Excessive Menstrual Bleeding

Excessive menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia) is a term used to describe periods that include abnormally heavy or prolonged bleeding. This is often a debilitating condition in which a woman may feel like she cannot go about her daily activities because of severe blood loss, cramping, and pain.

What constitutes “excessive” bleeding? The Mayo Clinic lists the following criteria, among others:

  • Soaking through tampons and pads, every hour for several hours
  • Bleeding for longer than seven days
  • Passing large blood clots (the size of a quarter or bigger)
  • Tiredness, fatigue, or shortness of breath (which could indicate anemia)

Sometimes excessive bleeding can be a sign of a more serious health issue. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and feel concerned, talk to your doctor about what could be causing the bleeding and what treatments might help alleviate your symptoms.