How Can You Stop Heavy Periods: Natural Remedies & Treatments
The medical term for heavy bleeding is Menorrhagia. It is a condition, wherein the women experience abnormally heavy or prolonged periods that can at times lead to the formation of clots. Some of the common symptoms of heavy periods are extreme fatigue, tiredness, and cramps. Women also need to change their sanitary pads quite frequently due to the heavy flow.
Below we have listed the common causes of heavy periods and provided a brief overview of the likely treatments and natural remedies to treat heavy periods.
Causes of Heavy Periods
- Hormonal imbalance: The hormones estrogen and progesterone helps build up the endometrium (the lining of the uterus) which is shed during periods. If there is a hormonal imbalance, it leads to the excess development of the endometrium, which causes heavy bleeding. Some of the reasons for hormonal imbalance are PCOS, obesity, insulin resistance and thyroid.
2. Uterine Polyps: Uterine Polyps grow in the inner lining of the uterus. They are connected to the uterus lining by a thin stalk or a broad base growing inwardly towards the womb.
They are normally non-cancerous and known to cause heavy bleeding during periods. The bleeding may occur between periods or after intercourse.
It is recommended to remove them as they cause problems not only with menstruation but also fertility.
3. Endometriosis: This is a reproductive disorder where the tissues in the lining of the uterus start to grow on other parts of the body.
This can cause pain and heavy bleeding for a long time. Endometriosis may also cause cysts and lead to infertility in women.
- PCOS: Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder that is quite common in women of reproductive age. PCOS causes prolonged or infrequent periods due to the production of excess male hormone (androgens) in the body. This can lead to heavy bleeding and may sometimes create clots in the ovaries.
Treatments for Heavy Periods
1. IUDs: Mirena is a hormonal Intrauterine Device (IUD) that prevents pregnancy by releasing the hormone progestin over time. This IUD is used to treat Menorrhagia as it helps lighten the heavy bleeding and reduces painful cramps.
2. Birth control pills: This is one of the most common ways to treat Menorrhagia. Birth control pills contain two hormones (estrogen and progestin) which help reduce period pain and cramps. It helps regulate the menstrual cycle by balancing the hormone levels in the body, which helps decrease the blood flow.
3. Removal of Polyps/ fibroids: Uterine fibroids are non-cancerous (benign) tissue growth that develops inside, within, or outside the womb. These can cause heavy painful bleeding, sometimes full of clots. To stop the heavy bleeding, your specialist may recommend removing the fibroids or polyps completely through a surgical procedure.
4. Hysterectomy: A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the uterus and cervix. There are four types of hysterectomy:
- Total Hysterectomy: In this procedure, both the uterus and cervix are removed, but not the ovaries.
- Hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy: Here, the uterus, ovaries (one or both) and sometimes the fallopian tubes are removed.
- Radical Hysterectomy: In this, the surgeon removes the uterus, cervix, top of the vagina and the tissue surrounding the area. This is an extensive procedure mostly done in case of cancer.
- Supracervical Hysterectomy: Here, only the uterus is removed and the cervix is left untouched. This is used to treat fibroids or endometriosis.
5. Taking oral medications: When there is mild menstrual pain, the specialist may recommend oral medication to regulate the bleeding. Medications like Tranexamic acid and Mefenamic acid are suggested in such cases.
- Natural Remedies to Stop Heavy Periods
1. Staying hydrated: One of the easiest ways to treat heavy periods is to stay hydrated. Your blood levels may vary due to the heavy bleeding during periods. Hence, drinking sufficient water daily is essential to balance your blood volume.
2. Iron-rich diet: An iron-rich diet during periods can prevent iron deficiency anemia. Heavy periods may lead to excess blood loss. Thus, to compensate for it, you should eat iron-rich foods like whole grains, oats, and dates.
3. Herbal Tea: Several herbal tea consist of hormonal balancing properties that help with heavy bleeding and menstrual cramps. Herbal teas like chamomile, ginger, thyme, and licorice can help regulate the menstrual cycle and reduce inflammation of the uterus.
4. Include vitamin C foods: Vitamin C is essential as it helps the body absorb iron. To avoid conditions like iron deficiency, including vitamin C foods in your diet is essential. This includes tomatoes, kiwis, red and green peppers, oranges, and Brussel sprouts.
5. Apple cider vinegar: This is another natural remedy that works effectively. When consumed with water, apple cider vinegar helps reduce the heavy menstrual blood flow and eases menstrual cramps. This also works as a tonic that removes toxins from the body maintaining the hormonal balance.
Above mentioned are just a few natural remedies and treatments for heavy periods that might help you ease your pain and bleeding to some extent. But if you are suffering from extreme bleeding, then consult with a specialist who’ll recommend the best treatment based on the diagnosis.