Treating HMB

HMB is a highly treatable condition, and there are a wide range of treatment options available. Most healthcare professionals will recommend a medical therapy first, however if your HMB worsens or is not effectively managed with these treatments, other more invasive options may need to be considered.

In addition to the following treatment options for HMB, your doctor may also recommend you take regular iron supplements to help treat anaemia (iron deficiency) due to blood loss.

If you are not considering getting pregnant and would prefer a treatment that also has contraceptive benefits, the following can be considered:

Intrauterine system (IUS)

An IUS is fitted once and stays inside the womb. It slowly releases a small amount of a hormone called progestogen, which provides reliable contraception and has been shown to reduce HMB by 96%.

The fitting usually takes a few minutes and can be done at a local GP surgery or contraceptive clinic.

The IUS lasts up to 5 years depending on the type chosen.

Possible side effects of using IUS include

  • irregular bleeding/spotting that may last up to six months
  • breast tenderness
  • acne
  • periods may stop completely or become significantly lighter
Combined hormonal contraceptives

Aside from providing birth control, oral contraceptives can help reduce episodes of excessive or prolonged menstrual bleeding. Certain (or some) types of the combined pill, often referred to as 'the pill', have been shown to reduce heavy bleeding by up to 80% and can have the added benefit of regulating the menstrual cycle and reducing period pain.

Common side effects of the pill include:

  • mood changes
  • nausea
  • fluid retention
  • breast tenderness
Oral norethisterone*

Oral noresthisterone (man-made progesterone) can be used to treat heavy periods, and is taken daily in tablet form. It works by preventing your womb lining from growing quickly and can reduce heavy bleeding.

Oral noresthisterone is not suitable if you are trying to conceive as it is likely to stop ovulation. However, it is important you use some form of contraception (e.g. a condom) while taking Norethisterone Tablets, as it is not a contraceptive.

Oral progestogens are associated with:

  • weight gain
  • short term acne
  • breast tenderness

 

*It is not a contraceptive, and indeed, a barrier method of contraception needs to be used while taking it.

 

If you are considering getting pregnant and would prefer a non-hormonal treatment, the following can be considered:

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

NSAIDs work by reducing the body's production of a hormone-like substance called prostaglandin, which is linked to heavy periods. They can also help relieve period pain. NSAIDs are not a form of contraception and won't affect your chances of becoming pregnant.

Gastrointestinal issues are the most common side effects seen with NSAIDs.

It is not a contraceptive, and indeed, a barrier method of contraception needs to be used while taking it.

 

Tranexamic acid tablets

Tranexamic acid tablets work by helping the blood in the womb to clot, and have been shown to significantly decrease menstrual blood loss. Tranexamic acid tablets are not a form of contraception and won't affect your chances of becoming pregnant.

Gastrointestinal issues are the most common side effects including:

  • diarrhoea
  • indigestion

Reporting of side effects

If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. This includes any possible side effects not listed in the package leaflet. You can also report side effects directly via the Yellow Card Scheme at http://www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard or search MHRA Yellow Card in Google Play or Apple App Store.

By reporting side effects you can help provide more information on the safety of medicines.

All contents © Bayer 2018. All rights reserved. Date of preparation: August 2018