Are you in your late 30s or early 40s and experiencing heavy and irregular periods? Though this may happen due to several reasons, you should visit your medical practitioner to find out if this is due to Perimenopause – the stage of your reproductive life that prepares your body for menopause.
During this period, the estrogen and progesterone functionality loses its efficiency due to which you may have to face a number of complications related to your menstruation, of which heavy bleeding is one.
Heavy bleeding during perimenopause can be quite uncomfortable. Firstly, you start bleeding profusely and pass large clots of vaginal menstrual blood. Next, you may experience abdominal cramps. Thirdly, the bleeding can be pretty severe and you may start suspecting of suffering from serious diseases such as cervical cancer, uterine fibroid disease, or endometriosis. However, you should not panic, as the cause is not any cancer but simply perimenopause.
However, you should always visit your physician if your bleeding or discomfiture becomes intolerable and most importantly you want to rule out other causal factors for your heavy bleeding. For heavy bleeding, you can lie down with your legs raised up higher than your head. You can use pillows below your feet for this purpose. You can relieve yourself of stomach cramps by using hot water pads. Eating a balanced diet and regular exercising help in relieving perimenopausal symptoms.
The entire menstrual cycle is an outcome of interplay of progesterone and estrogen hormones. Normally, the estrogen does all the groundwork required for preparing the womb for fertilization. It also builds the endometrium which is used for carrying the embryo, once fertilization takes place. Progesterone helps in implanting the embryo in the uterus.
However, if no fertilization takes place, progesterone levels decrease, and estrogen takes over and dominates the process. It causes menstruation. During perimenopause, due to decreased levels of progesterone, estrogen domination occurs leading to heavy bleeding and perimenopausal complications.
As estrogen dominance is seen to be the causal factor of heavy perimenopausal bleeding, the treatment logic focuses on increasing the levels of progesterone in the body of women so that the effects of estrogen domination are diminished or eliminated.
Type Of Progesterone Administration
Two types of progesterone can be administered for heavy preimenopausal bleeding. Bioidentical progesterone or synthetic progestins. Bioidentical progesterone is natural progesterone, while synthetic progestin is lab-processed progesterone. Topical bioidentical progesterone is considered safer for administration than synthetic progestins.
Though progesterone administration is considered to increase the incidences of breast cancer, administration of topical bioidentical progesterone is seen to not cause breast cancer. Hence, it is suitable for administration to perimenopausal women.
The normal dosage of progesterone for perimenopausal symptoms is 450-500 mg per ounce of body weight. But for abnormally heavy bleeding, doctors recommend upto a dosage of 1500mg per ounce for a period of 90 days. Once the symptoms are controlled, the dosage is reduced.
However, these readings are strictly suggestive. One should strictly take progesterone in a doctor-prescribed dosage. Low dosages of bioidentical progesterone are safe and can be used to control perimenopausal symptoms. They do not interfere with the timing of menopause.