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Really heavy painful periods

(39 Posts)
cloudchasing Fri 22-Sep-17 12:02:26

Before anyone tells me off, I know I probably should make a docs appointment, but first I just wanted to see if this is 'normal'!

I'm 47, and over the last couple of years (since I came off the pill), my periods have been horrendous.

I get awful migraines about a week before, my mood swings are off the scale, and when I finally get my period, it's really heavy and stays like that for the duration, usually about 5 days. I get through a tampon and a pad every hour or so for the first couple of days, lose big clots and I hate leaving the house. Really painful cramps, trapped wind, diarrhoea or constipation... Obviously I've been having periods for many years now, but they've never been as bad as this, and they're getting progressively worse.

Now I appreciate that this may be part of peri-menopause, so is it something I just have to put up with? Or does anyone have any brilliant remedies to help?


cloudchasing Fri 22-Sep-17 15:58:48

Anyone have any advice?

ProfessorCat Fri 22-Sep-17 16:00:45

I'm peri and this is a normal experience for me, other than that I have a period every four months and bleed for a month. Heavy, lots of clots, bedridden, terrible diarrhoea, gas, etc etc.

sparechange Fri 22-Sep-17 16:03:57

Lots of people find a mooncup helps with the pain, but also makes things a bit more manageable with a heavy flow because they can hold loads more than a tampon
They are especially effective with lots of clots

cloudchasing Fri 22-Sep-17 16:49:33

See I try not to use tampons if I can because they make me more uncomfortable, but the flooding makes it necessary. I honestly don't think a mooncup could cope!

cloudchasing Fri 22-Sep-17 16:52:23

Is there anything you can take, like a natural remedy of some sort that actually works with any of it?

I work nights in an office that has one toilet shared by men and women, and the plumbing is crap, so I'm constantly stressing about flushing etc as well.

TheFairyCaravan Fri 22-Sep-17 16:58:20

I'd asl for a referral to a Gynaecologist for an endometrial ablation. I'm 46 and had one about 8 years ago, it meant that I can actually leave the house during my periods which I couldn't do for the first few days before I had it done. It's only a simple op and it really does change your life.

For some women it stops their periods completely, it didnt for me unfortunately. After I first had it done my periods were really light, and hardly noticeable. They are heavier and more painful now, plus I get the migraines, because the ablation doesn't last forever. As I have problems with my back and pelvis they don't want to do it again.

cloudchasing Fri 22-Sep-17 17:01:58

In all honesty, I'm thinking of asking for a hysterectomy, but I've no idea of the criteria. They refused to sterilise me a few years ago, so I'm fairly certain it would be a bit of a battle.

EveryoneTalkAboutPopMusic Fri 22-Sep-17 17:06:16

I used to have very heavy periods coupled with severe PMS. The thing that really helped me was having a Mirena coil fitted.

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 22-Sep-17 17:11:20

I think hysterectomy is rarer these days.

Try the implant, no oestrogen so it's safe for older women & it makes your periods lighter or absent.

I've had mine a month and love it. One light period, no pain!. I have so much more energy.

The dr said to give it three months to settle but to go back if it made bleeding heavier initially and they could medicate that. Right before he said "but that's usually younger women so you should be ok"

IveGotBillsTheyreMultiplying Fri 22-Sep-17 17:14:36

I had terrible periods and was eventually diagnosed at laparoscopy following a collapse due to a twisted strangulated cyst (size of a grapefruit) with endometriosis

I was age 43 at the time and had always put up with severe pain, flooding and PMS. My mum had similar so I though it was just part of being me.

Mooncup was helpful as it is like a plug with a vacuum seal so it does not become saturated like tampons and pads do. I used to use two tampons and pads at a time.

The female gynaecologist was lovely and said no one should put up with that. She also said it was a miracle I'd conceived easily four times as my ovaries were tied in knots with scar tissue from cysts and bleeds.

I got a coil fitted and my life has been so much better. Very light periods and very manageable pain.

I only wish I'd complained years before but we are made to believe that we should put up with 'women's troubles'.

Migraleve Fri 22-Sep-17 17:16:48

Gynaecologist first recommendation is very likely to be a mirena

TheFairyCaravan Fri 22-Sep-17 17:25:00

As you suffer with migraines I would fight like hell against a Mirena.

I had one for a few months. It gave me horrendous migraines, that have gone away (I suffered with migraines as a teen and when I was on the pill so I shouldn't have had it according to my gynaecologist). My mood swings were awful, I'd never had PMT. The whole experience was just dire.

TheFairyCaravan Fri 22-Sep-17 17:25:35

The migraines have never gone away that should say.

cloudchasing Fri 22-Sep-17 17:57:43

I don't really want a hormone based contraceptive, I was on the pill for years and years and dp had a vasectomy so that I could come off it.

Is that really the best option? Obviously if it's going to really help, then I'll do it. I'm slightly nervous about using it though tbh, dd had the implant and had constant period for almost a year, they kept refusing to remove it, as she hadn't given it enough of a chance to 'settle down' hmm

cloudchasing Fri 22-Sep-17 17:59:24

The migraines are a big part of it. I used to suffer really badly on the pill, but I stopped getting them when I stopped taking it, until recebtly.

EveryoneTalkAboutPopMusic Fri 22-Sep-17 18:06:23

I don't seem to get any real side affects from the Mirena, apart from the much lighter periods and the much reduced PMS. I can understand your concerns. My GP wouldn't prescribe the oral pill because when I do have a migraine I go blind, so the risk of stroke was just too much. Not sure on the stats but I was led to believe that the Mirena was safer.

moobeana Fri 22-Sep-17 18:10:38

I am totally with you on this, however my only difference is mine have been this way since day 1. My first period was 9 days long and I flooded through all my supplies I had been given to take to school. It was an interesting introduction to periods, not want 'mizz' and 'just seventeen' had led me to believe would happen!

I've seen lots of gynae docs as I have endometriosis and rare clotting disorder which make the whole thing interesting for them, but not so much for me!

Step one is pretty much always mirena. I tried it for 6 months when I was 19 and hated every moment. It didn't work.

Step two is endometrial ablation - they fill a balloon of hot hot water inside your uterus and burst it to burn away the endometrial lining. It either thins or removes the lining making periods significantly lighter. They won't do this until you are sure you have finished having children, as understandably it has a good chance of making you infertile.

Step three is hysterectomy. They won't normally do this unless without the other steps there are special circumstances.

I suffered through using differing tactics, mainly Yasmin pill and lots of spare clothes, until I had children.

After my last child they inserted a mirena 5 weeks post birth as my periods normally returned at 6 weeks. They wanted to 'beat my hormone cycle'. That was 3 years ago and it's worked surprisingly well, but they did say all bets are off when they change it in 2 years!

I know people who have had ablation done and said it is a total life changer.
I really hope this is helpful and not boring.

EveryoneTalkAboutPopMusic Fri 22-Sep-17 18:14:21

I thought mine were long at 8 days but 9!

yawning801 Fri 22-Sep-17 18:17:09

Do not quote me on this, but I find having a ton of garlic (not raw garlic but garlic bread etc) on the day that my period starts helps with the pain and flow. As I said, I'm no doctor so it's probably just me!

Badhairday1001 Fri 22-Sep-17 18:21:22

I take tranexamic acid which helps to make my periods a bit more manageable. It's prescribed by the GP. They tried to push me to try mirena or the implant but I reacted badly to the pill so don't want to go there.

arousingcheer Fri 22-Sep-17 18:29:11

I second the recommendation for tranexamic acid (for flow anyway, not sure if it will have any effect on pain). Tried it for the first time last period and although on the day it didn't seem to make a lot of difference, the next day flow was down to almost nothing. I'll try taking it earlier next time.
I had a coil years ago and didn't want another for lots of reasons.

Lweji Fri 22-Sep-17 18:34:07

I've never tried tranexamic acid, which I must do some time.

But I take ibuprofen during my period.
Two 600 mg pills every 12 hours (with food), from the very first spotting and for 3 days. It works best if taken before any pain starts, but it still reduces the flow significantly. And mine are as bad as what you describe.

ProfessorCat Fri 22-Sep-17 21:30:06

It seems funny people saying a long period is 9 days. Mine are 24 days on average.

EveryoneTalkAboutPopMusic Fri 22-Sep-17 21:39:03

Jesus Professor. Is that every month? How long do you go between periods?

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