By Norine Dworkin-McDaniel"I don't smoke." "I exercise regularly." "Yeah, I
floss." If you've ever looked into your doctor's eyes and told her a
half-truth — or even an outright falsehood — join the club. But those little
health fibs can have serious consequences: Your dishonesty may keep your doctor
from preventing heart attacks, pregnancy complications, even cancer. Read on to
learn why it's worth it to come clean.
It's normal to fib about some things. "So sorry we won't make the
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.