Do you spend a few days every month curled up in the fetal position, losing valuable work or school days, or not able to do activities you enjoy due to heavy bleeding?
Let’s talk normal- this is not normal, and you don’t have to accept it. A normal period occurs every 25 to 35 days and lasts 3 to 5 days. Bleeding is usually between 35 to 50 ml, or less than 16 regular tampons or pads. Blood usually starts out as bright red, has no clots or clots less than quarter-sized, and tapers off, sometimes turning darker during the bleed.
So, how does your period stack up to this? If you have heavy bleeding, there is hope. The heavy bleeding could be coming from high estrogen, particularly in comparison to progesterone. It could also come from irregular ovulation caused by PCOS- also known as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, which relates to high androgens. Androgens are male type steroids that women also have in smaller amounts than men- particularly testosterone. Heavy bleeding can also be related to fibroids which are benign uterine growths, or endometriosis, where the uterine tissue grows where it shouldn’t be growing. Fibroids can be small or large enough to feel when your doctor does an exam. Endometriosis typically also brings intense pain through cramps, back pain and/or abdominal pain. Fibroids and endometriosis can require surgical intervention to alleviate, but the tips below could help alleviate the heavy bleeding over time.
Here are some tips we offer to our patients at our functional medicine practice when they are suffering from heavy bleeding:
- Check your gut! Your gut health has strong correlations to your hormone health so we often explore a patient’s microbiome and/or look for leaky gut- we start there and this often will balance out hormones or start us on the way to hormone health.
- Get the xenoestrogens out! What are xenoestrogens? They are everywhere- and the small amounts we are exposed to day by day can accumulate and lead to big changes in our estrogen to progesterone balance. This includes plastics, parabens, phthalates, pesticides- and more. Check out this blog (https://www.highlandshealthwellness.com/endocrine-disruptors-avoid/) that walks you through how to step by step eliminate these hormone disruptors.
- Try castor oil packs! These packs can help with heavy periods with cramps, and/or big clots. You can use the castor oil pack daily for every other day for 30 to 60 days, except during your period or when bleeding. To learn more about castor oil packs check out the free pdf on https://www.drshelleymeyer.com/.
For more information on beating heavy periods check out my YouTube video all about reducing heavy bleeding: