How can I stop prolonged periods naturally?
Heavy periods may be a sign of some underlying health condition. You must consult your doctor if you get prolonged or heavy periods or if there is a sudden increase in blood loss during your periods. Quite often, heavy and prolonged periods may be a result of nutritional deficiencies. There are a few home remedies for a heavy period. However, you should consult with your doctor before trying any of these remedies. Most of these remedies lack medical or scientific evidence. Some home remedies for managing prolonged periods include
- Eating foods rich in iron or potassium such as lentils, raisins or bananas.
- Drinking enough water to stay hydrated because menstrual fluid contains both blood and water.
- Taking Shepherd’s Purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris), is one of the most common remedies for the treatment of prolonged periods. Although there is no adequate scientific evidence, this herb can stop blood flow. It can regulate any type of bleeding, such as nosebleeds, postpartum hemorrhage (excessive bleeding after childbirth) or menstrual flow. Use a heaping teaspoon of shepherd’s purse per cup of near-boiling water and drink three to four cups daily.
- Taking a mixture of boiled coriander seeds and cinnamon may help relieve symptoms. Take one cup of water and boil it with coriander seeds and cinnamon until it is reduced to half a cup. Add some sugar and drink this concoction twice a day.
- Taking a strand of saffron with one teaspoon of honey can be a quick remedy.
- Drinking powdered bark of Ashoka tree (Saraca asoca) with a glass of water or milk may reduce heavy bleeding.
- Making a paste with tamarind, honey and water in a blender and drinking it may help. The antioxidants found in tamarind reduce cholesterol levels and treat heavy bleeding.
- Taking mustard seed powder, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids may help. When it is mixed with milk or water, it aids in regulating estrogen levels and keeping hormonal imbalance in check. This helps regulate menstrual flow.
- Drinking apple cider vinegar and water works as a tonic that removes toxins from the body, maintains hormonal balance and treats heavy bleeding with cramps.
- Consuming flaxseed tea during menstruation regulates estrogen levels because it has hormone-balancing properties, which reduces blood flow.
What are the treatment options for heavy bleeding?
Your doctor may prescribe some of the following treatments for heavy bleeding.
Medication: Medications are first-line recommended treatments for heavy bleeding.
- Levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine system (LNG-IUS), Mirena: This is a small plastic device that is placed in the uterus and it slowly releases progestin hormone. It prevents uterine lining from growing quickly and it is also a type of contraceptive. It has been shown to reduce blood loss by 71 to 96 percent and it is the preferred first choice for treatment. It is usually used for a minimum of 12 months.
- Tranexamic acid: These tablets work by helping blood in the uterus to clot. They reduce blood loss by 29 to 58 percent. They are taken three or four times a day for a maximum of three to four days. The lower end of this dosing range will usually be recommended, for example, two tablets three times a day for a maximum of five days. Treatment should be stopped if symptoms have not improved within three months.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): NSAIDs reduce blood loss by 20 to 49 percent. These tablets are taken from the start of the period (or just before) and until the bleeding has stopped.
- Combined oral contraceptive pills: These pills contain the hormones estrogen and progestin. These are taken beginning on the first day of a woman’s period. One pill is taken every day for 21 days and then no pills are taken for seven days.
- Oral norethisterone: This is a type of man-made progestin (one of the female sex hormones). It is another type of medication that can be used for treating heavy bleeding. It is taken in tablet form, two to three times a day, from day 5 to 26 of the menstrual cycle. The first day of your period is counted as day 1. It works by preventing your uterine lining from growing too quickly.
- Injected progestin: A type of progestin called medroxyprogesterone acetate is also available as an injection and it is sometimes used to treat heavy bleeding. It works by preventing the lining of the womb from growing too quickly and it is a form of contraception. It is injected once every 12 weeks for as long as treatment is required.
- Uterine artery embolization (UAE): If excessive menstrual bleeding is due to small noncancerous growths called fibroids, then UAE may be done. It is a minimally invasive procedure that can be performed through a small tube inserted into the groin. Through this tube, small plastic beads are injected into the arteries supplying blood to the fibroid. This blocks the arteries and causes the fibroid to shrink over the subsequent six months.
- Myomectomy: Sometimes, the fibroids can be removed using a surgical procedure known as a myomectomy. However, the operation is not suitable for every type of fibroid.
- Endometrial ablation: The womb lining is destroyed.
- Hysterectomy: This is the surgical removal of the womb, which may sometimes also involve the removal of the neck of the womb, fallopian tubes and ovaries.
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