Drug that fools the womb could help stop painful periods

Low oxygen trick could prevent painful periods

Low oxygen trick could prevent painful periods

Daniela Stark / Alamy Stock Photo

Heavy periods may soon be a thing of the past. A drug that tricks the womb lining into repairing itself during menstruation could help people who suffer from excessive bleeding.

Each month, in the absence of pregnancy, the lining of the womb breaks down. This causes bleeding, which persists until the lining is repaired by a delicate balance of hormones and chemical processes.

However, some women experience heavy periods, or menorrhagia, with prolonged bleeding that can be accompanied by painful cramps and anaemia. This can be treated with surgery and hormonal drugs, but often results in unwanted side effects.

Now, an alternative solution might be on the horizon. Recently it was discovered that women with heavy bleeding have lower levels of a protein called HIF1.

HIF1 activates specific genes when oxygen levels drop – something that