When to see your doctor about irregular, erratic or heavy periods
If you have concerns about heavy bleeding or bleeding starts again after menopause, see your doctor to rule out fibroids, polyps or other underlying medical conditions.
What’s in the doctors’ bag for heavy periods?
Depending on your age, the stage of menopause you’re at and your health history, your doctor may suggest:
- The Mirena Coil, a progesterone-releasing IUS (intrauterine system), which according to womens-health.co.uk decreases blood flow by 97% after 12 months, with periods stopping for about a third of women.
- Period relief medication containing Tranexamic acid works by helping blood to clot in the womb. Available across the counter after a consultation with a pharmacist and on prescription.
- Taking 200mg of Ibuprofen every 4-6 hours to reduce blood flow by 25-30% and deal with any nasty cramps say The Centre for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research (CeMCOR).
- Oral contraception, although CeMCOR say that this is a less effective option for women in perimenopause.
- Norehisterone tablets, available on prescription, can be taken to stop a period. Especially useful if you’re going to be travelling or on holiday.
And then there’s always HRT….
HRT tackles hormonal imbalance for those able to take it. You and your doctor should discuss the best option for you, with any side effects. If you’re still having periods or have just finished, HRT will regulate bleeds so they occur every 28 days. If periods have stopped you’ll be prescribed continuous combined HRT which may cause irregular bleeding in the first 3-6 months.
As usual the Hot Flush caveat, there are pros and cons to taking HRT. See our vlog - What Is HRT? and our conversation with our gynaecologist, Dr Karen Morton Talking Menopause Health with Hot Flush. We don’t take a view. It’s for you to decide whether it’s for you or not.