How to make heavy periods more bearable
Heavy periods, also called menorrhagia by doctor types, are not fun. While they are quite common, how do you define if your period is heavy or not?
The average woman loses 30-40ml – equivalent to approximately 2 tablespoons. Heavy bleeding is considered to be 60-80ml, around 4 tablespoons.
Obviously you can’t really measure how much blood you lose during each cycle but good indicators that your periods are heavy include:
- having to use a high number of towels or tampons
- bleeding onto your clothes
- waking up in the night in order to change your protection
If you’re still not sure as to whether your periods are heavy, the NHS has a self-assessment quiz that is quick and easy to take.
You may not have always had heavy periods either. “Periods can change with age and after pregnancy or miscarriage” says Kavita Singh, Consultant Gynaecologist at BMI The Priory Hospital in Birmingham.
“Heavier periods are not abnormal,” says Kavita. “If the menstrual flow becomes too excessive, which means there is flooding with clots or the periods are lasting more than 7-8 days then they do need medical attention.”
Various health problems can cause heavy periods so if you’re worried it’s best to visit your GP to get checked out.
How to make a heavy period more bearable:
1. Take an iron supplement
A recent Finnish survey found that many women with heavy periods were either anaemic or iron deficient. A supplement could help increase your energy levels and also help with any anxiety or depression. You can find out more about that study in this article about iron supplements and period pain.
2. Equip youself to deal with the pain
Heavier periods can mean painful cramps so ensure you’re stocked up on painkillers and have a hot water bottle nearby.
3. Stick the kettle on!
Various teas can be really beneficial if you bleed heavily. Raspberry Leaf tea can help decrease your flow, while sipping on a ginger-based tea will help with the pain.
4. Be prepared
Keep a large supply of sanitary towels and tampons nearby. You could always keep a stash in a cosmetic bag or use the free discreet bag that comes in your Pink Parcel!