If you are tired of ruining your underwear and bedsheets because of heavy blood flow during the menstruation, you should know that you have an opportunity to change the situation. First of all, you shouldn’t neglect the situation. Your gynecologist is the person that can help you to ease your symptoms. He or she will ask you some questions and performs a pelvic exam. Some additional tests may be required in order to determine if you have an underlying condition that can cause your heavy periods.
Your heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding may lead to the development of anemia. In this case, your gynecologist may suggest you consume foods rich in iron or take iron supplements. This may help your body get rid of anemia. Sometimes the bleeding is so heavy that the anemia becomes significant and you may need a blood transfusion. However, there are several options that can help manage your heavy blood flow. In this article, we will tell you how to deal with heavy periods.
1. If you have an underlying condition
Discussing your heavy menstrual bleeding with your gynecologist is important. This can sometimes lead to the diagnosis of the underlying disease. Bleeding disorders, in particular Von Willebrand disease, can be a common cause of severe menstrual bleeding. Moreover, liver disease and a condition called thrombocytopenia can also lead to heavy menstrual bleeding. Thyroid dysfunction (such as underactive thyroid condition or hypothyroidism) can cause severe menstrual bleeding. Timely and proper treatment of an underlying medical condition can sometimes help get rid of abnormal uterine bleeding.
2. If you have structural changes in your uterus
An endometrial polyp or submucous uterine fibroids can also lead to heavy periods. If you have been diagnosed with one of these conditions, then certain procedures may be recommended. One of the possible options that can be discussed with you is hysteroscopy. This is a minimally invasive surgical procedure performed using a camera and surgical instruments passing through the vagina and cervix into your uterus. This is a one-day surgical procedure that usually doesn’t require an overnight stay in the hospital. During this procedure, a polyp or submucosal fibroid can be easily removed. Another treatment option for uterine fibroids is a procedure called uterine artery embolization (UAE).
3. If you don’t have underlying pathologies
All your diagnostic tests can return to normal. In this case, there is no main reason for your heavy menstruation and treatment options usually start with medication. Birth control steroid hormones are used to help thin the lining of the uterus (endometrium). They also have the advantage of providing contraception. Your gynecologist can offer such options as oral contraceptives, Depo Provera, Nexplanon, or Mirena. If you don’t need birth control, your gynecologist may suggest you taking progesterone orally only for a certain number of days each month to thin the uterine lining.
If you don’t want to use hormonal treatment, nonhormonal options can also be used. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are able to help reduce heavy blood flow during your periods by reducing the amount of prostaglandins produced by the uterus. You should also know that there is no evidence that one NSAID reduces severe menstrual bleeding better than the other.
Tranexamic acid (Lysteda) is one more effective non-hormonal medication. This acid interacts with your body’s natural coagulation mechanism to reduce heavy menstrual bleeding. However, self-medication is not an option and you should visit your gynecologist in order to determine which treatment is right for you.
Gynecologists usually recommend a three- or six-month intake of medications in order to control heavy bleeding. If you still have heavy menstrual bleeding after the course of medications, it is important to discuss this issue with your gynecologist. In this case, your gynecologist will probably recommend additional testing ( for example, an endometrial biopsy or hysteroscopy). Your gynecologist may also offer you more specific surgical treatments like endometrial ablation or hysterectomy.