7 Tricks For Managing Heavy Periods
Published on 10/30/20
Getting your period every month is not always convenient, but it shouldn’t be a hassle. Unfortunately for some women, this is a reality. Managing abnormally heavy periods can be a process, and one that no one prepares you for, as a growing woman. Most advice and tips are geared towards the common or average female menstrual cycle. Taking women into consideration outside of the norm seems to be harder to find. If this is you, we’re here to talk about a few tips that might help make your life just a little easier.
Believe it or not, there is actually a medical difference for excessive menstrual bleeding. Women who lose more than 80ml of blood per month are considered heavy bleeders. How much is 80ml? It’s hard to quantify so doctors will normally ask specific questions to narrow down the red flags for heavy bleeding.
Questions like: do you bleed longer than 7 to 10 days? Do you feel dizzy or light headed during your period? Does your period disrupt your regular activities? Do you soak through a pad or tampon faster than two hours? These are the questions to consider when doctors are looking for red flags in their patient’s menstrual experiences.
If these are questions you can relate to, and haven’t mentioned it to your healthcare provider, it’s worth mentioning. Bleeding heavy in itself isn’t a critical condition, however, a sign of possible underlying conditions like clotting disorders, fibroids, polyps, etc., that can cause pain, infertility and other problems that should be addressed. Even if any of these underlying problems aren’t a cause, there’s still treatment for heavy bleeding that can allow your daily routines to continue uninterrupted.
For some of your symptoms, your doctor may recommend some simple applications to help with any uncomfortable menstrual situations. These could be any of the following (but not limited to):
- NSAIDs – over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen as an anti-inflammatory drug can decrease the production of prostaglandins which play a role in blood flow and cramping during menstruation.
- Birth Control – If over-the-counter medications aren’t strong enough, some doctors may recommend hormonal contraceptives. Birth control can reduce menstrual flow by promoting thickening and clotting of the blood.
- Iron Supplements – It’s possible that some women suffer from an iron deficiency and because they’re bleeding so much, their bodies do not have a chance to replace the iron lost. Iron supplements can help prevent anemia.
- IUD – Another hormonal contraceptive: releases progestin which helps reduce bleeding. These, like Mirena, are FDA approved
These are not the only options your doctor may recommend you, but they are a general few to start. Talk to your healthcare professional to discover what may be right for you.
Tips and Tricks For Every Month
As for a few tips and tricks that can be incorporated into your everyday life, morning, noon, and night, here are a few things you can pre plan to help manage your heavy periods.
- Pre-plan an emergency bag:
- keep extra pairs of clothing – underwear, pants, even a sweater or long sleeve for a quick fix around your waist just in case of any accidents
- keep extra pads, tampons, and liners for those extra heavy days
- a cute and discreet cosmetic bag for restocking
Daytime things to avoid:
- avoid thongs, or going “commando”
- your favorite garments, light colors pants, shorts, or skirts
- swimming, if you can
- To avoid bedtime mishaps: sleep with a dark colored towel to absorb any leaks during the night, or use an old sheet/blanket just incase
- Menstrual cups are not completely comfortable but can work when sleeping to avoid extra leaks
- Wear specific nighttime underwear that are dedicated to periods to avoid ruining new ones
- Exercise: as hard as it may sound, exercise helps release endorphins that counteract cramp-producing chemicals that are part of the menstrual cycle
- Disposable heating pads or electric heating pads to relax the muscles
- NSAIDs like ibuprofen to help with pain management
- Dish soap and Fels-Naptha bar soap can help remove blood
- Use very cold water to remove blood stains
- Hydrogen peroxide as well
- Take note: The dryer sets in stains permanently
- Talk to a support system of people who understand what you’re going through. Chances are they have gone through it or similar. This can help you feel less alone and learn more about your body and what it’s doing.
- Keep a diary of all the specifics you go through. How much you bleed, how long your bleed, the number of pads and tampons you use, and if you’re taking any medications to deal with it all.
Talk To Your Doctor:
- There are treatments available as an option for women with bleeding disorders and other underlying conditions. Talk to your doctor about your symptoms to find out what works best for you.
When it comes to your health, remember to speak to your doctor so you can collectively come up with a plan on what to do. Each situation and remedy can vary, and based on your comfort level with some of the suggestions, and professional opinions, some doctors may want to see you immediately and some for a regular appointment.
Call Rosh Maternal & Fetal Medicine in NYC About Your Heavy Periods
Irregular and heavy periods are common but you shouldn’t accept them as normal. Ignoring heavy bleeding during your period could lead to serious health complications.
Both conditions can signal an underlying health problem that should be treated to prevent serious problems from developing. You can count on the extensive experience of the doctors at Rosh Maternal & Fetal Medicine to identify the cause and effectively treat irregular and heavy periods. If you have any questions about your menstrual periods, call their office in the Midtown East area of New York City.