Excessive or prolonged menstrual bleeding can lead to other medical conditions, including:

  • 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 deplete iron levels enough to increase the risk of iron deficiency anemia. Signs and symptoms include pallor, 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. Heavy menstrual bleeding often is accompanied by painful menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea). Sometimes the cramps associated with menorrhagia are severe enough to require prescription medication or a surgical procedure.
Jun. 25, 2011