Flooding Menstruation

Tampons for flooding menstruationFlooding menstruation, also known as menorrhagia or excessive uterine bleeding, can be a very embarrassing issue if the woman affected is caught in the wrong social situation.

Flooding menstruation tends to affect mainly women in their 40s and 50s.  It affects approximately 6% of women.

Let’s review the normal menstrual cycle.

At the beginning of the cycle, follicle stimulating hormone causes the ovary to prepare an egg for release.  At the same time estrogen levels rise and cause the thickening of the uterus lining (endometrium).

After ovulation, progesterone levels begin to rise.  If pregnancy does not occur, progesterone levels drop and menses, or a woman’s period, begins.

A normal cycle takes approximately 28 days with a variation of plus or minus 7 days.  This means the length of a woman’s cycle can range from 21 to 35 days with 28 days being the most common.  Menstruation duration ranges from 2 to 7 days.

Flooding menstruation is a period that is characterized by an excessive flow of menstrual blood and extended duration.  Menorrhagia is medically defined as blood loss of 80mL or more per cycle or a period that lasts for more than 7 days.

The causes of flooding can be grouped into one of three categories; hormonal, mechanical or clotting issues.

Hormonal issues include anovulation (no egg is released during the cycle), hypothyroidism, stress induced hormonal changes and dietary and other extrinsic hormones.

Mechanical causes include endometriosis (growth of the uterine lining outside of the uterus), endometritis (inflammation of the uterine lining), and cancer.

Clotting problems include vitamin K deficiency and inhibitors of coagulation in the blood.

Prostaglandins are believed to play a role in regulation of normal menstrual flow and thus play a role flooding menstruation. High levels of prostaglandins lead to excessive menstrual blood flow.

Non-steroidal antiflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) block the production of prostaglandins.  Therefore, NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen, are used in the treatment of menorrhagia.

You may also wish to learn more about vaginal dryness, vaginal odor or bacterial vaginosis.