Is Your Period Heavy? Maybe you want to ask a Brit instead of the FDA to Define Heavy So That Treatments Are Approved

Autumn Joy
It’s hard to know if this is a heavy period, or one that is really so heavy that you need treatment without really checking completely with your gyno! Experts have used a number of definitions to determine if the period you are having is too heavy. Your perception is important. The actual amount of blood lost is important, but that can be determined by collecting each pad and weighing them before and after blood collection. So gynos have struggled with how to determine the formal definition of heavy bleeding. A basic check up, and a basic blood count, is not going to really make your version of heavy periods fit the typical “FDA” approved definition because that is defined by the exact amount of blood lost. In a 2010 study done at the University of Florida and 55 centers across the country the authors were specifically looking at how to control bleeding. The study was specifically designed to have enough participants in the right groups to determine how effective the Mirena IUD was at controlling the bleeding once it was diagnosed. But what also was important was how they defined heavy, how they went about checking and what that reveals for us. The group screened 807 women and 165 of those screened made it into the study, and 50% according to the study did not make it in because the women did not fit the definition of HMB according to the FDA approved protocol, which is losing more than 80 ml of blood per day. In the US we also look specifically at whether you are becoming anemic. In England they had referred In the USA this is in part responsible for the years of difficulty we have had in getting approved medical treatments for HMB although finally, now we do have both Mirena and Lysteda getting approved as treatments for heavy bleeding.


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