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Why is My Period So Heavy? Understanding Heavy Periods

Did you know that heavy periods, also known as menorrhagia, affect approximately one in every five women in the United States?

That’s a staggering statistic that highlights how common this concern is among women. 

If you find yourself experiencing menstrual bleeding that is heavier or lasts longer than normal, you’re not alone. 

It’s something I’ve personally experienced as well. Doubling up on pads and tampons, keeping entire boxes of tampons in my purse, constantly worrying about bleeding through my pants or destroying a set of light-colored sheets…

If you can relate, trust me, I know what it’s like, and I promise you, there IS hope. 

Menorrhagia goes beyond just experiencing a heavier flow during your menstrual cycle – it involves excessive menstrual flow, severe blood loss, and other symptoms that can significantly impact your daily life.

If you’ve been wondering why your period is so heavy and what you can do about it, you’ve come to the right place. 

Let’s explore the causes of heavy periods and discuss the available treatments to help you manage this common but NOT NORMAL issue.

Causes of Heavy Periods

Heavy periods, or menorrhagia, can be caused by various factors. Understanding these causes is essential for developing an appropriate treatment plan. Some common causes of heavy periods include:

  1. Hormone imbalances: Conditions like obesity, insulin resistance, thyroid problems, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can lead to hormone imbalances. These imbalances can cause the uterine lining to thicken, resulting in heavy menstrual bleeding.
  2. Uterine fibroids: These tumors that grow in the uterus, known as uterine fibroids, can contribute to heavy bleeding. 
  3. Uterine polyps: Growths on the uterine lining, called uterine polyps, can also cause heavy or prolonged menstrual flow. These polyps can disrupt the normal shedding of the uterine lining, leading to excessive bleeding.
  4. Adenomyosis: A condition characterized by the growth of endometrial tissue within the uterine muscles. This condition can result in heavy bleeding and painful periods.

Understanding the specific cause of your heavy periods is crucial for finding long-term relief. 

Traditional Treatment of  Heavy Periods

Traditionally, treatment of heavy periods doesn’t go beyond the heavy bleeding or other associated symptoms. The following treatments are COMMON but often lead to other issues because they cover up an underlying problem that will often just come out via new symptoms later on.

The SYMPTOMS are often treated with: 

  • Hormonal birth control 
  • NSAIDS (ibuprofen like Advil or acetaminophen like Tylenol)
  • Dilation and curettage, known as a D&C (Scraping or suctioning the uterine lining) 
  • Endometrial ablation (surgically removing the uterine lining) 
  • Full or partial hysterectomy (removing the uterus) 

It is important to note these medications and surgeries are not fixing the “why” behind your heavy periods. They are giving you a bandaid to literally slow the bleeding and an ibuprofen for the pain. 

For most women, these treatments might help at the beginning. But what if you don’t want to take birth control or have a hysterectomy because you’re trying to conceive? Or are you like me and not interested in just covering up the problem that will later reemerge as something else? 

Stick with me here because you do have other options. 

Managing Heavy Periods Naturally

Rather than starting with medical interventions, you can also manage heavy periods naturally through specific lifestyle changes and nutrition choices. These natural approaches can help alleviate symptoms and improve your overall well-being without relying on drugs or surgery.

1. Emphasize a Balanced Diet

  • Incorporate mineral-rich foods into your diet, such as eggs, bone broth, quality dairy, fruits, root veggies, cooked leafy greens, beans, oysters, and lentils.
  • Include vitamin C-rich foods like strawberries, citrus fruits, and bell peppers in your meals. Vitamin C supports blood vessel health, enhances iron absorption, and helps stimulate the production of progesterone! 

2. Stay Hydrated

Drinking water can help blood volume and prevent dehydration. Staying hydrated can help regulate your body’s functions and support overall menstrual health.

3. Consider Herbal Teas

Some herbal teas, such as raspberry leaf, cinnamon, and ginger, are believed to help regulate hormones and reduce uterine inflammation. Add these teas to your daily routine to potentially manage heavy periods naturally.

4. Relieve Menstrual Cramps

Applying heat or cold packs to your lower abdomen can help alleviate menstrual cramps associated with heavy periods. Experiment with different temperatures and find what provides you with the most relief.

5. Address Your Stress

We can hold stress and trauma in all parts of our bodies, including our pelvic floor and uterus. 

Working through trapped trauma in our tissues and becoming increasingly resilient to stress can help regulate hormones and improve heavy period symptoms.  

Get to the Root of Your Heavy Periods 

It is essential to consult with a women’s health professional (we can help with this!) to discuss your individual situation. If you want to get to the bottom of your hormonal imbalances and symptoms like heavy periods, we MUST start with finding the root cause. 

Your body is telling you something is off, and until we find out what it is, other interventions will only temporarily help with symptoms, and some could result in lasting damage. 

Instead, by implementing these lifestyle changes and nutrition choices, you may be able to effectively manage heavy periods without resorting to drugs or surgery.

Book your free consultation today to discuss what could be the underlying cause of your heavy periods, talk about what tests could give you insight, and how to create a personalized plan to finally ditch those heavy periods for good. 

FAQ

What is heavy menstrual bleeding?

Menorrhagia, or heavy menstrual bleeding, is when a woman experiences menstrual bleeding that is heavier or lasts longer than normal. 

Periods that last longer than 7 days and that require you to change your pad or tampon every two hours or less are considered heavy periods. 

What are the symptoms of heavy menstrual bleeding?

Some symptoms of heavy menstrual bleeding include soaking through sanitary pads or tampons every hour, needing double protection to control the flow, changing pads or tampons during the night, bleeding for more than a week, passing large blood clots, and feeling tired or short of breath due to blood loss.

What are the causes of heavy periods?

Heavy periods can be caused by hormone imbalances, uterine fibroids, uterine polyps, and adenomyosis.

How is heavy menstrual bleeding diagnosed?

To diagnose heavy menstrual bleeding, healthcare providers may ask about medical history, conduct physical and pelvic exams, order blood tests to check for anemia and other disorders, and perform imaging tests such as ultrasound.

At Wild Must Wellness, we first focus on lifestyle and nutritional factors and then use Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis to determine mineral and hormonal imbalances. We also conduct blood tests to rule out any infections. 

Can heavy periods be managed naturally?

Yes, certain lifestyle changes and nutrition choices can help manage heavy periods naturally. For example, incorporating a balanced diet, staying hydrated, using heat or cold packs for pain relief, and incorporating herbal teas can be helpful. 

Additional Source Links

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Hormone Balancing Blueprint

Learn how to balance your hormones and support your fertility naturally through our self-guided course.

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Disclaimer: Nutritional Therapy Practitioners evaluate nutritional needs and recommend dietary changes and supplements. It’s not intended to treat specific medical conditions or diagnose prescriptions. No comment from Wild Muse Wellness constitutes a medical diagnosis or prescription.

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