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Tips on coping with very heavy periods without hormonal help??!!(27 Posts)
I'm 42 and have always had heavy periods but they have become much heavier over the last few years.
Two years ago I had tests and was found to have a thickening of the womb. However, after having a biopsy nothing was found so the gynecologist basically said that other than hormonal intervention (ie mirena or mini-pill etc) there wasn't anything else he could offer and sent me off with a prescription for tranexamic acid.
TBH I never took the tranexamic acid as I have IBS and was worried it would make the symptoms worse.
I have never liked the idea of having man-made hormones in my body so have turned down offer of coil/pill etc but am suffering every month and am arranging my life around my periods
Day one is light but day 2-3 is very heavy with lots of clots etc (sorry TMI!!) and although the other days are more manageable I am really struggling with day 2 and 3 and feel I need to stay at home and I even have to get up several times in night to avoid changing bedsheets etc its exhusting.
I do have another newer prescription for tranexamix acid and am considering getting them even though still apprehensive because of IBS.
Have also tried the Mooncup after reading rave reviews but struggle with this as leak after an hour or two and its like a blood bath when removing it (again sorry TMI-haha!)
Are there any fellow sufferers out there with any tips I haven't yet tried - Please!!!
I think you were fobbed off last time; you should have been more thoroughly investigated. Endometriosis does not get detected on ultrasound scans or a general biopsies and something is certainly causing all this to arise.
You do not have to put up with this and re-arranging your life in such a manner around your periods. Be persistent with them and seek proper answers. Consistently painful periods and heavy bleeding is not normal and the comment "well nothing more can be done" should never be at all accepted.
Any test done over 6 months ago should be discounted; you need an appointment with a consultant gynae (not just a bog standard gynae but a specialist) to see also if there are now fibroids present (as these can cause heavy bleeding).
You need to do something on a medical front; you cannot keep on rearranging your life around your periods. Its not necessary or necessarily practical.
Some women with IBS are misdiagnosed when infact they have endometriosis. This can cause both pain and heavy bleeding to arise. Transexamic acid is just putting a plaster on an open wound; its not going to address the cause.
You should see a consultant gynae asap and get the CAUSE of this determined. Pills or the coil alone are not the answer as these only address the current symptoms.
Endometrial ablation? Hysterectomy has improved my periods but still get slight bleeding due to endometriosis. Hysterectomy nowadays can be done via laparoscopy. I was back at work 4 days later.
Thanks all - I will make an appointment to get a gynae referral tomorrow.
Maybe question your belief that hormones are something 'bad'?
unless you are anti any kind of medication, ask yourself why hormonal treatment is any different from taking any drug. The reason you need hormonal treatment is because your won hormones are skew-whiff and not doing the job- that's why something like the Mirena (coated with a progestogen) would help, as would the mini pill.
You could also have an endometrial ablation.
Don't go for an ordinary coil- they tend to make periods heavier (this is a well known side effect.)
There is no such thing by the way as a 'specialist gynae'- all consultants are specialists, but they have their own interests and areas of expertise- but heavy bleeding is really common and all consultants ought to be able to advise you on that.
sorry- what I meant to say was that anyone with the title 'gynae' is a consultant, aka specialist. Obviously what you don't want is a registrar who has done a mini course on gynaecology and isn't a fully qualified consultant.
Tip- if you have a private hospital near you, look up the gynaes who work there ( they ought to be on the website or have their own.) They also ought to list their specialisms.The majority will do NHS work as well as private, so use that info to suggest to your GP who you want to see- you have a right to request a referral to the dr of your choice.
So look for a gynae who perhaps has an interest in period problems, endo etc- though to be fair this is bread and butter to all of them.
Ablation - makes a huge difference (although I found the ablation itself pretty horrible).
Although I hate the though of any kind of op/procedure I would really like to have the ablation but the consultant said that he didn't want to go down that road. I will ask to see a different consultant this time but if he also refuses it looks like I will have to consider going privately. I have also looked into the Novasure procedure which doesn't appear to be available on the NHS so at £2000/£3000 its not something I am going to be able to have anytime soon!!
I used to suffer too and couldn't take the pill, didn't want the coil etc.
I was prescribed mefenamic (sp?) acid - had to start taking them a few days before i was due and they helped to make it less heavy - it did stretch out the period longer though but not so bad as it was lighter.
Ultimately what sorted my very heavy periods out was losing over 4 stones in weight.
Good idea to go back to GP and ask for a second opinion/another referral.
Novasure is what I had - on the NHS.
Why did the consultant not want to go down the ablation road?
I have been suffering the same symptoms as you.
I saw a gynae consultant last week.
As I am slightly larger than I should be she did not like the idea of putting me under a general anaesthetic.
But I have been offered an ablation and biopsy under local anaesthetic.
Am worrying about it but figure it is worth it in the long run.
Get a second opinion, you should not have to suffer like this. You should not have to rearrange your life to fit in with your periods.
I had symptoms like these at the same age for 2 years. It was totally taking over my life - limiting where I could go to be within reach of a toilet, I could only wear dark clothes in case of leaks etc.
I tried tablets which helped lessen the amount but when I stopped taking them after 3 months, it was back to the same old.
Finally I had a hysterectomy and it was the best thing I ever did.
I find that taking ibuprofen makes things a tiny bit more manageable. I am having similar problems, and I want to try a mirena out of sheer desperation. I have had a scan and everything seemed ok but the GP hasn't referred me and doesn't seem to have understood the full extent of the bleeding.
GPs are dreadful ime. I was only referred to a gynae after I put my head on GP's desk & sobbed & begged. Absolutely bloody ridiculous. No woman should be expected to just put up with it.
When I did see the gynae, he asked why the hell I hadn't been treated years ago!
I got the Mirena, it's changed my life, well a couple of days a month anyway! The hormones are the lesser evil, well for me anyway.
I too have stupid periods and am a similar age. I would flood a mooncup every hour on day 2.
After a bit of research, i found out that there a loads of different menstrual cups and Mooncups are amongst the smallest capacity. I now have a much bigger one (and softer so stops me feeling like i need to wee all the time) and can go 3-4 hours on my heaviest day.
The website i found is called feminine wear and i joined their facebook page where you can get loads of great advice
Doesn't solve the problem of heavy periods but does make living with them easier for me.
Are you sure that tranexamic acid is bad wuth your IBS, and I do mean your IBS? it really reduces/eliminates bleeding, and it's not hormonal.
Had stress-IBS, have been prescribed TA, but not at the same time, so only asking. God luck
You need to ask why he didn't want to do an ablation. Don't just meekly accept drs telling you what they will and won't do without questioning them. it may be he had genuine reasons- ie risks v benefits and wanted you to try something else first, or it could be down to costs. Seek another opinion.
Thanks all its good to know I am not the only one suffering with this.
I really don't know why the consultant didn't want to go down the ablation route I have a normal BMI and a non-smoker so I don't think it was due to any risks as such. I just felt that (as with my gp's) the consultant was intent on peddling the mirena coil and when I said I really didn't like the idea of man-made hormones in my body he lost interest!! I have asked that I be referred to a different consultant this time.
Remus-I was lead to believe the Novasure wasn't available on the NHS will ask about that. Was it done under a general or local?
Badroly I didn't know that about mooncups I will look at that website-thanks.
Crossparsley - I will try the Traneaxamic again this month to see if it does affect my IBS symptoms.
Are you willing to re-think your view on hormonal treatment? I can see why you might have had short-shrift from the consultant because he'll be looking for the best treatment which is least invasive, does have the risk of a GA, and cost may be an issue too. Ablation may be used in some women if the Mirena is not suitable for various reasons or if it's been tried and not worked. I can understand how he doesn't want to crack a nut with a sledgehammer if something else would work . Could you ask yourself why you are anti the coil? The progestogen works in situ- it's not supposed to circulate through your body but only works on the uterine lining. I think if I were you, I'd try it for 6 months then see how it was going.
Hormones are no different from loads of other chemicals we put in our body whether it's food, drink, aspirin, antibiotics- so I don't understand your objections - it's not logical!
The opposite argument I felt truly dreadful when I had a Mirena never ever again.
Fairbalance, that is what is worrying me. I have pinned all my hopes on the mirena working for me and I know lots of people have problems with it. The GPs really seem to push it as a contraceptive.
There are always going to be people who door don't get on with things. I know a few women who think it's the bees knees. There's no way of knowing except to try it. The good thing about the Mirena is that it's not permanent if it doesn't suit you. If it's not right for you after 3 months then have it removed.
This is the dilemma I have - I know lots of women who have the coil and many swear by it but I also know many who have had awful problems. Almost all I know who have it (including those who love it) have had weight gain (at least a stone for many!!) and I get very depressed if I put on weight. I have a couple of friends who have developed acne since having it so although I agree you can have it removed if there are problems, these additional issues can take months to resolve. I also suffer from anxiety/depression and have read many stories of women who end up with terrible anxiety/depression which is something I really do not want. If I decide to have it and it works for me then obviously I am going to wish I had it years ago but if I end up with additional problems as a result due to my previous history with anxiety/depression and weight issues I could end up very unhappy and I don't know if its a risk I really want to take!
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