Are you one of the unlucky one of us who experiences a really heavy flow?
Or perhaps you aren't sure if its heavy or not, but you suspect it is?
A normal flow is considered to be 30-40ml per period, with an upper limit of 60-80ml. To measure this, it is most accurately done with a Menstrual Cup (such as Lunette or Juju for example) taking note of how many mL are contained within the cup size you're using. Keep track of the loss over the bleeding period and total it to get an idea of what your body is doing.
However, if you are someone who is changing a Super Tampon more than 3 times per day as well as using pads, or someone who experiences "flooding" when they go from sitting to standing or at random, or someone who experiences clotting and/or someone who bleeds for longer than 5-7 days, then it is likely safe to say that you have heavy periods - medically known as Menorrhagia.
Why does this happen? And what can you do?
This can be happening for a few reasons, all of which have been shown to be effectively reversed with the use of herbal and nutritional medicines. Unlike the Oral Contraceptive Pill, natural medicines look at solving the root cause of the heavy bleeding, rather than just masking it with hormone therapy.
Low iron levels, high stress, poor sleep, oestrogen dominance (too much 'bad' oestrogen), low progesterone, Endometriosis, excessive inflammation in the body and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome can all be factors causing heavy blood loss during your period.
As a Naturopath, it is the time I spend with you investigating your "whole life" picture to determine the main drivers for your heavy periods. From there, we formulate a treatment plan that looks to correct the discrepancies and create, overall, a better monthly cycle for you (not just limited to heavy bleeding but also including PMS, bloating, cycle length etc).
The good news is iron levels can be tested and replenished; stress and poor sleep can be measured and supported with herbal and nutritional medicines and changes are seen usually within a 3 month period. If however, there are other underlying pathologies such as Endometriosis, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or Inflammation it can take 3-9 months to resolve, however the best part is that with each passing cycle, there are usually changes noted as everything improves little by little.
To achieve these changes we implement herbal medicines such as Chaste Tree (Vitex agnus-cactus), Peony (Paeonia lactiflora). Then if there are other irregularities or whole system concerns, to support those herbal medicines we would use Dong Quai (Angelica sinensis), Schisandra (Schisandra chinensis), Withania (Withania somnifera), Boswellia (Boswellia serrata) or Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) for example.
Nutrients that are useful in heavy periods are Magnesium, Calcium, B5, B6, B12, Zinc, Folate and Broccoli Sprout.
You see, its not just Oestrogen and Progesterone we want to address - its the whole reproductive and endrocine systems that affect flow. Supporting the healthy function of these is the most effective way to change your flow in the long term, whilst actually serving your wellbeing.
So before you consider going on the Oral Contraceptive Pill, or before you put up with heavy periods for yet another cycle: know that there are options for you!
Book in for a thorough Initial Consultation and then follow ups are usually every 6-10 weeks depending on your presenting symptoms. Full support via email and SMS is provided throughout your time in my care and refills are able to be done at any time.
Here's to less Super Tampons ladies!!!
Love and light,