By Lori Gottlieb
Remember the scene at the end of the first Sex and the City movie, when the fabulous foursome was sitting down to cocktails? Samantha had just left Smith, her gorgeous, adoring boyfriend — whom she loved and who had lovingly supported her through breast cancer — because "I love myself more." That's right: She dumped a keeper using what was arguably the most idiotic grrrl-power proclamation in the history of chick flicks (and there's some formidable competition there). And how did...
If you plan to become pregnant in the future, or if you're nearing the time when your periods will stop (menopause), you may want to try medicine first.
Hormone treatments that are used to help control heavy bleeding include:
Birth control pills, patch, or ring. These types of birth control give you a regular dose of estrogen and progestin. They control your body's menstrual cycle and prevent pregnancy. They also help relieve heavy menstrual bleeding and pain. For example, when you take birth control pills, your menstrual bleeding may be half as heavy as it was before you took the pills. But when you stop taking the pills, heavy bleeding may return.
Progestin pills. These pills can prevent overgrowth of the endometrium and reduce bleeding.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as over-the-counter ibuprofen (Advil and Motrin, for example), also can help. They lower prostaglandins, which cause menstrual pain, and they reduce bleeding during your period. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
Because blood loss from heavy menstrual periods can make you feel very tired and weak (anemic), your doctor may want you to take extra iron.
A medicine called tranexamic acid (such as Lysteda) is sometimes used for women who have bleeding that is heavier than normal. This medicine isn't a hormone. It prevents bleeding by helping blood to clot. Talk with your doctor to find out if this option is right for you.