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Has anyone stopped their period to increase iron levels?


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I'm wondering if anyone has used contraception successfully to stop their periods, so they could increase their iron levels? Seems like I keep taking iron, and my heavy periods always make me lose the iron making me feel horribly fatigued before and after my period. Or I suppose I could have fibroids or polyps that could be removed to make the period not-so-heavy... I'm tired of being tired.

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I have not, but I did have anemia due to heavy periods. I eventually ended up in the ER needing a blood transfusion. I had a huge fibroid and I ended up having a hysterectomy.

 

I hope you're able to figure something out, I know how hard it is!

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It wasn't a causal relationship, but yes. I have a Mirena IUD and love it in part because of the absence of periods. I have been mildly to extremely anemic my whole adult life with wildly irregular periods. I got the Mirena because my family laughs at birth control and I hoped it would work better than the pill (my 7 yo is a pill baby). It's been great.

 

Sorry, it's a terrible feeling.

 

FWIW, my father in law is an oncologist and hematologist, and the last time I was anemic he put me on a super high dose of iron. It was much higher than my GP would have prescribed. It worked much better (duh) and helped me avoid the shots.

 

Being anemic always seemed to lead to low level depression for me. Miserable! Get better.

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FWIW, my father in law is an oncologist and hematologist, and the last time I was anemic he put me on a super high dose of iron. It was much higher than my GP would have prescribed. It worked much better (duh) and helped me avoid the shots.

 

Being anemic always seemed to lead to low level depression for me. Miserable! Get better.

 

Perhaps I need to do that. I gave up my iron tablets 2 yrs ago. I had been taking them for 5-6 years at that point (along with a diet high in it as well) with no noticeable differences. I actually stopped taking them in the hope that my iron levels would plummet (I have been sitting on the fence. I am borderline hospital level, but never seem to dip into "hospital level" that might actually fix me). They did not, but stayed at that stupid borderline level, which being anaemic does not help with CFS. The world feels like drudge, and everything is tiring.

 

You feel a bit like a druggie, wanting to run to the doctor and say "for goodness sakes, I beg of you, please, give me a shot!" or transfusion or something, anything other than prescribing me different doses of iron or differently branded tablets each time you figure out the last lot isn't working.

 

I wonder upon the smartness of double or triple dosing iron tablets without a doctor though.

 

I have a really heavy Flo too, that goes for longer than other averages, so I'm sure thats not helping too. And with each baby that sucked more iron out of me.

 

I am pretty much useless first two days of flo/AF, and can conk out at the drop of a hat (usually I'm one of those insomniacs who are very light & grouchy sleepers).

 

I've been wanting someone to give me a Vitamin B & Iron Shot (I think those were the two i wanted) but I keep forgetting to look into it.

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Have you seen a hematologist? Not a GP but a specialist? My FIL claims the GPs never know how much to really prescribe... but I'm no expert at all and that's totally hearsay. I would take the whole story to somebody else if my doc was not taking this seriously. It's soft-sand-running miserable. Sorry!

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A chiro can regulate periods. Not necessarily, of course, but it's something to try if you haven't.

 

I thought I read somewhere once that menstruating increases the amount of iron rather than decreasing. I can't remember it properly because it sounded so counter-intuitive. Maybe someone else read the same thing and knows what the deal is.

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I can't take iron supplements... they make me bleed worse. My mom had the same problem with iron supplements, too. I have very low iron and have been very tired this summer. I take a B complex and try to eat more raisins and such. I hope you can find a solution. Do you have any abdominal pain? I've had some this spring (gross indigestion, too) and the doc is checking me for internal bleeding in the GI tract.

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Thank you for all of your kind replies.

For the past month, I've been taking a relatively high dosage, since the lower dosage wasn't working. I based it on what some swimmers took in a research study online. I'm taking close to 200 mg of elemental iron. I'm planning to check my levels in a month from now. I still wonder about the drawbacks of stopping your period. Does anyone know any more about this?

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Yes! Gee, I thought I was the only one in the world who was practically bleeding out every month! I'm sorry we're members of this club, but the hive can solve a lot of dilemmas.

 

I was having two-month long periods, iron levels dangerously low, so the doc put me on Provera/medroxyprogesterone and Ferralet 90. I wasn't allowed to do any intense exercise for several months, and felt better. As long as I took the Provera, I did not have a period. After about 8 months, I switched to bioidentical oral progesterone, and this worked well for about two years, but now the bioidentical progesterone stopped working (the dosages I needed to take were so high that I was sleepy all the time), so I'm back on the Provera.

 

I'm 50 and supposed to be menopausal, but some HRTs cause a "cycle." I'm going to try going off all hormones, and if the bleeding continues, then I'm off to the doctor's since I probably have fibroid tumors.

 

Provera really helped, and the Ferralet did too; however I have lost weight on it to the point that I'm having to eat ice cream daily to keep weight on (I'm not complaining!), and I've had more joint pain. I'm now having lovely hot flashes and bleeding again, but hopefully it will cycle through and stop since my estrogen levels are low.

 

As the anemia worsens, the bleeding gets heavier. Hypothyroidism can also contribute to anemia and heavy menstrual bleeding, so whoever has these issues should get a complete thyroid panel with free T3, free T4, and thyroid antibodies, not one that just shows TSH.

 

Some birth control pills (BCPs) can also stop menstruation, but BCP's (not all) also have estrogen, which in my doctor's opinion, exacerbates the heavy periods. It's not an issue for all people, however, and each person's doctor will hopefully prescribe accordingly.

 

Hope his helps! It's a very frightening, helpless feeling to bleed so heavily and not be able to do anything to slow it down, so I feel for anyone else experiencing this condition.

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I do! I love my Mirena IUD. I have not had a monthly visit for almost 5 blissful years. My OB/GYN wants me to keep using one through menopause because of my history of overly heavy periods. I'm all for it! As an added bonus, I have saved so much money not buying female products.

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When taking iron I try to go with food based iron, like floradix, first. It is a lower dose of iron but increase absorption rates. Also eating dark leafy greens, cooking in cast iron pans and eating foods that help your iron absorption, like vitamin c rich food, can be helpful. If you are truly concerned about fibroids and you think having them removed could make a difference in your well being you should definitely have a consultation with your doctor to get their opinion. Knowing is always better than not ;)

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Blood loss is more severe than just loss of iron.

 

Severe blood loss means something is wrong. Women and often doctors have just become conditioned to it, because it's so common. When I finally had my uterus removed, it was found to be severely infected. For about 15 years I must have walked around like that, probably the result of a D&C without the proper precautions, and no one ever did the correct tests to find that out. They offered some treatments and supplements and band-aid approaches, but no one acted like anything was "wrong", until--I'll leave out the gory details.

 

It's not good for the entire body to have such an infected organ. And I lost more than iron.

 

Common is not always normal. All throughout history, certain groups of people have been conditioned to live with serious illnesses. If you have insurance, try and find the proper care for your condition. You deserve it.

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You didn't state your age, but there are some herbal tinctures you can try to slow a heavy period, too, if nothing else. Susan Weed's book New Menopausal Years has a section on flooding. She recommends a few different herbal tinctures that you can try: witch hazel tincture (not the topical stuff you usually find at the pharmacy, but a real tincture you can take internally), Lady's mantle (works best if started 1-2 weeks before period starts), shepherd's purse, or cinnamon tincture. The last one has helped me, and usually works within an hour. If flooding is a regular problem, she recommends taking 4-8 capsules of evening primrose oil for 6 weeks along with vitexberries-- this stabilizes the progesterone shifts. She also talks about diet (including how to increase your iron), accupuncture and other things you can try, so if you're in your mid-30's and up, I'd recommend taking a look at pgs. 7-13 of this book.

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  • 1 year later...

Over one year later, I'm finally desperate enough to try the Mirena IUD.  My periods have gotten even heavier, and my anemia has gotten worse.  I'm kinda sad that I have to likely go through at least one more cycle of blood loss before they can schedule a time for me to get the procedure done.  It has affected me to the point where I can't swim/ workout anymore, among other things. 

 

Any affirmation, advice, would be helpful.  Just wondering, too, if there are any other surprises that I should know about peri-menopause (besides heavy periods)...  Will I need to eventually explore bio-identical hormones,etc?  Or can I just stay on the Mirena for 5 years, get another one for another five years, and then, at age 50, go off the Mirena and pray for menopause?

 

 

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I haven't stopped my period but can I just say I so relate to you ladies. I was starting to train for a triathlon and feeling great and then my period returned (for the first time after the baby) and it totally knocked me on my butt, and didn't have energy for anything. I felt so guilty about it. I was having a hard time having energy for life and had to nap every day, forget about exercise. Well, I finally had my iron tested a few months after that and it was 17 and that was at the end of my cycle, right before my period. I started taking iron bisyglicinate 36 mg a day and after a few months was up to 47. Right after that though I had ran out of my iron pills and started my period right around the same time and woah, I could sure tell the difference in fatigue. I'm hoping that after another 2 months at this dosage I can be up around 80 and hopefully I will stay there since I'm treating my thyroid and shouldn't be getting more gluten exposure. I still notice that I don't have as much energy the first half of my cycle but not near as bad as it was. I've also figured out that I really have to watch my exercise level, even when I do feel good, so for now it is low level stuff. It makes me feel better to read that is a usual recommendation for low iron.

 

However, I think the big question ought to be why the iron is low? I'm still not positive for me. I'm not sure if it was just a function of being low thyroid or if it was due to some gluten exposure reducing my body's ability to digest properly. Both are connected to anemia, so it is worth considering, deficiencies are one of the symptoms of Celiacs.

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I didnt reread the threaed, but I do remember that motrin, 800mg, slowed doemwn my periods a bit. That and a triple or quadruple dosage of provera would slow it down considerably.

 

Have you had an endometrial biopy? I had to end up having one and a D&C to rule out uterine cancer, vecause such heavy bleeding is not normal.

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I will try the ibuprofen.  Thanks!  No one recommended a dosage to try, so the 200 mg I was taking didn't do anything. 

 

I'll talk to my gyn about ruling out cancer.  I'm guessing that since the heavy bleeding is cyclical (every 21-28 days), and not constant, that it's probably just a heavier period.  I've always had a short luteal phase, and problems with having enough progesterone, and I know that gets worse as you get into your 40s...

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