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Heavy periods - how long do I put up with this???

(24 Posts)
MrsGrowbag Mon 17-Jun-13 19:38:23

can anyone advise me? I am 46, nearly 47. About 4 years ago my periods became really heavy, to the point that on days 1 - 3 they were almost unmanageable. I eventually went to the GP who advised having a Mirena coil fitted. She said it was unlikely that it was the menopause as I was "too young". I had the Mirena Coil fitted 3 years ago, and it has made not a blind bit of difference to the flow, the only difference is that before it was fitted, my periods were irregular which was a nightmare as I could never plan for anything. They then went to a 28 day cycle. the GP told me to give it 6 - 12 months to settle in, but after 9 moths my periods got even heavier and I started to flood every month. She then suggested that i keep the Mirena in but also take the mini pill 3x per day. That has helped SLIGHTLY, in that i no longer flood as much, but the bleeding is still horrendous for the first 3 days, it then is heavy for the next 3 or 4 days, then moderate to heavy for about another 3 or 4 days. But i really don't think i could/should have to put up with heavy bleeding for up to 10 days each month. And I don't know when I'm likely to hit the menopause. Is there anything else I can do or ask the GP about? I can't believe that i've ended up with a coil, and taking hormone tablets every day, and STILL have horrendous periods......

LunaticFringe Mon 17-Jun-13 19:41:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tammytwigg Mon 17-Jun-13 20:24:25

Hi grobag, I was just like you ,felt like I was house bound for 3 or 4 days not possible with work. I'm on week 6 after having a ablation op went well had some bleeding and discharge since then ,just starting to subside .hopefully it's done the trick be interesting to hear good reports like lunatics above I tried transaemic tablets they worked for about3 months then back to flooding ,hope you get sorted ,I didn't want the coil although they did push it a bit heard too many bad reports.

LunaticFringe Mon 17-Jun-13 20:41:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ExcuseTypos Mon 17-Jun-13 20:47:31

Transexamic acid tablets worked very well for me, but your periods sound much heavier than mine so an ablation sounds like a good idea. You really shouldn't have to put up with this.

I would also get checked for anaemia. I bet losing all that blood has had an effect on your iron stores. Please ask for a blood test.

tammytwigg Mon 17-Jun-13 21:35:29

Sorry to hijack thread but thanks for that lunatic,have been worried and yes I've googled started to think have I done the right thing but you have reassured me ,this is my best week yet ,don't really know if I've had a period in this time but fingers crossed I will be as pleased as you sound .

MrsGrowbag Mon 17-Jun-13 22:10:12

thanks for the advice. i did ask my GP about ablation but she was very dismissive and said it usually didn't solve the problem for very long. I have tried Tranexamic Acid but that didn't help either sad. Maybe I should go back and try to insist on the ablation. I am so fed up with the tablets 3x per day, having the coil, and nothing reducing the bleeding to something manageable. I have to get up 3 times every night during my period to change the towel, which means I'm really short of sleep a lot of the time. Last night I slept through - day 9 so shouldn't be a problem, but woke to find I'd bled all over the bed....

tammytwigg Mon 17-Jun-13 22:15:35

Thats awful Grobag,I'm a year older than you and my gp said hopefully the ablation will last till my periods stop with the menopause,it's worth asking you must feel so weak and lifeless let us know how you get on .

Bproud Mon 17-Jun-13 22:18:19

I had ablation done at least 15 yars ago (it was quite experimental at that time) and did not have a full period ever again, only very light flow for one day per month, so your GP is not correct about the long term efficacy of the procedure. Keep pestering - you should not have to suffer like this.

LunaticFringe Mon 17-Jun-13 22:29:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsGrowbag Tue 18-Jun-13 18:11:40

Hi, thanks for all the advice about ablation. I will definitely go back and ask about it, maybe insist on seeing a gynae. I did have blood tested fro iron and thyroid deficiencies last year, thyroid was fine, iron was 7.2 which GP said was perfectly ok, but the blood test was done mid-cycle not when i was bleeding. i don't know how quickly iron levels change though, so that may not be relevant..

The GPs advice is really "just put up with it" but i don't think i can cope with this until I'm mid 50s as that's another 7 - 8 years. My mum had periods until she was 55.... which is 8 1/2 years away....

ExcuseTypos Tue 18-Jun-13 18:20:04

I'm sure iron level are supposed to be over 12. I've just googled and it does say if your level is under 12, you are anaemic.

7.2 is very low. I would definitely go back and ask to be retested. It sounds like you should see another dr tbh.

My level was about 8 and I was put on a very high dose of iron tablets for 9 months. The difference in my energy levels was unbelievable. I felt like a new person.

LunaticFringe Tue 18-Jun-13 18:53:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

greenfolder Tue 18-Jun-13 18:55:22

I developed much heavier periods this time last year, flooding, affected work etc. Went to gp who suggested mirena, had this in nov. It stopped the flooding but meant that I just bled more or less continually. Coil expelled in april. Happened to see diff gp about something else, who referred me for a scan. Hadthat on 23rd may- found 7 cm fibroid. Got a referral within 2 weeks and saw consultant gynae for a hystercopy today. He has basically said I have a really enlarged womb and that plus the surface area of the fibroid is the issue. He told me that a hysterectomy would be best solution and that no woman should have to put up with that level of problem for potentially another 10 years. Has told me to lose some weight and he'll agree a date at next appt. So my observation is ask several gps, do not make light of your symptoms and be assertive

ExcuseTypos Wed 19-Jun-13 08:04:13

Sorry to say that the iron tablets sold over the counter are nowhere near strong enough to cure severe anaemia.

The strength you will need is only available via a drs prescription.
Another tip- always take with orange juice, the Vit C in it ensures the iron is absorbed easily and you won't suffer any tummy upsets.

onedomesticgoddess Wed 19-Jun-13 08:35:09

Iron tablets can make you very constipated- so watch out. If you are very anemic you can/should have a course of injections and other vits on prescription. Something like Floridex- supplement- that is a drink/ liquid may be better than swallowing iron tabs, in the meantime.

LunaticFringe Wed 19-Jun-13 09:24:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ExcuseTypos Wed 19-Jun-13 10:23:39

I tried to buy the same strength of iron tablets that my dr had prescribed for me, at boots. The pharmacist explained that over the counter iron tablets contain about 14mgs of iron. My prescribed tablets were 300mgs of iron and I was taking 3 a day.

A satchel of spatone contains 5 mgs of iron. Not enough if you're severly anaemic.

So there is huge difference in the strength of over the counter iron tablets and those prescribed by a Dr.
You really should go to your Dr and have a blood test and the correct medication, if you suspect you are anaemic.

DeepRedBetty Wed 19-Jun-13 10:29:36

How much Tranexamic acid were you told to take? I was at your levels of misery a year ago, my lovely lovely also-going-through-menopause GP told me to take four the moment it starts, then two three times a day for four days. Result!

I'm also on 3 ferrous fumerate a day for the foreseeable future for the associated anaemia. (I've always had low iron though)

LizaRose Wed 19-Jun-13 10:36:15

I have 200mg ferrous sulphate tablets prescribed for anaemia. this is how hard it is to buy them without prescription.

LunaticFringe Wed 19-Jun-13 10:58:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ExcuseTypos Wed 19-Jun-13 10:58:29

Oh thanks for linking that Liza, I only tried in Boots.

I still really don't think it's a great idea for people to say over the internet- Go and buy some iron.
Because if they do just pop to a chemist they won't be getting a high enough dose to treat anaemia.

LunaticFringe Wed 19-Jun-13 13:55:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsGrowbag Wed 19-Jun-13 20:15:37

Am starting to doubt my GP!! I will definitely go and ask for another opinion. the problem is there are only 2 female GPs at my surgery - the one I see, who specialises in gynae stuff, and the other one who apparently is qualified and experienced but who looks about 12. Will try here though, she might be happier to refer me on as the GP I usually see makes me feel like I'm a bit of a whinger and that i should just put up with it.

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