Abnormally heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding is also called ‘abnormal uterine bleeding’. We sometimes use this general term to describe bleeding that does not follow a normal pattern, such as spotting between periods. It used to be referred to as menorrhagia, but this term is no longer used medically.
Common causes of this symptom
spontaneous miscarriage in pregnancy
ectopic pregnancy – lodgement of the fertilised egg in the slender fallopian tube instead of the uterine lining
hormonal disorders – conditions such as hypothyroidism (low levels of thyroxine), polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and hyperprolactinemia can disrupt the menstrual cycle
ovulatory dysfunction – this is when the ovary does not release an egg each month. Most commonly, this occurs at either end of a woman’s reproductive years, either during puberty or at menopause
endometriosis – the cells lining the uterus
infection – including chlamydia or pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
medication – may include anticoagulants, which hinder the clotting ability of the blood.
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