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My periods have always been heavy, long, and painful. My doctor prescribed the Mirena IUD, and later prescribed the pill on top of that. While my flow is lighter now, my periods still last 7-11 days. Is there anything I can do to have shorter periods?

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My periods, which started at 11.5 years old, have always been heavy, long, and painful. My doctor prescribed Mirena IUD, which helped ease the flow, but my periods were still lasting around 2 weeks. My doctor then prescribed the pill on top of the IUD, and my period is light but still lasts from 7-11 days. Is this normal? Is there anything I can do to have shorter periods?

I’m sorry to hear that you are struggling with your period. Heavy and long periods are not easy! A heavy and long period can be caused by a number of factors – endometriosis, fibroids, etc. I always suggest having a full work up with your doctor including an ultrasound and perhaps other imaging to make sure there isn’t an underlying reason for your heavy periods. If everything is normal the options we often suggest to lighten one’s period include getting an IUD, starting birth control or taking your birth control back to back and skipping the placebo pill week so you don’t have a bleed week at all. It sounds like you’re already trying some of these options but I would encourage you to talk to your doctor to see if there’s anything else you could try.

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