Menorrhagia and Hormonal Imbalance: What You Need to Know

Is the heavy bleeding during periods caused due to hormonal imbalance? Heavy menstrual bleeding, also known as menorrhagia, is normal sometimes during your period. But if you experience chronic heavy periods, then it’s a sign that you may have developed hormonal imbalance. Learn what hormones are responsible for menorrhagia and how you can manage them in this article. At Doral Health & Wellness, we have all the answers you need.

 

Hormones responsible for Menorrhagia

There are many hormones responsible for menorrhagia, including:

  1. Estrogen: Estrogen is the main sex hormone in women, which is also important for their growth, and development, and for preparing their bodies for the miracle of life. However, sometimes, estrogen can cause a phenomenon known as estrogen dominance, which increases its levels to overpower the other hormones. This hormonal imbalance in women can lead to heavy menstrual bleeding (menorrhagia).
  2. Progesterone: Progesterone hormone is about maintaining a harmonious balance in the body during the menstrual cycle and pregnancy. However, sometimes this hormone gets too low which leads to heavy bleeding periods.
  3. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): Polycystic ovary syndrome is a hormonal condition that occurs due to hormonal imbalances and causes heavy menstrual bleeding. It happens when ovaries produce more androgen than they should, leading to irregular periods and heavy bleeding.
  4. Thyroid disorders: Thyroid disorders occur when the thyroid gland produces too much or too little thyroid hormones. It plays a vital role in your endocrine system and controls many functions of your body by producing and releasing certain hormones. When the thyroid gland produces too much or too little hormone, it can throw the period’s schedule off balance and cause heavy hormonal imbalance bleeding.
  5. Hormone birth control: While these medications are good for preventing unwanted pregnancies; as their name implies, they can mess with your hormones to prevent pregnancies.
  6. Adrenal gland dysfunction: Adrenal glands produce hormones that regulate many functions in the body such as metabolism, immune system, blood pressure, response to stress, and other essential functions in your body. When glands do not function properly and cause hormonal changes during periods, it can cause heavy bleeding.
  7. Stress and cortisol imbalance: Stress is the most common hormone disruptor and leads to heavy periods. When you feel stress during your menstrual cycle, your bodies produce elevated levels of cortisol, which causes irregularity in your menstrual cycle and causes heavy menstrual bleeding.
  8. Hyperprolactinemia: This happens when the body produces an elevated level of prolactin hormone, which is responsible for milk production. While its levels stay relatively low in non-pregnant women, certain factors can lead to high prolactin production, leading to hyperprolactinemia. When prolactin levels are high, it can interfere with the normal ovulation process, and lead to irregular or absent ovulation altogether. As a result, the menstrual cycle gets disrupted, which causes irregular periods that lead to heavy menstrual bleeding.

 

When to see a doctor?

You should seek medical help before your next scheduled exam if you have:

  • Vaginal bleeding that’s so heavy it soaks at least one pad or tampon an hour for more than 2 hours in a row.
  • Bleeding between periods or unusual vaginal bleeding.
  • Vaginal bleeding after menopause.

 

Management

The best way to manage heavy periods is to know the underlying reason for getting treated for it most effectively. For example, the best treatment for endometriosis may be surgery, while uterine fibroid treatments may include watchful waiting or medications before considering surgery. Most often, menorrhagia treatment is provided by lifestyle changes and medication, such as:

 

Medications

Certain medications may be prescribed to manage menorrhagia:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs):

Selective NSAIDs like ibuprofen or naproxen sodium can lower menstrual blood loss and give relief from menstrual cramps and pain by making your periods lighter. This medicine can reduce the amount of prostaglandins – hormones that cause pain and bleeding in your uterine lining. While these NSAIDs are helpful, some NSAIDs like aspirin have blood-thinning effects and should not be used for this purpose, as they may make bleeding worse.

  • Birth control and hormone therapy:

Pills, patches, hormonal IUDs, and other forms of hormonal birth control manage your periods by thinning the uterine lining, which reduces the amount of blood and tissue you lose during your menstrual cycle. Birth control can regulate the length of the cycle, which reduces painful cramps and even stops your period altogether. If you’re entering perimenopause or menopause, birth control can also manage menopause symptoms.

Similarly, hormone therapy can be used to thin the uterine lining and correct hormonal imbalances. Hormonal therapy can treat conditions like endometriosis that cause pain and menstrual bleeding.

  • Other medications:

In some cases, other medications that doctors prescribe can be used to help treat menorrhagia symptoms. For example, stronger NSAIDs, tranexamic acid, and desmopressin can be given at the start of a menstrual period to reduce bleeding helping blood clot.

 

Diet changes

While diet changes don’t stop menorrhagia, eating a diet rich in iron can prevent anemia. Iron-rich foods include meat, seafood, beans, nuts, seeds, and leafy green vegetables. Eating foods that contain vitamin C like oranges, bell peppers, and broccoli can help your body absorb extra iron in your diet. You should also avoid foods that contain processed sugar, trans-fats, and starchy carbs because it can make menorrhagia symptoms worse. If you’re unable to get enough iron through food, you can also ask your doctor to recommend an iron vitamin supplement.

 

Hormonal imbalance causes menorrhagia because it affects your periods. Some essential hormones such as thyroid hormones, progesterone, estrogen, cortisol hormone, etc. become imbalanced which can directly affect your periods and cause irregular periods which cause menorrhagia or other symptoms. However, the good news is most hormonal changes are manageable with medication, and lifestyle changes, which relieve menstrual symptoms and improve your periods.

 

Need help with menorrhagia, visit our endocrinology clinic in Brooklyn to get professional medical help. Call us on +13473845690 and get answers for all your queries. Log on to  www.doralhw.org or visit us at 1797 Pitkin Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11212 to book an appointment with our endocrinologist to get the best treatment. We have the best endocrinologists who treat these kinds of diseases and helpful staff to aid you during your treatment.