Causes of excessive menstrual bleeding, also known as menorrhagia, include hormonal imbalances, adenomyosis, problems with pregnancy and nonhormonal intrauterine devices, explains Mayo Clinic. Certain medications, such as anti-inflammatory drugs, may cause menorrhagia as well.
Changes in levels of estrogen and progesterone during menstruation cause thickening of the endometrium, leading to heavy bleeding, reports Mayo Clinic. Ovaries that fail to ovulate may signal no production of progesterone, causing an imbalance of hormones. Adenomyosis, which is common among middle-aged women, occurs when glands from the lining of the uterus implant in the muscles of the uterus. Ectopic pregnancy and miscarriage may also cause the condition.
Symptoms include bleeding that lasts more than seven days, changing sanitary pads often to soak excess blood and passing blood clots during menstruation, according to Mayo Clinic. Other symptoms include shortness of breath and fatigue. Excessive menstrual bleeding may cause painful cramps and low levels of iron, leading to iron deficiency anemia. People who pass blood abnormally or experience post-menopause vaginal bleeding should seek medical care.
Treatments include taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, iron supplements, oral contraceptives, oral progesterone and tranexamic acid, states Mayo Clinic. Using hormonal intrauterine devices may help as well. Surgical procedures such as uterine artery embolization may be necessary if nonsurgical procedures fail to counter the problem.