ZocdocAnswersMy period is always heavy when i get it. How can I stop it without going on the pill?

Question

My period is always heavy when i get it. How can I stop it without going on the pill?

I am now on my period and im really sick of it being heavy all the time. the pain i get is really bad and stops me from doing what i want. i haven't had a light period over the time i have been getting it. i always get blood clots and im not a smoker.

Answer

Women vary in terms of how heavy their periods are. Heavy or painful periods is called dysmenorrhea. I recommend that you discuss this concern with your doctor. For some women this is how their periods always have been - this is called primary dysmenorrhea. However, there can be things that cause women to have dysmenorrhea that should be diagnosed and treated (called secondary dysmenorrhea). Causes of secondary dysmenorrhea include fibroids, pelvic inflammatory disease, and endometriosis. Seeing your doctor and having a physical exam can help exclude these other causes of dysmenorrhea, and would be worth doing at least once since your symptoms are clearly bothering you. If this is just how your periods are and you have primary dysmenorrhea, then you would just have to manage it symptomatically. NSAIDs (motrin, alleve, ibuprofen) can often help with the cramping and discomfort, as can heat pads, exercise, yoga, and sexual activity. For some people the pill can also really help people, and there are many different formulations of the pill - if you have specific concerns about starting the pill I would definitely bring those up with your doctor since it may be that certain formulations of the pill could work for you. A progesterone-coated IUD (the mirena) can also really help people and for some women actually stops menses all together. As you can see, there are a lot of different possibilities, and bringing this up with your doctor is the best way to establish what's going on and how best to manage your symptoms.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.