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Treatments for Heavy Periods

Medical experts often treat heavy periods with less invasive methods first, such as birth control pills or global endometrial ablation (GEA), and reserve hysterectomy for specific circumstances.1

Birth control pills

Birth control pills can help reduce menstrual flow by up to 60%,2 but it may not be the best option for all women.

For some women, birth control pills are simply ineffective in reducing heavy periods. For others, the potential side effects of weight gain, mood swings and breast tenderness may be too undesirable.

Global endometrial ablation (GEA)

If birth control pills have not been a successful treatment for you, GEA may offer an effective, nonhormonal option.

During an endometrial ablation procedure, your doctor inserts a catheter into the uterus (womb) to treat the endometrium, the lining of the uterus. Over the next week or so after treatment, the uterine lining sheds, much like it would during menstruation, resulting in lighter periods.

Ablation treatments may be performed in a doctor’s office or in a hospital. Learn more about GEA.


If birth control pills or endometrial ablation have not been effective or are not advised for you, your doctor may recommend a hysterectomy. Before you commit to having a hysterectomy, however, you should know that it is a major surgery. Click here to explore your hysterectomy options.

Be sure to talk to a doctor about the treatment options that may be best for you. Click here for a list of questions to ask your doctor about your heavy periods.

Before making a final decision about your treatment, review all your options and consider getting a second opinion.  Click here to find a list of physicians in your area who are familiar with GYNECARE® products and who may be able to help you.

You don’t have to live with heavy periods.

1. ACOG Practice Bulletin. Clinical Management Guidelines for Obstetrician-Gynecologists. Number 14, March 2000.
2. The Lewin Group. Prevalence and treatment patterns of pelvic health disorders among US women. 2007.


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