Heavy menstrual bleeding (called menorrhagia by health care professionals) is defined as soaking a pad and/or tampon every hour or less during each menstrual cycle. For many women, heavy menstrual bleeding is a huge obstacle to their lifestyles. Have you ever had to reschedule an activity around your menstrual period? Then, you know the toll it can take. You may not know that heavy bleeding can be more than a schedule buster. The heavy bleeding can also lead to iron-deficient anemia, the most common health-related threat of menorrhagia. While most cases of anemia are easily treated with oral iron supplements, sometimes the bleeding is so severe a woman's entire volume of blood drops, leading to shortness of breath, severe fatigue and heart palpitations that require hospitalization.