Question for Betty.
I want to know if I have heavy periods can I use birth control, is it a permanent solution?
Betty's Answer.
Thanks for your question.  Heavy menstrual flow or menorrhagia occurs in 10 to 35% of women.  It is defined as a menses lasting longer than 7 days, and with greater than 80 ml of menstrual blood.  This is hard to measure, but to use as a guide, with a normal menses:  change pad/tampons at greater than or equal to 3 hour intervals; use fewer than 21 pads/tampons per period; seldom need to change during the night; clots less than 1 inch in diameter; and not anemic.
If you are having excessive menstrual bleeding it can affect your quality of life with inconvenience and can lead to iron deficiency anemia in 21 to 67% of women.

I strongly encourage you to see a health care provider to evaluate your heavy menstrual flow.  They will ask questions about your blood loss during menses, perform a physical exam, and do some labs to determine whether you are anemic.

Treatment for menorrhagia may involve oral contraceptives, as well as other treatment options.

If you are an eligible UAA student, call to make an appointment with a nurse practitioner at 907-786-4040; or contact a health care provider for an appointment.  There is help available.