I was on a girls’ weekend recently and we were all complaining about the hassle of heaving menstrual bleeding. All of us are in our forties and have not yet entered Menopause. Interestingly enough, five out of the eight of us reported that our menstrual periods are now much heavier than they were when we were in our twenties and thirties. Then it occurred to us that we are most likely in Perimenopause, the time of a woman’s life when your body is preparing for Menopause. Perimenopause can occur eight to ten years prior to Menopause and can cause symptoms such as trouble sleeping, hot flashes and heavy menstrual bleeding. So, what can we do about it?
At this point, my friend mentioned that she is using a Mirena® IUD (Intrauterine Device) and that her menstrual periods have stopped completely. That got my attention! When I returned home and researched the Mirena® IUD, a learned that this highly effective form of birth control (99%) causes reduced menstrual bleeding in most women and a complete cessation of menstrual bleeding in others. In fact, Mirena® is currently the only IUD that is approved to treat heavy menstrual bleeding (HMB). In clinical trials, women using Mirena® experienced an 80% reduction in menstrual bleeding in three months and a 90% reduction in menstrual bleeding in six months. Sounds good to me! But wait, Mirena® is not for everyone. You should not use Mirena® if you have a pelvic infection, get infections easily or have certain cancers. The only way to know for sure if Mirena® is right for you is to ask your doctor.
If you have ever stained your clothes as a result of a heavy period, have to get up in the middle of the night to change your protection or sleep with a towel at night for extra protection, it is time to talk to your doctor about Mirena®!