Many women experience very heavy menstrual bleeding or periods that last longer than seven days. Excessive bleeding can cause other symptoms including fatigue, severe cramps, anemia and light-headedness. You should consult a doctor to find the underlying cause of your excessive bleeding, but if your heavy periods are merely an annoyance and not a sign of a serious condition, you may be able to treat your symptoms naturally at home without drugs or surgery.
Excessive menstrual bleeding is called menorrhagia. If you suffer from this condition you may experience severe pain and discomfort; fatigue; shortness of breath; dizziness; rapid heart rate and decreased fertility. You may soak through a tampon or feminine napkin in less than two hours, and may bleed for longer than seven days. You may suffer from anemia, a deficiency of red blood cells caused by losing too much blood each month. According to Modern Mom, heavy periods can result from a hormone imbalance or as a side effect of medication or IUDs. Many women use birth control pills to control heavy flow, while others may opt for hysterectomy. If those are not preferred options for you, talk to your doctor about the following natural remedies.
According to remedies4.com, you should drink plenty of fluids and eat iron-rich foods such as beef, shrimp, turkey, liver, beans, green vegetables, raisins, prunes, baked potato with skin, enriched breakfast cereals and low-fat dairy products. Modern Mom says that foods rich in manganese can reduce heavy blood flow, such as decaf tea, blueberries, wheat germ, spinach and pineapple. Foods that are rich in calcium can help with PMS and cramps; drink milk, and eat yogurt and cheese, nuts, fish, fruits and eggs.
In addition to eating right, take vitamins and supplements such as iron, manganese, zinc, calcium and Vitamin B6. The right multivitamin should provide all you need.
Moderate, regular exercise can ease the heavy bleeding and cramps. But don’t overdo it; too much exercise can make your period worse. Stick to swimming, walking, Pilates or yoga. Keep your strength up by getting plenty of rest. To ease cramps, take hot baths and use a heating pad or hot water bottle on your lower abdomen.
There are certain herbs that can help alleviate heavy bleeding, according to remedies4.com. These include artemisia vulgaris, capsella bursa-pastoris, calendula officinalis, viburnum opulus (cramp bark), sepia and belladonna.
Since drinking plenty of fluids helps control heavy menstrual flow, avoid drinking too much caffeine or alcohol as they can dehydrate you. Dr. Susan Lark says you should avoid foods with a lot of saturated fat because they can promote high estrogen levels, which can cause heavy menstrual bleeding.
Try not to consume too much sugar since it depletes the body of B-complex vitamins, which are needed to fight off anemia; caffeine also inhibits iron absorption.
Avoid using douches--women who douche experience more vaginal infections than women who don't. If your immune system is compromised already, you don't want to encourage an infection.