Causes Of Heavy Periods And Natural Ways To Make Them Stop
Published | 6 min read
Heavy periods occur when a woman loses more than 80ml of blood during one cycle. These tips can help balance your body so you don't have to be in so much discomfort each month.
Additionally, a heavy period flow can put you at an increased risk of certain medical conditions, such as anemia.
In this guide, we’ll address common causes of heavy periods and natural ways you can manage them at home.
What Are Heavy Periods?
Heavy period flow is when a woman loses more than 80ml of blood in one menstrual cycle. About 27% to 54% of women suffer from this condition,
It’s considered normal if you lose about 35ml to 40ml of blood over an entire period. But some women can lose as much as 80 mL of blood.
Another symptom that accompanies heavy bleeding is cramping. Menorrhagia can lead to anemia, a deficiency of healthy red blood cells that bring sufficient oxygen to your tissues.
What Causes Heavy Periods?
Imbalances can also be associated with transitional periods. Other possible causes related to or in addition to hormone imbalance include:
- Anovulation (absence of ovulation)
- Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
- Thyroid disorders
- Benign growths like
polyps, fibroids, and adenomyosis (uterine tissue growth into the wall)
- Malignant growths, such as those that cause uterine cancer or cervical cancer
infection, including STIs (sexually transmitted infections)
- Hormone replacement therapy or birth control
- Blood thinners and aspirin
- Breast cancer drug Tamoxifen
- Novel oral anticoagulants or NOACs
How To Manage Heavy Periods
Painful periods and menorrhagia link to poor academic performance for teenage girls and work loss for adult women. So, what can you do about it?
Manage the pain
Fortunately, many women are aware that they don’t have to suffer through the pain. Many of the women we spoke to shared that one thing they can do when the pain becomes unbearable is to take painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, which also acts as an anti-inflammatory medication.
Replace lost iron
To address or prevent anemia, there are many iron supplement options out there that you can buy at the pharmacy.
If you don’t like to take supplements, then consume foods rich in iron like dark green leafy vegetables, meat, seafood, beans, nuts, and seeds.
Hormone replacement therapy
Certain artificial hormonal interventions such as birth control and hormone therapy may help with menorrhagia – for some women.
Other women may find that these therapies do not work well with their bodies. Talk to your doctor about your options.
Some women consider a myomectomy (fibroid removal) or a uterine artery embolization (UAE) to deal with growths.
Other more invasive procedures are like endometrial ablation. That’s when part of your lining is purposely destroyed, usually followed by sterilization, or a hysterectomy, where your uterus is removed permanently.
These would be the last resort, and we caution that you consult with your OBGYN at length before making such a decision.
Reduce Heavy Periods With TCM
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) also has a lot to offer in this realm, as some of the conventional treatments in Western medicine may not work well for some menorrhagia sufferers.
We spoke to Physician Ho Li Ying, a TCM practitioner and expert who specializes in gynecology.
To help nourish the blood and improve circulation, you can try:
- Ba Zhen soup
Qi and blood-nourishing teasthat contain Dang Shen (Codonopsis pilosula) and red jujube
- Nourishing foods like chicken essence and Huang Qi (Astragalus propinquus).
You can also strengthen Kidney qi and expel cold with the Waist Tonic, which contains herbs like Du Zhong and Cordyceps Sinensis.
Excessive coldness in the body as well as feeling down emotionally due to depression or anxiety can cause poor qi and blood circulation. That will cause Blood
Blood-Heat is another possible syndrome that is causing your heavy period flow. It is normally caused by excessive consumption of spicy and hot foods, living in hot weather, or staying up late.
Your TCM physician may suggest some proprietary combination of Sheng Di Huang (Rehmannia glutinosa), Xuan Shen (Scrophularia ningpoensis), and other herbs that nourish yin and blood while expelling Heat in the body and strengthening the kidney and the liver.
Use TCM To Help With Heavy Periods
These TCM treatments that replenish the blood will not worsen the heavy period flow. The idea here is not just decreasing or increasing flow, but about restoring a harmonious balance in the qi and blood so that the flow goes back to a normal healthy level.
Many women go about their lives thinking that heavy period flow and other menstrual disor
It is important to investigate what may be causing your menorrhagia and address the condition and underlying causes together with your healthcare provider. A normal period that doesn’t leave you exhausted and in pain is possible.
- Cleveland Clinic. 2021. Heavy Menstrual Bleeding (Menorrhagia).
- BMJ Open. 2022. Quality of life of adolescents with menstrual problems in Klang Valley, Malaysia: a school population-based cross-sectional study.
- Ministry of Health Malaysia. 2021. Non-Vitamin K Antagonist Oral Anticoagulants (NOACs): Risk of Abnormal Uterine Bleeding.
- BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies. 2017. The utilization of traditional Chinese medicine in patients with dysfunctional uterine bleeding in Taiwan: a nationwide population-based study.
- Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 2016. Effects and mechanisms of Bazhen decoction, Siwu decoction, and Sijunzi decoction on 5-fluorouracil-induced anemia in mice.
- Oncology Letters. 2015. Bak Foong pills combined with metformin in the treatment of a polycystic ovarian syndrome rat model.
- PLOS One. 2019. Prevalence of irregular menstruation according to socioeconomic status: A population-based nationwide cross-sectional study.
- National Institutes of Health (NIH). How many women are affected by menstrual irregularities?
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