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Birth Control/Menopausal or not?+birth control


hi, I'm a 42 year old woman and I've had one child. I'm not currently on the pill.

My periods have become different over the last year or so. They still come regularly, but they are much heavier than they were in my 30s, and they last a lot longer - up to 10 or 11 days sometimes.

Should I be worried about this? Or could it be just a pre-menopausal thing? My late mother had similar problems but had a hysterectomy at 40, so I don't know how old she was when she had her actual menopause.

Also, is it ok to use the pill to regulate this?

Heavy periods that last for 10-11 days are not normal.  The reason may be that you have fibroids, which are benign tumors in the uterus that are common after age 40.  Or it may be related to hormonal change.
It's probably not serious like cancer, but I would see your doctor for help.
Low dose birth control pills will often make your periods much shorter and lighter, and they are safe as long as you don't smoke.
Another possibility would be a progesterone IUD, which will usuallly make periods significantly lighter.
Menopause usually occurs anytime between 40 and 55, so you may have a number of years before your periods stop.

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Norman Solberg


I am an OB-GYN physician. I can answer almost any question related to women's health.


35 years in an active OB-GYN practice.

Fellow, American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology

MD OB-GYN specialist

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