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Excessive bleeding - how long does progesterone take to work?

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After almost two decades of excessive uterine bleeding, I finally went to see a doctor. She put me on Norethindrone (progesterone), 5mg, to be taken once a day every day until the bleeding stops. It's been nearly a month now and the bleeding still hasn't stopped. It's not as heavy and doesn't have the clots it did before, but it's more constant than before.

Before taking the pill, my period would be extremely heavy with large clots for several days, then would lighten up for a few days before bleeding heavily again. It would only very rarely completely stop and even then, I would have clear discharge. When it did stop, it would only stop for 2-3 days before I would start spotting again, but most of the time, it would just die down to light pink spotting.

Anyway, the bleeding is now a constant steady moderate flow instead of the variation described above. I've heard that progesterone can take up to two months to make the bleeding stop, but it's very frustrating. When I went to see the doctor, I really expected this to start working more immediately.

I should also note that when I first saw her on November 22nd, I started taking the pill - at the time, I was only having the clear discharge, not bleeding. I took the pill for about a week because I was under the impression it was something I would be taking all the time - I called the doctor to confirm, but she told me I should stop taking the pill as soon as the bleeding stopped. So because I hadn't been bleeding at the time, I stopped taking it. The day I stopped, I started spotting and the next day, I had a very heavy period with large clots again. The doctor told me to start taking it again if the bleeding was excessive or lasted longer than normal (4-7 days). So after about 6 days of heavy bleeding, I started taking it again per her instructions. I'm not sure if that screwed up something or what.

Also, the cramps have been horrendous - I had cramps in the past, but not like these. These are strong cramps that last all day and worsen when I move around or do any kind of activity. I also would occasionally have a very sharp almost contraction-like cramp followed by a small clot or heavier flow of blood. I'm not sure if this is related to the progesterone or not, but it's not something I was experiencing before taking the pill. That sharp contraction has lessened now, but the cramps are still very unpleasant. Aleve only helps if I take three - initially, even three didn't do anything and nothing else helped.

Very frustrated about this - I just want the bleeding to stop and I'm afraid that if I stop the progesterone when it does stop, that it will just start up again and I'll have to go through this all over again.

Does anyone have any experiences with this?
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replied January 8th, 2012
progesterone not working
Hi,

I was so glad to come upon your posting cause it is exactly what I am going through, although your case seems more severe. I had very heavy bleeding for teh last 6 months would sometimes last up to 21 days and then start again 2 weeks later. Like you my period would die down after a week and then start up again even more heavy. I had a currettage (D&C) 3 weeks ago, was given 20 mg of pregesterone to take every night. I thought this would stop the bleeding while is was on it but I got my period 3 weeks later while still on progesterone. I have the worst cramps that won't go away and am now starting week 2 of my preiod (hence looking like another long one again.....) I am so fed up. So yes I relate. I did not know that progesterone can take two months to kick in...I hope that it will work by my next cycle.

At my wits end!!

bleeding and in pain:(
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replied June 21st, 2012
Excessive bleeding
I'm going through the same thing been off birth control for almost 2 yrs very normal periods. Then in October last yr I started having heavy periods that last a few days longer than normal. Didn't think too much of it because I've dealt with these problems since puberty. I have and have had two surgeries to help the symptoms of endo metriosis. Sad not a fun journey. I was told I needed to stay on birth control to keep the symptoms at bay. No cares that it was making me have serious mood swings and I couldn't get pregnant If I'd wanted to. So I finally stopped taking it my life felt so much better until October. Any how I ignored the bleeding cause I knew they would put me right back on birth control. Determined to get my body right myself, I started a gradual weight loss program and eating better. By January the bleeding had gotten so bad I was worried about if I had enough blood in my body to stay Alive. So I called the dr she did put on birth control much to my begging not to be on it. She had me taking 3 pills a day by the 5 th day my body had enough. I woke up one morning and my bed and my self resembled a murder scene. Sorry for the graffic image. I was scared. The dr said ok come in ASAP. They did and ultra sonogram or something like that where they put a tube into my uterus to view inside my uterin lining was 3 times bigger than it should've been so we did a D&C that week. Still bled afterwards just not as much for about 2 weeks. Then bam here comes the heavy bleeding again absolutely at my wits end crying to my dr she decides to give me progesterone. It took a couple weeks of 6 pills a day I'd say 4 weeks to get the bleeding to slow down then another two weeks to get it to stop. Then I did 3 pills a day for 2-3 weeks then I started spotting right before I would take my pills then it went away. Now I'm taking 2 a day. I spot in the morning before I take the pill and the afternoon before I take that pill. I feel lost. I hate taking pills. I don't know what else to do.
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replied February 27th, 2013
Hi ,

Did you girls sorted out your problems?
Yesterday i had a sudden gush bleeding was bleeding right to my diapers, then i sat at the commode and the blood just poured out,, and it was on CD15.
I already had my "normal" period which is always extremely heavy on 2nd /3rd day,, except this time, i dont really bleed when im sleeping at night.

Then the period seemed to taper off to spotting brown, pink, for 3 days and then suddenly yesterday i got the shock! almost wanted to go A&E but i dun think my husband can drive at 12am, in a sleepy state, so i held on and took tranexamic acid.
It did worked, lessened and i could sleep some hours, though i did get up abt 3 times to pee,, i also had this urinary urge.
I have fibroids and adenomyosis, and 43 years old,, so im not sure is this the transition or fibroids related??
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replied July 25th, 2013
Prolonged period
I am 48, about 1 year ago my period became abnormal, am taking progesterone the 6th day, each day has clots. I have had heavy period since a month ago, no sign of stopping
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replied August 14th, 2013
Prolonged bleeding
Prolonged bleeding can be a sign of hyperplasia which if left untreated can lead to cancer. I am 49 and had this issue recently. The only way to be sure it is not cancer is to have a D&C with a pathology report. Before the D&C I had been bleeding lightly for 7 weeks. It turns out I have simple hyperplasia and am now taking progesterone.
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replied September 4th, 2013
having heavy periods for as long as I can remember
I am 55 and going through this. Want to do bio-identical hormones but my reg. gyn of course wants to other things that I am not ready to do just yet...
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replied June 26th, 2014
Did you end up on Bioidenticals? I am going through the same thing and my GYN wants nothing to do with natural progesterone. I am going to see someone next week who will deal with them.
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replied October 17th, 2013
Hi Girls,

Hope you are doing something to alleviate the bleeding problem.
I went thru D&C which ruled out cancer/precancer, thank God!

Then abt 3 weeks later I went for a procedure called uterine fibroid embolization.

My periods are now lessened 50%!

Maybe you should consider this? Find a Interventional Radiologist cos gynaes don't do it, and most of them will not recommend it.
It's really a life saver!
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replied October 17th, 2013
Hi Girls,

Hope you are doing something to alleviate the bleeding problem.
I went thru D&C which ruled out cancer/precancer, thank God!

Then abt 3 weeks later I went for a procedure called uterine fibroid embolization.

My periods are now lessened 50%!

Maybe you should consider this? Find a Interventional Radiologist cos gynaes don't do it, and most of them will not recommend it.
It's really a life saver!
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replied December 14th, 2014
I am 31 and I have had the same issues for 21 yrs. I take 300mg of slow release progesterone for 11 days and 50mg slow release for 15 day. Its a hard thing to deal with especially emotionally. I don't meet many people especially my age that go through this.
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replied December 14th, 2014
I am 31 and I have had the same issues for 21 yrs. I take 300mg of slow release progesterone for 11 days and 50mg slow release for 15 day. Its a hard thing to deal with especially emotionally. I don't meet many people especially my age that go through this.
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