Family Planning and Heavy Period: Any Connection?
Menorrhagia better known as heavy period is a common problem for women. This is because the person may suffer from severe anemia and the only way to save her life is through blood transfusions. There are several causes such as hormonal imbalance, uterine fibroids, polyps, dysfunction of the ovaries, adenomyosis, IUD’s, medications, pregnancy complications and cancer. Of those mentioned, two are directly linked to birth control.
Hormonal imbalance happens may occur when you get too much estrogen and progesterone in your system. You have to remember that these two hormones are produced by the body and when you take pills that also carry this ingredient, a hormonal balance occurs. This is prevalent among adolescent girls and women who are nearing menopause.
Another is by using intrauterine devices or IUD’s. Just like pills, this T-shaped plastic device is either wrapped in copper or contains hormones. Both are effective in preventing pregnancy but if ever you experience heavy bleeding, you need to remove it.
If you experience heavy bleeding as a result of either of the birth control methods, it is best to see a doctor immediately and tell that person when this happened.
Your doctor will ask you questions about your medical history before a physical exam will be done. These include blood tests, an endometrial biopsy, Pap test and ultrasound scan.
Should there be additional tests needed, you may undergo a sonohysterogram, a hysteroscopy or dilation and curettage otherwise known as D&C. This is done of course to rule out other menstrual disorders.
Treatment for heavy period is based on your current health and medical history. If it has been found that birth control devices are the culprit, you may have to switch to another device so this will never happen again.
Often recommended by doctors are oral contraceptives because it has been proven to help regulate ovulation and reduce episodes of heavy periods. Since this may not go away right away, the doctor may also prescribe NSAID’s or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce the heavy period. They are also known to relive painful menstrual cramps.
There are two types namely combination birth control pills and progestin only pills. You should keep in mind that there are certain side effects in using them and if this is a problem, you should ask your doctor to reduce the dosage or recommend something else.
If birth control is not the reason and you are anemic, the answer will be to take iron supplements as part of your daily diet.
Should heavy periods still occur, this is the time that surgery may be the final solution. Some examples of these include Dilation and curettage or D&C, operative hysteroscopy, endometrial ablation, endometrial resection and hysterectomy.
Except for the last one mentioned, the others can be done on an outpatient basis. You can check in the hospital or clinic in the morning and be out by lunch or in the early afternoon.
The different birth control methods are effective in preventing pregnancy but not all of them can protect you from sexually transmitted diseases or STD’s. Two of those mentioned above are directly linked to heavy periods or menorrhagia so if you don’t want this to happen, you should be examined regularly by a doctor and consider other conventional birth control methods.