Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Women's Health

Font Size

Abnormal Uterine Bleeding - Medications

Medicines often help treat abnormal uterine bleeding, and they have fewer risks than surgical treatment. If you plan to become pregnant in the future, or if you are nearing the time when your menstrual periods will stop (menopause), you may want to try medicines first.

Goals of medicine treatment

The goal of medicine treatment for abnormal uterine bleeding is to reduce or eliminate blood loss. This can be done in one or both of the following ways:

Medicine choices

There are several hormone therapies for managing abnormal uterine bleeding. These treatments help reduce bleeding and regulate the menstrual cycle:

  • Birth control pills (synthetic estrogen and progesterone). Daily birth control pills prevent pregnancy. They also reduce the amount of heavy menstrual bleeding by about half.2 In other words, when you take birth control pills, your menstrual bleeding can be half as heavy as it was before you took the pills. But when you stop taking the pills, irregular bleeding or perimenopausal symptoms may return.
  • Progestin pills (synthetic progesterone). In some women, progestins can control endometrial growth and bleeding. You usually take progestins 10 to 12 days every month.
  • The levonorgestrel intrauterine device (IUD). A doctor inserts this birth control device into your uterus through your vagina. It stays in your body for up to 5 years and releases levonorgestrel, a form of progesterone, into the uterus.
  • Estrogen. In some severe or urgent cases, estrogen may be used to reduce bleeding.
  • Hormone suppressors such as gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogues (GnRH-As). GnRH-As are rarely used. These drugs reduce estrogen production, making your body think it is in menopause. This reduces or stops menstrual periods for as long as you take the medicine. Side effects with GnRH-As are common.

A medicine called tranexamic acid (such as Lysteda) is sometimes used for women who have bleeding that is heavier than normal. This medicine is not a hormone. It prevents bleeding by helping blood to clot. Talk to your doctor to find out if this option is right for you.

What to think about

Intravenous estrogen therapy is typically used when severe blood loss must be quickly stopped.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: May 10, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    hands on abdomen
    Test your knowledge.
    womans hand on abdomen
    Are you ready for baby?
    birth control pills
    Learn about your options.
    Is it menopause or something else?
    woman in bathtub
    bp app on smartwatch and phone
    estrogen gene

    Send yourself a link to download the app.

    Loading ...

    Please wait...

    This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.


    Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

    Blood pressure check
    hot water bottle on stomach
    Attractive young woman standing in front of mirror