How To Stop Heavy Periods – Remedies & Treatment
Vaginal bleeding that occurs monthly is called menstruation or period. The menstrual blood is partly blood and partly tissue inside the uterus that passes through the vagina. Girls usually get their periods from the age of 11-14 and continue till menopause, around the age of 51. Menstrual bleeding usually lasts for five to seven days and during periods, one may experience lower back pain, abdominal cramping, mood swings, food cravings, headache, or fatigue.
Excessive or prolonged bleeding during periods is known as Menorrhagia. If a heavy flow lasts longer than your regular period cycle, it could be a sign of an intrinsic issue that needs treatment.
A] Causes of Heavy Periods
- Hormone imbalance: Changes in the hormonal levels- progesterone and estrogen – can cause heavy periods. Hormonal imbalance can make the lining of the uterus too thick, which results in heavy bleeding. The causes of hormone imbalance could be obesity, thyroid, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and insulin resistance.
- Dysfunction of the ovaries: The function of the ovaries is to release eggs (ovulation). If the eggs aren’t released, the body doesn’t produce the hormone progesterone. This can lead to hormonal imbalance, leading to Menorrhagia.
- Uterine fibroids: Uterine fibroids are benign (non-cancerous) tumors of the uterus that can cause heavier than usual or prolonged menstrual bleeding. They are usually not life-threatening as they do not spread to other parts of the body.
- Polyps: Uterine polyps are small, benign growth on the lining of the uterus, which can cause heavy or extended menstrual bleeding.
- Adenomyosis: This condition often causes heavy bleeding and painful periods. It occurs when the endometrial tissues grow within the uterine muscle.
B] Medical Treatment for Heavy Periods
- Birth Control Pills: The contraceptive pill contains the hormones estrogen and progesterone and can be used to treat heavy periods. They are a more readily reversible form of contraception, increasing the benefit of using it as a treatment for heavy periods. Another advantage is it regulates your menstrual cycle and reduces period pain. Some common side effects of the pill include mood swings, nausea, headaches, and breast tenderness.
- Hormone therapy: Hormonal medication or therapy can aid in regulating your menstrual cycle. They can help balance your hormone, which can help stop the heavy blood flow. It also helps reduce or eliminate cramping within six months to one year of use.
- Hormonal Intrauterine Device (IUD): IUDs are small, T-shaped plastic devices placed in the uterus that release the hormone progestin over time, preventing pregnancy. A hormonal IUD such as the Mirena Coil can treat heavy periods by lessening the menstrual blood flow and reducing cramps.
- Dilation and Curettage: In this procedure, the cervix of the uterus is enlarged (dilated) and a curette (spoon-shaped instrument) is inserted into the uterus to remove the tissues from the lining of the uterus. This is a simple surgical procedure. However, if Menorrhagia recurs, you need to undergo the procedure again.
- Hysterectomy: A hysterectomy is a medical procedure that entirely or partially removes a female’s uterus. The womb, also known as the uterus, is where a fetus grows during pregnancy, and the menstrual blood is produced from the uterine lining. Few types of hysterectomy are:
- Partial (supracervical) hysterectomy: In a partial hysterectomy, a surgeon removes only the upper portion of the uterus (leaving the cervix behind).
- Total hysterectomy: Here, a surgeon removes both – the uterus and the
- Radical hysterectomy: A surgeon removes the womb, cervix, and the upper part of the vagina during this procedure.
C] Natural Remedies to Stop Heavy Periods
- Be hydrated: Heavy bleeding continuously can cause the blood volume to get low. To maintain the blood volume, you need to drink plentiful water. You can also drink an electrolyte solution to balance out the water intake.
- Apple cider vinegar and water: Another effective natural remedy for heavy menstrual bleeding is apple cider vinegar, and water helps reduce menstrual blood flow and relieve menstrual cramps. It also aids in detoxifying your body by flushing out toxins.
- Eat vitamin C-rich food: The right amount of vitamin C can help reduce the heavy period flow. Vitamin C helps the body in absorbing iron, which can help prevent anemia. Oranges, kiwis, strawberries, and grapefruits are vitamin C-rich foods. Other foods that contain vitamin C are red and green peppers, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and
- Add iron to your diet: Iron in the body is utilized to produce hemoglobin, a molecule that assists red blood cells in carrying oxygen. Extremely heavy periods can drain your body of iron, leading to iron deficiency anemia. A couple of signs of anemia include fatigue, weakness, dizziness, and pale skin. To gain more of this nutrient, you need to eat iron-rich foods, including lean beef, oysters, chicken, turkey, beans, tofu, and spinach.
- Drink Herbal tea: Many hormonal balancing properties that help alleviate heavy menstrual bleeding and cramps can be found in herbal teas. Herbal teas can also aid in regulating your menstrual cycle and decreases uterus inflammation. Some of the herbal teas that you can try include chamomile, cinnamon, ginger, thyme, and licorice.
- Cold Compress: This is a universal home remedy for heavy periods that help reduce menstrual flow. Place a cold compress on your abdomen for a minimum of 15-20 minutes. This helps in tightening the blood vessels, decreases menstrual bleeding, and lessens the pain.
Timely diagnosis and treatment can assist you in efficiently treating the varied causes of Menorrhagia. The above-mentioned remedies show how to stop heavy periods naturally. However, for extremely heavy menstrual bleeding, consulting with a gynecologist is important.