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Mini pill to help with heavy periods at age of 49?

(54 Posts)
SolidGold Fri 03-Jan-14 22:17:50

I'm 49, not menopausal yet, but probably peri menopausal, I have a few symptoms like worsening pmt, heavier periods, libido fading ...

My gp has recommended a mirena to help with painful periods (they are only heavy for 1-2 days), but I'd prefer not to, can't face the fitting tbh.

Has anyone experience of taking the mini pill at this age and has it helped with painful heavy periods? What are the down sides of taking it?

I read online they can prescribe it up to the age of 55.

I will of course discuss it with my gp and at my gynae appt later this month, but just wondered how others have got on with it. I didn't think of mentioning it when I last saw my gp.

I don't need it for contraception, as dh had the snip 9 years ago, it would just be for painful periods.


LackaDAISYcal Fri 03-Jan-14 22:25:03

I personally would go for the mirena, but mainly cos I can't be faffed with pill taking and will regularly forget, especially the mini pill which has a small window for taking it (hello DS1). Though not sure if this is less onerous if it's for controlling bleeding rather than actual contraception. The fitting was a pain and I had cramps for a few hours afterwards and felt shit for a couple of days, but in the long term, once the side effects had settled (and a recurrent polyp issue was resolved), things have been so much better.

I'm trying to convince my 53 yo DSis to have one fitted as she is still bleeding heavily every three weeks and has tried pretty much everything else.

SolidGold Fri 03-Jan-14 22:31:38

I don't mind taking tablets and am quite good at remembering.

SolidGold Sat 04-Jan-14 09:13:25

I have read quite a lot of negative things about the mirena and don't want to have one fitted unless absolutely sure it will be great.

I haven't taken the mini pill for a long time, so it sure how well it is tolerated these days and whether it actually will help my painful periods.

MrsAMerrick Sat 04-Jan-14 13:49:11

I had the mirena fitted because of heavy periods and it didn't make a jot of difference. So then GP suggsted mini pill, which also hasn't helped. BUT the mini pill does mean that I can slightly adjust days on which my period starts and thus avoid important meetings etc. The first couple of days of my period mean constant flooding (pad and tampon change every 15 -30 minutes) and being able to time that means my life is just about manageable.

I am fairly good about remembering to take it, but don't have to worry about pregnancy as dha had a vasectomy many years ago, so I'm not worried if I take a tablet late or forget the odd one.

Fwiw, my experience of having the Mirena fitted was that it wasn't any worse than a smear test. If the Mirena had worked then I would say that it was a better option than the minipill.

SolidGold Sat 04-Jan-14 15:00:02

Thanks MrsAMerrick smile

I had one fitted a long time ago and really don't fancy it again. If the mini pill will do a similar job, I'd rather choose that. Being able to adjust when my period starts would also be fantastic, as at work I just can't cope on the first day of my period. At present I'm never sure exactly when it will start, it can differ by a few days, so knowing exactly when it will start would help.

NoComet Sat 04-Jan-14 15:04:35

I'm 46 and have taken the mini pill for 12 years, I have always had ridiculously light periods on it, so it's worth a try.

MrsAMerrick Sat 04-Jan-14 16:50:58

I adjust it so that my period always starts on a Friday evening, so the worst two days fall at the weekend. My periods are naturally quite erratic, and I coukdnt ma agd if I had to be at work. If I have an event coming up on the weekend when my period is due then I take tablets to push it back a week but I try not to do this too often. I did adjust things last summer so that I wouldn't have a period whilst on holiday.

Hopefully if you do go down this route you will find that your periods are much lighter, it's worth a try. Good luck!

SolidGold Sat 04-Jan-14 17:11:44

Thanks smile

Which mini pill do you both take?

SolidGold Sat 04-Jan-14 21:50:08

I have made an appointment with my gp for next Thursday to discuss whether the mini pill will be suitable. I'm really scared I'll clam up as usual and get talked out of it and told to have the mirena, because they seem so keen these days hmm

SolidGold Sat 04-Jan-14 21:51:57

MrsMerrick, how do you move your period when you take the mini pill every day anyway?

MrsAMerrick Sun 05-Jan-14 11:52:22

The pill I take is called Primolut, which is a progesterone pill, and I take it from day 5 to day 26 of my cycle, then bleeding starts within two days of stopping taking it. I tend to bleed for 7 or 8 days (when I had the Mirena I bled for 16 days each month. Nice.).

My GP told me that the Mirena reduced heavy bleeding for 80% of women, but in my case it increased my bleeding. She then prescribed the Progesterone-only pill, and said that would work for 70% of women in my position, but it didn't work for me. I was also prescribed Tranexamic Acid, which hasn't made any difference, and I have tried the Ibuprofen method, which also has made no difference. sad

I have fibroids, which may be why the above treatments haven't worked (I did ask this but both my GP and my Gynae consultant were amazingly vague on this point.....).

SolidGold Sun 05-Jan-14 12:08:21

I've never heard of a progesterone only pill that you don't take every day. Are you in the uk?

Sleepwhenidie Sun 05-Jan-14 12:11:26

Would you be willing to try diet OP? May be worth looking at Alisa Vitti's book, Woman Code. Also google her TED talk.

SolidGold Sun 05-Jan-14 12:38:22

Thanks Sleep smile I have a fairly healthy diet, have cut out sugar and caffeine 18 months ago (apart from Christmas!) but it made no difference to the pain at all hmmhmm

MrsAMerrick Sun 05-Jan-14 13:11:24

Hi Solid, yes I'm in the UK. The active ingredient in the tablets is "noresthisterone".

As I said, they don't actually reduce the amount I'm bleeding so I can't sing their praises, but they do work for some women, according to my GP and according to the leaflet inside the packets. And they also say (which I'd forgotten/not read properly the first time as it was irrelevant in my case) that they won't work as a contraceptive, despite being progesterone-only (maybe because of the 7 day break each month?). So if you need them to also act as a contraceptive then you would need a different type I imagine (I have got no medical knowledge so obviously your doctor would need to advise you!).

All the literature that comes with the tablets discusses them being used to deal with different menstrual problems including regulating bleeding, reducing heavy blood loss, and reducing pain.

Sleepwhenidie Sun 05-Jan-14 13:33:12

Solid - AV's approach is all based on our hormonal system - her primary approach is to balance blood sugar at all times, so eating regular meals with low GI foods and also making sure that foods including meat, dairy and eggs, certain fruit and veg are all organic. There are also certain foods she recommends consuming at specific times of the month. She has beaten her own severe PCOS and claims to have helped many women overcome problems with that, periods, menopause and infertility/recurring miscarriage. I haven't tried it but have heard very good things. I also definitely believe that many foods play havoc with our hormones and have seen for myself people overcoming horrible pms and heavy periods within a few weeks of a detox diet (stricter than AV's though - no red meat, dairy, sugar, caffeine, alcohol, gluten, processed food...). I'd say no harm in giving it a go for a month before turning to more hormones/medical intervention?

SolidGold Sun 05-Jan-14 14:31:05

Thanks MrsAMerrick. Do they reduce the pain though? I don't need a contraceptive, dh has had the snip.

SolidGold Sun 05-Jan-14 14:34:54

Thanks Sleep smile I do eat a low carb, low GI diet and it has made absolutely no difference to my periods. At this moment in time I am desperate to find a way of getting rid of the pain so that it doesn't interfere with my work. hmm I appreciate the advice though and I think a diet like that would help a lot of people who don't already eat low GI smile

Jaffacakesallround Sun 05-Jan-14 14:36:31

I can't comment on all of this as no experience but what I will say is that due to other health issues unrelated to periods etc, I've followed the ' detox' diet you mention for many years- no dairy, no red meat except maybe once a month, gluten alcohol, caffeine, hardly any sugar, no sweets etc, and 95% of my food cooked at home. I had no experience of heavy periods up to meno and hardly a single meno symptom until my periods finally stopped aged 54.
So- the diet is worth a go I'd say.

Sleepwhenidie Sun 05-Jan-14 14:48:56

You're welcome Solid - good luck finding something that helps smile

SolidGold Sun 05-Jan-14 16:40:12

My diet at present is gluten free (due to IBS), almost sugar free - I have a glass of red wine Friday and Saturday evening and some dark chocolate (85%) - home cooked food all the time. I only have a little milk on muesli ( only a little soaks in, I don't drink it) and cheese. I do have red meat though, although not a lot. We have lots of veg. I don't drink caffeine, only decaff black coffee, tea and water.

I eat this way as I said to control IBS. I did lose the plot over Christmas, but am back on track now.

I would have thought a diet as clean as that would already have had an effect if it was going to?? I can try cutting out red meat too I suppose.

Sleepwhenidie Sun 05-Jan-14 17:00:33

maybe just try going organic first solid (if not already)?

Reincarnatedpig Sun 05-Jan-14 17:07:34

I was prescribed a different progesterone pill - provera. Meant to have less side effects than noresthestirone (sp), which I took for a few weeks . I haven't experienced any discernible side effects and I take them every day - no bleeding at all. My problem was heavy bleeds and flooding. I have no fibroids or obvious cause. Told I can take for a year and if periods/floods return have thermal ablation. I am 50 btw.

SolidGold Sun 05-Jan-14 17:07:34

I really can't afford to go organic at the moment - dh has been out of work for over 6 months hmm

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