FRIDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- About 10 million American women struggle each year with a debilitating but little discussed health condition -- menorrhagia.
It's more commonly known as excessive menstrual bleeding, and it can result in fatigue, anemia, missed work days, restricted physical activity and embarrassment when accidents occur.
While "excessive" is relative, in general, menorrhagia refers to the need to go through more than three or four sanitary pads a day or to change tampons every hour or two, said Elizabeth Battaglino Cahill, a registered nurse and executive vice president of the National Women's Health Resource Center, an independent health information source for women in Red Bank, N.J.
In a survey of 600 women conducted by the center in 2005, researchers found that nearly 60 percent of women with the condition hadn't bothered to discuss it with a doctor, even though it was having an adverse effect on their lives and can be treated with a number of approaches.
When women do approach their doctor or another health-care provider about menorrhagia, Cahill said, there can still be more problems. "A lot of physicians are not explaining a lot of the treatment options," she said.