Do you dread getting your periods?
Do you cancel your important plans just because you are on your periods?
Well, if yes then I assure you these tips will help you to manage your heavy period flow like a pro.
HOW HEAVY PERIOD FLOW AFFECTS OUR LIFE?
Heavy period flow has become a common thing. However, it isn’t normal.
Many women don’t even realize that their periods are heavy and consider it as a part of their cycle and hence do nothing to treat it.
In the long terms, this can show severe effects on your body.
Prolonged or heavy flow if not treated on time can result in anaemia, iron deficiency and weakness.
Along with this, it can affect your quality of life.
You don’t feel happy about your periods.
Well nobody does!
But still, women who experience heavy period flow tend to dread their periods.
They will cancel all their plans even if it’s important because they find it hard to manage the flow and they fear leaking in public.
And that’s really a big problem.
So we must know how to manage a heavy flow and we also should know when to see a doctor in case your periods are becoming difficult to handle.
STEPS TO MANAGE A HEAVY PERIOD FLOW
So finally it’s that time of the month and it’s time to take the action. Let’s discover some life-saving tips and tricks to manage a heavy flow.
USE A MENSTRUAL CUP
Heavy period flow and sanitary pads don’t get along well.
A lot of girls and women fear leaking when using sanitary napkins because pads take a few seconds to absorb the menstrual blood and if your flow is heavy there are high chances of leaking.
Here are few points that prove how menstrual cups are a better option than pads during heavy flow.
A menstrual cup can hold somewhere around 30ml – 60ml (which is a lot as compared to pads) of blood depending upon the brand and the type.
[Also read: Best menstrual cups in India in 2021]
The hassle of changing pads every 2-3 hours will not trouble you if you will use a menstrual cup.
With heavy flow, you will need to change your pads frequently and that’s very difficult if you have to step out of your house for long hours and impossible if you are travelling for long or you have a meeting or presentation.
On the other hand, a menstrual cup can be used for 12 hours straight depending upon your flow.
Menstrual cups don’t give you rashes. We all know sanitary napkins and rashes are best of friends and they really like to hang out together.
Sanitary napkins take few seconds to absorb the menstrual blood. So when you are bleeding a lot, there are chances that your skin remains wet for a considerable amount of time. This can give a feeling of irritation and of course rashes.
Also with menstrual cups, your menstrual hygiene is not compromised.
So I highly recommend using a menstrual cup during a heavy flow.
IF NOT MENSTRUAL CUP, USE OVERNIGHT PADS
I understand that not everybody is comfortable using a menstrual cup.
Young girls are sceptical about using it.
If someone had delivered a baby recently then also they cannot use a menstrual cup.
So for those women or girls who cannot use a menstrual cup, I would advise them to use overnight maxi pads.
These are very long and have a wider back for extra protection from leakage.
Basically, they are made for night but for a heavy period flow, they can be worn during the day as well. Instead of sticking two pads simultaneously try these.
GET PLENTY OF REST
Some people say that menstrual blood is a waste that the body needs to take out of its system.
This is one of the most common period myths I have come across. But understand period blood isn’t rejected body fluids or the body’s way of flushing out toxins.
It is very likely to feel tired or feel weakness in your body due to heavy periods because in a way you are losing your iron stores.
So it is essential that you get plenty of rest.
If it’s possible you can take a day off from your work and from all your household chores.
Pamper yourself by doing things that you love, in this way you will be able to feel good about yourself.
Make sure to eat right and give your body proper nutrition.
However, if resting is not helping and you are experiencing severe weakness, dizziness or fatigue, get yourself checked by a doctor because it is possible that you might be suffering from anaemia.
BE EXTRA SAFE WITH PERIOD PANTIES
Period panties are absorbent underpants that absorb menstrual blood just like sanitary pads.
These panties are washable and so they can be reused again and again.
I would highly recommend you invest in these period panties if you have a heavy flow and a constant fear of leaking.
Period panties can be worn with a menstrual cup or a sanitary pad.
It will give you that much needed extra protection from leaking.
The real struggle of heavy bleeding starts at night. It is very unlikely that a single pad will let you sustain throughout the night without staining your bed sheet.
And staining your bed sheet is the last thing you want.
In that case, period panties are your saviour.
Imagine how annoying it is to wake up several times in the night just for changing pads.
Also, you can sleep comfortably just like you sleep on normal non-period days.
It reminds me of that advertisement where it is shown that how a woman’s mind constantly reminds her to sleep in ‘savdhaan’ (straight) position during her periods.
So ladies don’t let the mind control you, use these amazing period panties and sleep whichever way you like without worrying.
GIVE TIME FOR EXERCISES
Exercising during periods has numerous benefits.
I know you may think ‘Oh! how can I exercise when I am already feeling tired and with all that period cramps things going on, exercise is the last thing I wanna do’.
See I totally understand your point but even I am not saying you to do any sort of hardcore exercises or asking you to hit a gym.
Exercise can be as simple as a walk, swimming, cycling, yoga or a little bit of stretching.
In a nutshell, any physical activity that you like, you should definitely do it.
Here are some benefits of exercises that will completely convince you that it is not that bad as you might think it to be.
- Exercises can relieve PMS symptoms.
- Exercise can help in relieving painful cramps.
- Exercises can elevate our mood.
- Exercises can reduce bloating which is common during periods.
- Exercise can also regulate irregular periods.
USE HEATING PAD
A heavy period flow is usually accompanied by painful period cramps which can make things even worse. The best natural way to combat these monsters are by heating pads.
A study from 2012 proves that applying a heat patch at 104°F on the affected area is as effective as ibuprofen.
Another study of 2018 proves that applying heat can reduce
- Muscle tension
- Relax abdominal muscles to reduce pain caused by muscle spasm
- Increase pelvic blood circulation
- Diminish congestion and swelling caused by nerve compression
Stash an extra jacket or shirt in a convenient place for that unfortunate occasion where your clothes get stained.
Just tie it around your waist for a simple and stylish solution that will get you through the day.
Wear light coloured underwear so that you can easily spot a stain if there is any but don’t wear light coloured jeans or trousers. Keep it dark so that the stain is not visible and doesn’t look highlighted.
A tip for removing menstrual bloodstain:
Instead of giving up and tossing out your favourite panties when they inevitably get stained, rinse them with cold water and detergent to remove as much of the stain as possible. This step alone is enough to remove the stain but if it’s still there follow this.
Mix baking soda and cold water to form a thick paste and layer it over the stain, let the mixture sit overnight and then just wash it as usual and your underwear is salvaged.
DIET and SUPPLEMENTS
Needless to say, diet is the key to combat heavy, menstrual flow.
Here are some important supplements that you need to add to your diet without fail.
Flavonoids and Vitamin C
Flavonoids and vitamin C enhance capillary integrity which is one of the causes of heavy periods and have shown to reduce the problem of excessive bleeding.
Moreover, flavonoids also reduce the excess secretion of estrogens which is another cause of heavy bleeding.
Vitamin C also enhances the absorption of iron in your body.
Foods rich in flavonoids and vitamin C includes
- Bell peppers
Having prolonged or heavy periods means that your body might run low on iron from the high volume of blood loss. To make up for this you can take an iron tablet for a few days before your periods and during your period as well.
Foods rich in iron include
- Green leafy vegetables such as spinach
- Dry fruits such as raisins and apricots
The deficiency of vitamin A impairs enzyme activity and causes hormonal imbalance which can lead to heavy bleeding.
It has been observed that women suffering from heavy period flow have lower levels of vitamin A and thus it has been studied that there might be a complex correlation between vitamin A and estrogen levels.
Foods rich in vitamin A include
- Sweet potato
- Yellow fruits such as mangoes, papayas and dried apricots
- Red bell pepper
- Milk and yoghurt
Vitamin K helps to reduce excessive flow because of its fast blood clotting ability.
Foods rich in vitamin K includes
- Spring onions
- Turnip greens
- Brussels sprouts
Along with all the supplements it is also important that you remain hydrated throughout your periods.
A heavy period causes the body to lose a lot of water content along with blood. It is essential that you replenish all this fluid loss by staying hydrated.
WHEN TO SEE A DOCTOR?
Did you know many women think that heavy periods are normal?
Well sometimes due to hormonal imbalance it can be considered normal but if you are experiencing abnormally heavy periods every month, then it is a cause of concern.
So exactly when should you decide to see a doctor?
Here is the list, if you experience these symptoms, get yourself checked as soon as possible.
- You are changing pads every-2 hours.
- You are passing clots.
- You cannot step out of your house or do any of your daily activities.
- The flow is affecting your quality of life.
- You are bleeding for more than 8 days.
- You are constantly tired and dizzy.
- You are experiencing painful periods.
- You are bleeding after menopause.
Never ignore these symptoms because these can indicate bigger problems like
- Fibroids or polyps
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Cancerous growth in the uterus
After your complete checkup, your doctor can decide the course of treatment for you.
The treatment is of two types depending on your cause.
This option includes treatment through medicines like:
- Birth control pills
- Hormone therapy
- Intrauterine device
- Antifibrinolytic medicines
This option includes surgical process like:
- Endometrial ablation
- Dilation and curettage
- Operative hysteroscopy
A heavy period flow is really annoying but unfortunately, it is very common.
The good thing is that we can manage it with these tips and tricks.
However, do not ignore if your body is giving any alarming signals because heavy period flow if ignored for a long time can result in serious health issues.
Take good care of your diet and exercise because after all these problems are nothing but the result of our bad lifestyle.
Nature did not want to make our body suffer like that.
So ladies stop living in denial and next time when it’s that time of the month, I want you to take some actions so that you can get through your heavy periods smoothly.
Even if you think you can manage the flow, it is still best to consult with your doctor and let them rule out any possibility of any abnormality.
If you think this has helped you in any way, consider sharing it so that this awareness can spread to other women as well who might be unknowingly suffering from menorrhagia: heavy periods.