Heavy periods, or "menorrhagia," affect 10-15% of women. Of these women, up to 70% report that their heavy periods negatively impact life. Causes range from fibroids of the uterus, polyps of the uterus, hormonal imbalances, and even cancer of the uterus to name a few. For decades, the mainstay of treatment has revolved around surgery or hormonal contraception to better regulate and decrease menstrual blood flow. While these still remain good choices for some patients, women should know there is now a safe, non-hormonal FDA-approved medication to treat heavy periods. The medication is called Lysteda, or tranexamic acid. While new to the U.S. for the treatment of heavy periods, the medication has been used for decades to treat hemophiliacs (people with bleeding disorders) when they go to the dentist to minimize blood loss with dental procedures. Additionally, the medication has been widely used in Europe. In Europe, it's safety and efficacy is widely accepted and the medication is similar to our over-the-counter products like Advil, Aleve, or Midol.
Lysteda is not for everyone (namely anyone who has a history of blood clot or clotting disorder), but it is definitely worth the conversation with your gynecologist. It is important to determine possible causes of heavy bleeding first before starting treatment. Many of my patients have experienced amazing results with Lysteda and the cool thing is that you only have to take the medication when you are bleeding! Call your doctor today to find out more!
Disclaimer: I am working with Ferring Pharmaceuticals to teach other physicians and health care providers about this new treatment for heavy menstrual bleeding.