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    Includes Expert Content
    Birth Control Pills to Control Bleeding... How Soon do They Work?
    WildCelticRose posted:
    I turned 50 years old last year and perimenopuase has come on me with a vengeance.

    I had an ablation over a year ago and then a tubal ligation since you must use some form of birth control after having had an ablation

    I was fine for almost a year; my cycle was more regular than it ever had been and my periods were light to normal (since I have fibroids, they weren't going to stop all together)

    starting a few months ago, the periods started getting heavier and more painful.

    When I wake up in the morning and my bowels/bladder are full I can actually feel my uterus by palpating my abdomen.

    Four weeks ago, I started a heavy period and it has never stopped. I did go through a phase where it was a tiny bit lighter and nasty, dark brown old blood was coming out, but a few days ago, it turned bright red (with nasty clots) and started gushing again. The cramping was horrible as well (and I am not a pain wimp)

    I have an appointment with my GYN on Wednesday, but last night I just couldn't take it any more, I was having to empty my diva cup every hour which is a crazy amount of blood loss, especially since I'd been bleeding for weeks)

    I ended up in a crying, whining, liveliness ball at urgent care at midnight.

    The doc did prescribe the generic of Ortho Novum 11/35 which I started this morning. I took this pill for a good portion of my adult life so I know I don't react badly to it.

    I will follow up with GYN on Wednesday.

    I was wondering how quickly BCPs have worked for other women?

    I can't live like this. I am a runner, ride my bike to work (have to come back up a super nasty hill) dance and have a job in which I need to be physically active.
    JJunkman responded:
    I can't answer any of your questions, but I can sympathize with the crazy periods. I'll have mine for 2-3 weeks. Heavy the whole time. Then maybe a week or two off and start it all over again. Then might not have it for 2-3 months. UGH!!! It's making me wish that hysterectomies were an elective surgery...
    Mary Jane Minkin, MD replied to JJunkman's response:
    Dear JJunkman,
    Don't give up on the bleeding, either. Judicious use of progesterone and birth control pills can often help control bleeding. Insertion of a Mirena IUD, which is coated with progesterone, can often help periods substantially; and a uterine ablation, which is done as an outpatient (some docs even do them in their offices!) can often help bleeding substantially-so if the bleeding is really getting you down, there are lots of things short of a hysterectomy that can be quite helpful. Do check in with your health care provider on options.
    Good luck,
    Mary Jane
    Anon_6061 responded:
    Actually most hysterectomies are elective. But there are long-term side effects so if you can persevere and treat the bleeding conservatively (with meds) you won't be stuck with the side effects of a procedure that can't be undone.

    Have you had your iron levels checked? It's possible you're anemic or on the low end of normal in which case iron supplementation would be warranted (although too much iron isn't good). I thought I read somewhere that low iron can cause heavier bleeding so a benefit of restoring iron levels would be reduced bleeding. I'm not sure if this is true though.
    WildCelticRose replied to Anon_6061's response:
    it took about 3-4 days for the bleeding to slow to just a bit of spotting.

    Once things calmed down, my angry engorged uterus was no longer palpable from the outside of my abdomen and it no longer felt like I had a large lemon partially jammed behind my pelvic bone. (my bladder and intestines are much happier now)

    The fibroids aren't huge, but they are there.

    My gyn doesn't want me on combo pills past this cycle, so I'll be starting on straight progesterone next cycle. (I'm just hoping I don't start hemorrhaging again when I'm done with the active pills)

    Iron levels are good (first thing they checked when I told them how much I had been bleeding and the size of my clots). When I bleed heavily, I up my intake of iron rich foods and take slow release iron. (also vitamin C so that it will be absorbed) I'm glad I went in, as I don't think my body would have been able to compensate much longer.

    I'm just hoping that I can get through the next few months/years until menopause with the progesterone and be over and done with this mess. (sadly, every doc I talk to gives me a later and later date for the average age of menopause)

    Up until recently when I started bleeding all the time and stopped being able to tell, my ovaries were still firing off eggs like a machine gun, or at least showing all the signs of doing so. (at 50... seriously? what kind of sick joke is that?)
    Anon_6061 replied to WildCelticRose's response:
    Glad to hear things calmed down quickly and hope the progesterone controls the bleeding! I think I was still ovulating too at about age 50 but my periods were still regular. Let us know how things are going with the progesterone...hope it's good news!
    WildCelticRose responded:
    Oh yay! (she says sarcastically)

    not only did I start bleeding again, but the birth control pills are making me a weepy mess (have cried three times today already, for no good reason)

    Just emailed my doc to see if I can stop the BCP (pretty sure it's the estrogen that's making me crazy) and switch to the progesterone on day 15 of this cycle.

    I'm honestly terrified of what will happen after the last active pill in the BCP pack is taken because the progesterone she's prescribing for me is taken on days 15-28 of the cycle.

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