Home Remedies for Heavy Menstrual Bleeding (Menorrhagia)
Menorrhagia (heavy menstrual bleeding) is somewhat subjective. However, ‘flooding’ (whereby blood soaks tampons, sanitary napkins, towels and underclothes) and anemia suggest abnormal loss. Causes include hormonal imbalance, fibroids, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), and IUCD (intrauterine contraceptive device).
- Painless, heavy blood loss suggests fibroids or a polyp - non-cancerous growths in the uterus lining.
- Heavy bleeding, with severe period cramps and painful intercourse, suggests endometriosis (deposits of uterus lining cells in other areas such as the wall of the uterus, bladder, colon or rectum)
- Heavy or irregular bleeding, with painful intercourse, low abdominal pain, bad cramps, unpleasant-smelling discharge, cystitis-like symptoms, fever, nausea and vomiting, suggests pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
The overall policy is to boost stamina, treat individual complaints as they are identified, and combat the iron-deficiency anemia that generally results from chronic heavy blood loss. A hole food diet is, as usual, recommended, with appropriate exercise and anti-stress measures. Douches and both warm and cool baths would be recommended, in addition to compresses, poultices and the inhalation of essential oils.
Eat whole foods, with fruit and vegetables rich in antioxidants and iron from wholemeal enriched breads, cheddar cheese, egg yolk, chickpeas, molasses, lentils and walnuts. Suitable sources of protein include fat-free organic red meat and offal, pulses, grains, nuts and seeds. A diet recommended for heavy periods due to fibroids and endometriosis includes 1g of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, with a view to counteracting the injurious effects of estrogen in the body and to speed the liver’s conversion of naturally produced estrogens into the less harmful form, oestriol. Carrot juice is most appropriate, because beta-carotene helps to maximize the food’s iron content. Vitamin C also helps the body to absorb iron: try drinking freshly squeezed orange or blackcurrant juices.
Specific dietary supplements are the B-complex vitamins (especially B6), lecithin granules, brewer’s yeast, vitamin E and selenium.
Herbal medicines, baths, douches, compresses and poultices made from extracts of celandine, hawthorn flowers, mallow, bramble and sage are all prescribed by medical herbalists for the treatment of heavy blood loss.
Cypress essence in bathwater, massage oil or an inhalation eases period cramps. To revitalize the body when you have been experiencing heavy menstrual bleeding, mix together 50 ml soya oil, 2 drops of wheatgerm oil and 3 drops each of essential oils of Melissa and lavender. Massage into the lower abdomen every day, and for the same or improved effect, massage 2 drops of neat Melissa or lavender oil daily into the wrists or the soles of the feet.
The only avoidable varieties of menorrhagia are those due to the coil, the progesterone contraceptive injection and, to an extent, PID, since this can be prevented from developing from a sexually transmitted disease by prompt diagnosis and antibiotic treatment.
- Seek medical advice for persistently heavy bleeding
- Keep a diary of blood loss days, number of tampons or sanitary napkins used, clots passed, and any other symptoms
- If your doctor prescribes a medication that fails to help, return so that he/she can offer an alternative.