A period or menstrual flow is considered heavy when the bleeding is abnormally heavy or if it lasts for more than a week.
Medically, this condition is known as menorrhagia. It is not very common and most women do not experience blood loss severe enough to be defined as menorrhagia.
Those suffering from menorrhagia will need to change their sanitary pads or tampons almost every hour. They may regularly notice large blood clots during their menstrual flow.
Causes of Heavy Menstrual Flow
The common causes of menorrhagia include hormonal imbalances, certain birth control methods, abnormal growths in the uterus such as fibroids or polyps, uterine cancer and complications with pregnancy.
Heavy menstrual flow can make you tired and you may experience constant pain and stomach cramping. In severe cases, it can lead to complications such as anaemia (a condition where you lack healthy red blood cells).
Certain lifestyle changes and home remedies can help in managing the symptoms of menorrhagia.
Tips to Deal With Heavy Menstrual Flow
1. Keep a track of your periods. Keep a track of when your period starts and the days with heavy bleeding. This helps you prepare yourself well for the next period cycle.
2. Eat healthy. Try to include more green leafy vegetables and fresh fruits in your diet. This will help in improving your overall health and in relieving symptoms of menstrual pain and cramps.
3. Take vitamin supplements. Your body uses iron for producing new blood cells.
With menorrhagia, you tend to lose a lot of blood. Taking iron supplements will help prevent complications such as anaemia. You can also take vitamin C supplements as they help prevent iron deficiency.
4. Stay hydrated. Heavy bleeding causes your body to lose a lot of water along with blood and iron.
Having sufficient fluids will help in keeping you hydrated and your energy levels high.
5. Use a heating pad. Heating pads will help reduce symptoms such as pain and stomach cramping. It helps in relaxing the muscles involved and thus relieves the discomfort.
6. Try period panties. These are absorbent underpants that can soak blood like a pad.
Therefore, using them while going to sleep can keep you comfortable and you can avoid multiple changes during the night.
7. Get proper rest. Heavy bleeding can make you weak and therefore your body needs proper rest to restore your energy. Try to avoid any strenuous activities during this period.
8. Manage stress. Stress can worsen the symptoms of menorrhagia. Including activities such as yoga or meditation in your daily routine will help in keeping your mind and body relaxed.
In severe cases, you will require medical attention to manage the symptoms. Your doctor may prescribe medications or suggest surgical procedures (if required) to control the bleeding.
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