Menorrhagia: Meaning, Diagnosis and Overview

What is Menorrhagia?

Menorrhagia also called as heavy periods is when a woman loses an excessive amount of blood during consecutive periods. It is one the commonest gynaecologic complaints. The interval between two cycles remains constant. A normal menstrual cycle is 21-35 days with an average of 7 days of flow measuring 25-80 mL. Menorrhagia is defined as total blood loss exceeding 80 mL per period usually lasting longer than 7 days.


Diagnosing menorrhagia involves a number of tests including:
  • Physical examination
  • Medical history
  • Menstrual history
  • Pap smear
  • Blood tests
  • Vaginal ultrasound
  • Endometrial biopsy

FAQs prepared by doctor

Q1. What is menorrhagia?
Menorrhagia is the medical term for menstrual periods in which bleeding is abnormally heavy (>80 ml) or prolonged(>7 days). Although heavy menstrual bleeding is a common concern among premenopausal women, most women do not experience blood loss severe enough to be defined as menorrhagia.
With menorrhagia, every period you have causes enough blood loss and cramping that you cannot maintain your usual activities.

Q2. What food is advised in menorrhagia?
One should take iron rich foods, keeping in mind the iron deficiency due to heavy bleed. Eating a diet rich in calcium, vitamin B6 is advisable to build up bones and RBCs. Diet rich in fiber are other things advisable. One should avoid excessive oily and junk food.

Q3. When shall one consult a doctor?
One should visit a doctor when one experiences prolonged menstrual bleeding (lasts longer than seven days), getting menstrual flow with large blood clots, bleeding in between periods and change tampons or sanitary pads more frequently, say every hour.

Q4. How shall such condition be prevented?
Get plenty of rest. If you become unusually tired, nervous, or constipated, you may be more likely to experience menstrual pain. Exercise regularly such as walking, swimming, or bicycling may improve blood flow and ease menstrual pain. Eat a diet rich in whole grains and green leafy vegetables.
Drink plenty of fluids.

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