Non-hormonal treatments for heavy periods
Your doctor may prescribe one or both of the following medications if you’re experiencing heavy menstrual bleeding. These are typically used as first-line treatment options.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen are painkillers generally available as over-the-counter medication. They’re a suitable option for milder heavy periods and can help to reduce the amount of bleeding, particularly in the first few days of your cycle. NSAIDs have the added benefit of relieving painful menstrual cramps.
- Tranexamic acid works by blocking the breakdown of blood clots. It can also help reduce menstrual blood loss and pain and only needs to be taken when you’re bleeding. It has been shown to be more effective at relieving symptoms than NSAIDs. It may reduce the amount of blood flow during each period by 40-60 per cent.
Endometrial ablation procedure
Your doctor or gynecologist may recommend a procedure called an endometrial ablation such as NovaSure – a minimally invasive, quick and simple procedure performed in 90 seconds† as day surgery.
- Endometrial ablation involves removal of the lining of the uterus and is proven to greatly reduce or completely stop heavy menstrual bleeding in 90 per cent of patients.
- This procedure is intended for women who do not wish to have any (more) children in the future.
- Because the treatment is associated with few side effects, women usually return to work or their daily activities the day after having the procedure.
In some cases your doctor may consider a hysterectomy the best option for you. However, it involves major surgery to remove the uterus and a longer recovery time (up to 8 weeks). It is a permanent option for women generally not responsive to other treatments.