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OBGYN – Contraceptive Use as a Treatment for Heavy Periods
Dealing with heavy periods is often an indication you should see the OBGYN. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heavy bleeding during a period, or menorrhagia, is bleeding that lasts for more than seven days with abnormally large amounts of blood loss. Fortunately, using contraceptives can be a successful treatment method for someone with heavy periods.
Basic facts about menorrhagia
The CDC states that over 10 million women suffer from heavy bleeding every year in America. Symptoms include unusually heavy bleeding, large blood clots the size of a quarter and having to change a pad or tampon every couple of hours or during the night. Some causes of heavy bleeding can be related to hormones while others can be because of uterine problems or other health issues, such as thyroid disease. No matter what the cause is, a doctor may suggest taking contraceptives to help ease the intensity of menstruation.
Visiting an OBGYN for contraceptive treatment
If a woman experiences heavy bleeding during a period, visiting the doctor to be diagnosed and treated is essential. Many women have menorrhagia but do not seek out or know about the possible treatments, including contraceptives. These contraceptives can help regulate a woman’s period temporarily rather than permanently, so the woman can still have children later on. There are three types of birth control options a doctor may suggest.
1. Hormonal combination contraceptives
Contraceptive pills that use a combination of both estrogen and progestin work to reduce the length of a woman’s menstruation and also lessen the amount of blood loss. A slight variation of standard hormonal birth control is the use of triphasic combination contraceptives that help to imitate the natural level changes of estrogen and progestin in the body during menstruation. In some cases, the period can last for only a couple of days or it may be skipped altogether with only a little spotting.
2. Progestin-only birth control
Some women may be advised to avoid estrogen contraceptives for a variety of reasons. If that is the case, there are birth control options that contain only progestin and are effective at lessening the duration of a period or stopping it entirely. An OBGYN can tell a woman if a progestin-only method would be more effective than the combined method.
3. IUD contraceptives
If taking a pill every day is not a viable option for a woman or if a progestin-only method is necessary, there is also an intrauterine device. This T-shaped instrument sits in the uterus and prevents sperm from reaching the eggs. It also releases progestin to help limit or stop periods from happening. This can reduce the amount of blood loss a woman with menorrhagia experiences while also preventing pregnancy. The IUD can last for several years.
Heavy periods can often come with severe pain, discomfort, fatigue and the inability to continue on with normal life. The solution may be to see an OBGYN to ask about using contraceptives as a treatment for menorrhagia.
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