Heavy menstrual bleeding can be a pain. Quite literally.
Heavier than normal periods can be more painful, lead to more fatigue, and just be an exhausting experience overall, leaving many wondering what they can do to ease the process.
They can also lead to finding more blood clots in the period fluid, which might be a little startling. Don’t worry though, we’re here to help break some of this down.
Heavy menstrual bleeding with clots is very common. Many people find it quite exhausting or overwhelming, and want some relief or better ways to cope with them, which is why we’ve made this list. However, remember that if you find quarter-sized clots or larger, or if you feel that your period is abnormally heavy and prolonged, you should consult a doctor. Of course, you know your cycle best, so if anything seems unusual for you, it’s always best to consult with your healthcare provider.
For everyone else who’s looking for some quick relief, here are some tips you could try out to ease your period flow.
- Drink water. And then, drink some more!
When you bleed heavily, it's possible for your blood volume to lessen. Drinking some extra cups of water is an easy way to combat this, also helping flush out toxins and reduce cramps!
- Add iron-rich foods to your diet.
Loss of blood causes a loss of iron in the body. It's as simple as that, and can often be a direct result of heavy periods. Iron helps produce hemoglobin, which is a molecule that helps red blood cells carry oxygen. Low iron in the body can lead to iron deficiency or anemia, characterised by pale skin, weakness and fatigue.
Some iron-rich foods that can combat this are chicken, eggs, tofu, lentils, spinach and oysters, among others. You could also cook in a cast-iron pot if that’s an option available to you.
- Get some Vitamin C!
Either through supplements, or through your food, adding vitamin C is said to help reduce bleeding. There’s also evidence to suggest that it helps the body absorb iron, leading to less chances of having iron deficiencies (or needing tip #2) in the first place!
- Over the counter medications
NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) can help reduce the heaviness of periods. They also relieve cramps, and are commonly considered a go-to for people on their period. You should, however, check with your doctor before adding them to your period routine, as there are side-effects with long-term use.
If you find that your tampons or pads are being soaked through fairly quickly, a menstrual cup might help. nixit can hold up to 70ml of fluid - that’s more than 4 times the absorption of a super tampon and 2 times more volume than traditional cups, so it’s worth a shot!
Let us know in the comments how you cope with heavy periods, or if you have any go-to tips that help.