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Long, heavy period
An_250353 posted:
I am almost 52 years old. I've had a few irregular periods in the past year. At the close of 2012, I went for 70 days with no period. Then one started, and it's continued for over 4 weeks. It was quite heavy at first, then it subsided but never really stopped. This past week has been a very heavy flow. Is this abnormal?
Mary Jane Minkin, MD responded:
Der An_250353,
This type of pattern is quite common in perimenopause. What happens is our ovulatory function diminishes first; when we don't ovulate well, we don't make a lot of progesterone, which regulates the blood flow out of the uterus, and shedding of the lining. The two most common choices to get your bleeding under control would be some progesterone-most folks would recommend a progesterone made in the lab like Aygestin or Provera; another option would be a birth control pill (they have lots of progestin in them). Either approach is reasonable. Again, we often like to make sure that there isn't anything wrong in the lining of the uterus leading to this (like a polyp, or overgrowth of the lining of the uterus called hyperplasia), so gynecologists will often do a quick endometrial biopsy in the office, to test the tissue from the lining of the uterus.
So bottom line: don't be anxious; but do contact your gyn caregiver who can get things organized for you.
Good luck,
Mary Jane
Porschegirl replied to Mary Jane Minkin, MD's response:
Thank you very much for the clear and helpful advice. I forgot to mention that in the middle of all this, I also came down with a nasty flu bug and had 100-101 fever for 5 days. I'm sure this have may have affected things as well. As of this week, the flow has diminished greatly and I fell much more "normal" again. However, I will follow up with my dr. if things don't improve in the near future.
Thank you once again. You eased my anxiety greatly.

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For more information, visit the North American Menopause Society website