You were in church on Sunday, praising your God when the lady beside you tapped you. You listened in horror as she whispered, though in a voice loud enough for the guy behind to hear, “Sister, you are stained.” Stained although the common term to describe the ugly map your menstrual blood had used to design your beautiful yellow dress was an understatement. You were carried away by the praise session minutes ago that you had forgotten the dampness between your legs.
You had to change or else the next minute the blood would spurt down your legs. You tied your scarf on your waist, dug into your bag for your purse and with quick hand motion, put a pad into the purse. Purse in hand, head tie on waist, you walked the walk of shame away from the prying eyes of Elder John’s wife, your other watchers and headed to the toilet. You finished your business and walked back to your seat, not caring regardless. Your kind neighbour lent you a handkerchief with which you covered your hair and prayed for divine healing with. You got home and sat on your bed sheet carelessly because you felt weak and tired. Ah!!!Not again!!! The bed sheet was stained with bright red blood. You removed the bed sheet and soaked it with warm water and Sunlight detergent. You then changed your pad again to avoid a re-occurrence. You are still thinking about your condition. You have prayed and fasted and nothing seems to work. You keep spending enough money to build a house in buying pads. My dear you are not alone, many women and girls all over the world suffer from Menorrhagia or heavy menstrual bleeding.
Menorrhagia is a medical term for menstrual periods with abnormally heavy or prolonged bleeding. It is used to describe total blood flow greater than 80ml per cycle or soaking a pad or tampon every two hours or less. The general symptoms of Menorrhagia are changing pads once an hour for a day or more, changing pads in the middle of the night, wearing two pads at the same time to manage heavy flow, having painful cramps, passing blood clots, having periods longer than seven days, feeling tired, and bleeding between periods and after menopause.
There are numerous causes of Menorrhagia and they include hormone problems, growths in the uterus, use of birth control, previous miscarriages, uterine cancers, bleeding disorders, some drugs, endometriosis, kidney disease, liver disease, pelvic inflammatory disease, and emotional or physical stress. The treatment is usually done with hormones, backed up by iron tablets if the individual has lost so much blood to Menorrhagia. Getting an Intra-uterine device with hormones may also be necessary. Surgery or removal of the lining of the uterus may be necessary if the doctor diagnoses fibroid and you are sure you don’t want to have more children. Menorrhagia may seem like a slight problem, but it often indicates the presence of severe health problems that could affect your reproductive health. Periods stain but when they soak, you should be concerned. Aunty, what are you waiting for? Drag yourself to the hospital before it is too late.
written by: Galadima Gimbiya