorrhagia

Unless you use a menstrual cup, you might be unable to measure how much blood you lose during your period. Here are four signs that you’re dealing with menorrhagia: 

You have to double up on sanitary products

If you need to change your sanitary protection every hour or more frequently for several consecutive hours, it may indicate menorrhagia. Some women with heavy bleeding end up doubling up on sanitary products — wearing a tampon and a pad at the same time — to help manage the flow. 

You have to wake up in the middle of the night to change your pad

Tampons and pads are available in high-absorbency options overnight, but if you have menorrhagia, these options may not be enough. If you have to wake up in the night to change your pad and/or tampon, it’s worth giving us a call.

You pass large blood clots

While it’s normal to pass small blood clots during menstruation, consistently passing clots larger than a quarter is a common symptom of menorrhagia. These large clots can be alarming and indicate that the blood is pooling in your uterus before being expelled.

You have symptoms of anemia

Heavy menstrual bleeding can lead to iron deficiency anemia, a condition where your body doesn’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to your tissues. 

Symptoms of iron deficiency anemia include:

Anemia can be easily confirmed with a quick blood test.

What to do if you spot the symptoms of menorrhagia

Menorrhagia can understandably zap your quality of life during your period, and if you have anemia, it can impact you throughout the rest of your month as well. Heavy bleeding can affect your clothing choices, limit your desire to attend social activities and outings, and even impact your overall physical and mental wellness. With that in mind, there’s no need to try and “power through” a heavy period alone. Our team is here to help.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends medication as the first line of treatment for menorrhagia. Many different types of medication can help reduce blood flow, e.g., hormone therapies, tranexamic medication, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs  (NSAID). 


If your family is complete, you have two additional options:

The bottom line: help for heavy bleeding during periods is just a call or click away. Request your appointment at our Newport News, Virginia, office and start exploring a new future sans menorrhagia. 


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