What is the scientific phrase for "abnormally long menstrual period"?
June 4, 2011 7:13 PM   Subscribe

What is/are the scientific search term(s) for "abnormally long menstrual period" or "unusually long menstrual period"?

I have been menstruating heavily non-stop for 3 months, 13 days.
No relevant prior medical conditions other than polycystic ovary syndrome.

I am seeing a gynaecologist to try different treatment options to stop the bleeding, but so far nothing that we have tried has worked.

I want to be able to search resources like the Cochrane Library to find out more about my different treatment options and their success rates (and also to see if I can find additional treatment options that my gynaecologist hasn't yet mentioned), but I am not sure what search term(s) to use to describe "abnormally long menstrual period" or "unusually long menstrual period."

Thank you! ^_^
posted by anonymous to Science & Nature (8 answers total)
posted by Metroid Baby at 7:15 PM on June 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

Or Menometrorrhagia, or Metrorrhagia, or hypermenorrhea?
posted by brainmouse at 7:18 PM on June 4, 2011 [2 favorites]

This can be a touchy subject for some, but did the doctor check your hormone levels? I once bled for a long time, took a pregnancy test and it was negative. Turns out I had a miscarriage, and my hormone levels were faint enough that an OTC test didn't show anything, but the doctor could tell.
posted by your mom's a sock puppet at 7:22 PM on June 4, 2011

This is not the term you're looking for, but you should ask your doctor about endometriosis. I used to get reaaally heavy periods that lasted too long (not three months long, though, my god that sounds awful), and my gyns have all said I probably have endometriosis. HBC has made my life so much better.

In the meantime, you should get a menstrual cup if you don't already have one. It will make your life SO MUCH EASIER (and cheaper) if you've been using tampons and pads.
posted by phunniemee at 7:29 PM on June 4, 2011

Here's the NIH/Medline page for dysfunctional uterine bleeding, which also suggests some alternative terms.

Here's another entry, for vaginal bleeding between periods.

And here's menstrual periods - heavy, prolonged, or irregular.

This is a good, trusted starting point, which also has links to more information. Good luck with all this.
posted by bluedaisy at 8:17 PM on June 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

Had a pretty similar thing happen to me last year. What I didn't know was that sudden changes in menstrual patterns can be a sign of cancer - not sure if you knew that or not, so I thought I'd put it out there. Get checked out for that first. They'll also check for endometriosis and fibroids.

After my endometrial biopsy came back normal (hurt like hell though), that worry was out of the way and I was offered endometrial ablation, Mirena IUD, or progestin-only pills as possible treatments. I opted for the progestin pills (I have other health conditions that rule out the combination estrogen/progestin pill, which would otherwise be my first choice).

Your experience may be different than mine, but there really weren't a lot of great options out there for this. Hope you find one that works for you!
posted by chez shoes at 9:30 PM on June 4, 2011

I have PCOS and bled 93 days once. I started actively treating my PCOS and I haven't bled like that again. For sure have it checked out, but you may want to look for a reproductive endocrinologist who doesn't just do infertility. But yeah, the search term is dysfunctional uterine bleeding. And make sure to get checked for anemia too!
posted by PorcineWithMe at 9:46 AM on June 5, 2011

I sure hope you're being regularly tested for anemia and taking iron supplements if you need them. And keeping yourself well hydrated to replace the fluid loss.
posted by serena15221 at 9:31 AM on June 9, 2011

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