Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)—These drugs, which include ibuprofen, also may help control heavy bleeding and relieve menstrual cramps.
Medications often are tried first to treat irregular or heavy menstrual bleeding. Some of them also prevent pregnancy. This can be useful if you need a birth control method. The medications that may be used include the following:
Hormonal birth control methods—Irregular bleeding and heavy bleeding caused by problems with ovulation, PCOS, and fibroids often can be managed with certain hormonal birth control methods.
Combined hormonal birth control pills, the skin patch, and the vaginal ring contain both estrogen and progestin. They can lighten menstrual flow and help make periods more regular. Taken continuously, they can reduce the number of periods you have or stop them completely.
Progestin-only hormonal methods, including the hormonal IUD, pills, implant, and injection, also may reduce bleeding. The IUD and injection may stop bleeding completely after 1 year of use.
Hormone birth control methods and some menopausal hormone therapy can be helpful for heavy menstrual bleeding that occurs during perimenopause. Hormone therapy can also treat other perimenopausal symptoms, like hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness.
You still may have periods while taking hormonal birth control or menopausal hormona therapy, but they usually are lighter and more predictable.
Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists—These drugs can stop the menstrual cycle and put you in a medication-induced menopause. These medications are used to reduce the size of fibroids and build up a person’s blood count before undergoing surgery. They are used only for short periods (less than 6 months). Their effect on fibroids is temporary. Once you stop taking the drug, fibroids usually return to their original size.
Tranexamic acid (Lysteda)—This prescription medication treats heavy menstrual bleeding. It comes in a tablet and is taken for 5 days each month at the start of the menstrual period.
If you have a bleeding disorder, your treatment may include medications to help your blood clot.
If you have an infection, you may be given an antibiotic.
If you have an underactive thyroid, you may be given thyroid replacement medication.