Excessive or prolonged menstrual bleeding can lead to other medical conditions, including:
July 02, 2014
Iron deficiency anemia. In this common type of anemia, your blood is low in hemoglobin, a substance that enables red blood cells to carry oxygen to tissues. Low hemoglobin may be the result of insufficient iron.
Menorrhagia may decrease iron levels enough to increase the risk of iron deficiency anemia. Signs and symptoms include pale skin, weakness and fatigue. Although diet plays a role in iron deficiency anemia, the problem is complicated by heavy menstrual periods.
Most cases of anemia are mild, but even mild anemia can cause weakness and fatigue. Moderate to severe anemia can also cause shortness of breath, rapid heart rate, lightheadedness and headaches.
- Severe pain. Along with heavy menstrual bleeding, you might have painful menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea). Sometimes the cramps associated with menorrhagia are severe enough to require prescription medication or a surgical procedure.
- Bope ET, et al. Conn's Current Therapy. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2013. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed April 6, 2014.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2014: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2014. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed April 6, 2014.
- Bano R, et al. Heavy menstrual bleeding. Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Reproductive Medicine. 2013;24:1.
- Pizzorno JE, et al. Textbook of Natural Medicine. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2013. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed April 6, 2014.
- Adams JG. Emergency Medicine. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2013. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed April 6, 2014.
- Zacur HA. Chronic menorrhagia or anovulatory uterine bleeding. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed April 6, 2014.
- Laughlin-Tommaso SK (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 15, 2014.
- Hesley GK, et al. MR-Guided focused ultrasound for the treatment of uterine fibroids. CardioVascular and Interventional Radiology. 2013;36:5.
- De Silva NK. Abnormal uterine bleeding in adolescents: Definition and evaluation. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 13, 2014.