Dear Dr Mitchell,
What birth control pill is good for stopping abnormal bleeding? My gynaecologist gave me Minigynon, but while it regulated my period, I still have lots of pain and heavy bleeding, and I had to end up getting the Voltaren injection. So, please, can you advise me?
Painful and heavy menstrual periods need to be properly investigated to determine the specific underlying cause before treatment can be undertaken. It is normal to have some amount of pain on the first two days of the cycle, especially if you ovulate (release an egg) at monthly intervals. The pain usually reduces significantly as the menstrual cycle progresses and then disappears completely by the end of the bleeding.
Endometriosis, ovarian cysts, uterine fibroids, adenomyosis, and pelvic inflammatory disease are common causes of pelvic pain associated with the menstrual period and may also cause the menstrual period to be heavy. Endometriosis is a condition where the tissues that normally line the inside of the uterus is present elsewhere in the pelvis. Common sites include the lining of the abdomen (peritoneal cavity), ovaries and around the Fallopian tubes. The tissues may also be present in the muscles of the uterus. When there is bleeding during the menstrual period, these deposits also bleed and cause pelvic pain. The deposits in the muscles of the uterus also cause the period to be very heavy.
Uterine fibroids are especially common in black women who tend to grow fibroids to an extremely large size. These cause painful and heavy menstrual periods. Ovarian cysts may also cause pelvic pain and produce hormones that cause the menstrual period to be very heavy. If you have had a history of pelvic infection with gonorrhea or chlamydia, this can cause heavy flow with the menstrual period and cause significant pelvic pain during the period.
It is important for you to be properly evaluated by doing a pelvic examination, a Pap smear and a pelvic ultrasound to determine the underlying cause of the painful heavy menstrual period so that the problem can be treated properly.
Using a low-dose oral contraceptive pill will help with the pain and bleeding in some women, but you need proper evaluation with specific treatment of the underlying problem.
Consult your doctor who will advise you further.
Dr Sharmaine Mitchell is an obstetrician and gynaecologist. Send questions via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org; write to All Woman, 40-42 1/2 Beechwood Ave, Kingston 5; or fax to 968-2025. All responses are published. Dr Mitchell cannot provide personal responses.
The contents of this article are for informational purposes only, and must not be relied upon as an alternative to medical advice or treatment from your own doctor.