Non-hormonal Therapy

e.g., NSAIDs and Tranexamic acid

What is non-hormonal treatment for heavy bleeding?

Non-hormonal therapy is a treatment that doesn’t require the use of hormones to have an effect on the amount of bleeding each cycle. Many women prefer not to use hormones or may not be able to use them as treatment for medical reasons.[1]

When looking for treatment for heavy periods, there are two main types of non-hormonal treatments your GP may prescribe. Treatment includes non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or tranexamic acid.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

What is NSAID treatment? These are anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, mefenamic acid and naproxen. NSAIDs also have the added benefit of relieving painful menstrual cramps and may be prescribed in addition to tranexamic acid.[2]

NSAIDs are a suitable option for women with milder menorrhagia and can reduce the amount of menstrual blood flow by around 20-50%.[3-4]

Tranexamic acid

Tranexamic acid is a treatment that works by blocking the breakdown of blood clots, helping to reduce the amount of bleeding. It is to be taken regularly throughout the duration of a period.[2]

Additionally, tranexamic acid has been shown to be more effective at relieving symptoms than NSAIDs. It may reduce the amount of blood flow during each period by 60%.[3,4]

Learn more about the possible treatments for heavy bleeding using the treatment table.



[1]- Charlotte (2020). Hormone Treatment for Heavy Periods Can Bring Lasting Relief. [online]BodyLogicMD. Available at: Accessed July 2023

[2]- (n.d.). NHS 111 Wales. [online] Available at: Accessed July 2023

[3]- Lopes JE Jr, Sherer E. Managing menorrhagia. Evaluating and treating heavy menstrual bleeding.Adv NPs PAs. 2010;1:21-25 Accessed March 2023

[4]- Lysteda®Prescribing Information: Accessed March 2023


  • Reduces heavy bleeding
  • Offers relief from period pain
  • Is not a permanent treatment
  • Suitable for women trying to getpregnant


  • Risk of side effects
  • Duration – it can take 3 months to have an effect


  • For

    To help reduce heavy bleeding and relieve period pain

  • Treatment type

    Non-hormonal treatment includes taking pills

  • Treatment duration

    Pills are to be taken regularly throughout each menstruation cycle

  • Conception

    These treatments do not work as contraception, so pregnancy is still possible.

  • Recovery time

    Not applicable

  • Success rate

    NSAIDs – 20-50% reduction in bleeding[3-4]
    Tranexamic acid - 60% reduction in bleeding[3-4]

Frequently Asked Questions about Heavy periods

  • What is non-hormonal therapy?

    There are two main types of non-hormonal treatments your GP may prescribe, Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) e.g. ibuprofen or tranexamic acid. NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen, mefenamic acid and naproxen are a suitable option for milder menorrhagia and can help to reduce the amount of menstrual bleeding, particularly in the first few days of the cycle. Tranexamic acid works by blocking the breakdown of blood clots. It can also help reduce menstrual blood loss and pain and only needs to be taken at the time of the bleeding.

* Stock Photo. Posed by model


1 IN 5 WOMEN SUFFER WITH HEAVY PERIODS About 20% of women suffer from heavy periods (menorrhagia). It’s not always possible to identify a cause and the symptoms vary too. If heavy periods are taking over your life, it’s time to do something about it. Because you can.

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Talk to your GP

Talk to your GP

Be prepared! Make sure you get the most out of your GP appointment. Complete the questionnaire and period diary, it will help your GP understand your problem, so you can get the right treatment, quickly.

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    • Donna (47) Had anaemia due to heavy periods
      “On some occasions I would literally be in and out of the toilet for hours on end. I am normally such a confident, sociable person that I found being in this situation totally alien to me and highly embarrassing.”
    • Maria (51) Periods changed following childbirth
      "I was at my wits end. I experienced terrible back and abdominal pain that no pain killers could alleviate. I experienced very heavy periods practically non-stop for a whole month and was feeling drained, miserable and snappy, so I finally went to see my GP.”
    • Vera (32) Her periods changed completely after childbirth
      “I did not know what had hit me when I had my first period after childbirth. I suddenly had very heavy periods, there was blood everywhere. It felt as though I was having contractions, even though that was naturally impossible.”
    • Monique (44) Is able to run and swim again after treatment
      “I had been unhappy about my very heavy periods for years. I would always experience heavy bleeding for a week and, on top of that, my cycle was 21 days long, a lot shorter than most women."