Heavy periods, medically known as menorrhagia, can be distressing for many women. Characterized by prolonged and excessive menstrual bleeding, it often comes with a range of uncomfortable symptoms. In this blog, we’ll explore menorrhagia, its symptoms and causes, and suggest some natural remedies to help manage this condition.
What is Menorrhagia?
Menorrhagia is a condition where menstrual bleeding is excessively heavy or prolonged, lasting more than seven days. Common symptoms of menorrhagia include:
- Intense cramping and abdominal discomfort
- Menstrual bleeding lasting longer than seven days
- Passing blood clots the size of a coin or larger during menstruation
- Menstrual blood may appear red, pink, brown, or rust-colored
- Excessive bleeding, requiring the use of multiple pads or tampons per hour for consecutive hours
- Losing more than 80 ml of blood, compared to the normal 35-40 ml
- Anemia-like symptoms (feeling exhausted and experiencing shortness of breath)
- Unexpected bleeding or spotting between periods
What Causes Heavy Periods?
Several factors can contribute to heavy periods. These include:
- Hormonal Imbalance: Hormones like progesterone and estrogen regulate the menstrual cycle. Conditions such as thyroid, obesity, PCOS, and PCOD can disrupt this balance, leading to prolonged menstrual bleeding.
- Non-Cancerous Uterine Growths: Benign growths in the uterus, such as polyps, fibroids, and adenomyosis, can interfere with the normal growth of uterine cells and lead to heavy periods.
- Cancerous Uterine Growths: Uterine and cervical cancers, as well as endometrial hyperplasia, may affect the reproductive system, causing prolonged menstrual flow.
- Infections: Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can lead to prolonged periods.
- Pregnancy Complications: Conditions like miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, or complications from C-section deliveries can result in heavy menstrual bleeding.
- Medical Conditions: Conditions such as Von Willebrand disease, liver disease, kidney disease, pelvic inflammatory disease, and leukemia may also contribute to heavy and prolonged menstrual bleeding.
Home Remedies for Menorrhagia Treatment
Here are some natural remedies that may help manage the symptoms of heavy periods:
- Flaxseeds: Ground flaxseeds can help regulate the menstrual cycle. Add them to porridge, oats, muesli, cooked vegetables, or yogurt.
- Soya Protein: Incorporate soya products like tofu, soya milk, soy nuts, tempeh, and sprouts into your diet to regulate the menstrual cycle.
- Iron: To counter chronic iron deficiency associated with heavy periods, include iron-rich foods like apricots, raisins, eggs, beans, spinach, ground beef, and chicken in your daily diet.
- Vitamin A: Foods rich in Vitamin A, such as cheese, eggs, oily fish, and dairy products, can help manage prolonged periods.
- Vitamin B Complex: Vitamin B-rich foods like eggs, liver, meat, fish, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts can normalize excessive estrogen effects on the uterine lining.
- Vitamin C and Bioflavonoids: Citrus fruits, peppers, strawberries, and broccoli provide vitamin C and bioflavonoids that strengthen blood capillaries and aid iron absorption.
- Ginger: Ginger acts as an anti-inflammatory agent by inhibiting substances responsible for inflammation. Drinking ginger tea can help reduce heavy menstrual flow.
- Asoka: Boil Asoka bark in water and add honey to create a solution that can help stop excessive uterine bleeding during heavy periods.
Remember that while these home remedies can be beneficial, they are not a substitute for medical advice. If you experience severe symptoms of menorrhagia, such as excessive bleeding, prolonged bleeding, spotting between periods, or signs of anemia, consult a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. Effective menorrhagia treatment often involves addressing the underlying cause and may include medication or medical procedures.
Incorporating a balanced diet with these remedies and seeking medical guidance when necessary can help you better manage heavy periods and improve your overall well-being.