THE ROLE OF INTRAUTERINE CONTRACEPTIVE DEVICE (IUD) IN MANAGING HEAVY MENSTRUAL BLEEDING
Posted on: September 11, 2023
Heavy menstrual bleeding or menorrhagia refers to bleeding heavily during your period.1 The length of a menstrual cycle is anywhere from 24 to 38 days, as measured from the first day of one period to the first day of the next. On average, women get their period every 28 days.2
Typically, menstruating women may need to change their pads every 4 to 8 hours (roughly around 35 to 40 milliliters of blood loss) over a period of 4 to 8 days.3 Some people, however, lose a lot more blood.
If your periods tend to last more than 7-8 days, or you find that you need to change your pad every 2 hours or less (approximately 80 milliliters of blood loss) during your period, you may be experiencing menorrhagia.4
Heavy Menstrual Bleeding: Impact, Diagnosis, and Treatment
Heavy menstrual bleeding can take a serious toll on women. It can lead to anemia, making them feel tired, weak and unable to do the activities they enjoy. When left undiagnosed and untreated, it can be incredibly frustrating for women who constantly feel drained and have no idea why.5
The first step to managing menorrhagia is to get diagnosed. This may be done through a blood test, pelvic ultrasound, biopsy, and/or hysteroscopy.6 Tracking your periods and flow (e.g. recording how many pads you need to use) can be helpful in providing your gynae with necessary information about your cycle.
Treatment options for menorrhagia include medication and, in more severe cases, surgery. A hormonal-containing intrauterine contraceptive device (IUCD), can also be used to reduce heavy menstrual bleeding.
How the Insertion of IUDs Can Help to Reduce Heavy Menstrual Bleeding?
IUDs are a form of birth control that is inserted into the uterus. Hormonal IUDs slowly release a hormone, progestin, into the uterus. This hormone suppresses the growth of the uterine lining. Menstruation occurs when the uterine lining sheds, so a thinner lining will result in a lighter flow.7
Most women will experience a reduction in blood loss after 3 to 6 months of use. Hormone releasing IUDs in Malaysia are capable of decreasing menstrual bleeding for up to 5 years.8
Dual Benefits of Managing Heavy Menstrual Bleeding with IUD
Since IUDs are a form of birth control, they offer the dual benefit of reducing heavy bleeding and preventing unwanted pregnancies.9 These T-shaped devices stop sperm from reaching and fertilizing eggs. IUDs are reversible and they can be removed when you want to get pregnant.10
However, if you’re trying to get pregnant right now, IUDs cannot be used to manage heavy bleeding. Hence, it is advisable to explore other treatment options with your gynae.
Get Healthcare Professional's Advice before Taking IUD for Your Body
Be sure to consult a healthcare professional before opting for an IUD insertion in Malaysia. Your gynae will perform the necessary exams and scans to diagnose your condition before suggesting suitable treatment options that suit your specific needs.
In some cases, heavy menstrual bleeding can be a sign of some other underlying condition. Seeking medical attention allows you to get an accurate diagnosis and an appropriate course of treatment that not only addresses the menorrhagia, but also any other underlying issues.