What Can Cause Menorrhagia?

In many cases of menorrhagia or heavy menstrual bleeding, the cause is not known. However, in many cases the cause is known. The known cause of menorrhagia include,

  • Hormonal imbalance: in case of normal menstrual bleeding there is balance between hormones, estrogen and progesterone. This hormonal balance regulates buildup of lining of uterus or endometrium (which shed during menstruation). If there is imbalance of estrogen and progesterone, there may be excess production of endometrium and thus excess shedding leading to excess menstrual bleeding.
  • Ovarian dysfunction: if ovaries do not function normally and ovaries may not release an egg leading to anovulatory menstrual cycle. This lead to hormonal imbalance and excess buildup of endometrium and excess menstrual bleeding.
  • Tumor in uterus: non-cancerous tumors in uterus (uterine fibroids) can occur during childbearing age. Presence of such tumors in uterus may lead to higher than usual menstrual bleeding.
  • Uterine polyps: polyps are small benign growths in the lining of uterus. These may lead to prolonged and excess bleeding during menstrual cycle. Uterine polyps are common during childbearing age due to high level of hormones.
  • IUD or intrauterine device: non-hormonal intrauterine device may cause menorrhagia as a side effect, and it is well documented. If you have menorrhagia due to IUD, you may have to remove it and use other form of contraception.
  • Menorrhagia may result from adenomyosis (glands of endometrium get embedded into muscles of uterus, leading to excess menstrual bleeding). This is commonly seen among women during middle age who have children.
  • Pregnancy complications such as miscarriage can cause heavy bleeding in a single cycle that may look like menorrhagia. Sometimes ectopic pregnancy may also lead to excess bleeding.
  • Various medications, such as anticoagulants and anti-inflammatory drugs may cause excess menstrual bleeding.
  • Various cancers can cause excess bleeding, such as ovarian cancer, cervical cancer, and uterine cancer.
  • If you have certain bleeding disorder such as von Willebrand’s disease, you may have excess bleeding.
  • Number of medical conditions can cause excess bleeding during menstrual cycle, such as endometriosis, PID (pelvic inflammatory disease), thyroid disorders, liver disease, kidney disease etc.


Image courtesy of [tiniroma] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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