Heavy bleeding is one of the most common symptoms of Endometriosis and can leave us feeling tired and depleted. It is also so incredibly concerning when we have to run to the bathroom every hour to change our pad or worry that we are going to ruin yet another pair of pants!
So, here are some tips on what causes heavy menstrual bleeding, what factors to consider and herbs that naturally reduce heavy bleeding.
What causes heavy menstrual bleeding?
The reason most of have a heavier cycle is because the lining of the uterus becomes very thick. This is a typical indicator that comes with having a high level of estrogen within the body. This is pretty common with Endometriosis as we tend to struggle with excess estrogen. (check out this article on Oestrogen Dominance)
See, when our bodies prepare to hold a child, it will line the uterus for preparation for that child. When our bodies then realize we aren’t holding a fertilized egg, it sheds that lining, which is what our monthly actually is. The thicker the lining, the more we bleed. That lining is created by estrogen in the body, so generally when we have Endometriosis we tend to have higher than normal bleeds. (but not always)
Factors to consider with heavy menstrual bleeding
1. Drop in iron levels
When we bleed heavily, it is fairly likely that we have low iron levels. The blood needs iron to transport our oxygen around the body. When we are low on iron, we are likely to feel tired and struggle with energy levels. The last thing you need when you already have heavy bleeding!
One of the easiest ways to increase your iron levels within your body is to drink Nettle Tea. It is very high in iron and far safer than taking iron tablets which is likely to make you constipated. You can also eat organic molasses a few days prior to your period to increase your iron stores.
2. Possible iodine deficiency
I never considered that iodine could be a factor in causing heavy bleeding but after years of research I have discovered that there is indeed a strong connection. I discovered this amazing lecture on the connection with iodine and ovarian growths. What is also interesting is that high levels of estrogen will actually inhibit iodine absorption. I know this video can be a little bit too much information but I feel if you really want to get into this stuff, it gives some real insights many doctors don’t share.
Herbs that can reduce heavy menstrual bleeding:
There are herbs that can dramatically reduce the effects of heavy menstrual bleeding. They are called astringents and their job is to “suck up” any excess mucus or fluids in the body. My favorite of these is yarrow tea. The other two you could combine is Shepherd’s Purse and Lady’s Mantle.
Shepherd’s Purse for heavy menstrual bleeding
It is typically a weed found in Europe and the leaves are used. Also contains significant amounts of potassium, along with iron and calcium. Also beneficial for diarrhea with your monthly. (ref: pg71 Materia Medica – Carole Fisher)
Lady’s Mantle for heavy menstrual bleeding
This one typically grows in damp meadows, open woods and sometimes rocky places in Britain. Also beneficial for painful periods. It has a very good anti-oxidant activity and has a natural anti-inflammatory effect. (ref: pg215 Materia Medica – Carole Fisher)
Nettle to build up iron levels
My recommendation is to drink nettle tea on a daily basis to ensure you are getting sufficient levels of iron. You can make a big batch and add to smoothies!
Heavy menstrual bleeding is an indicator
It is easy to approach our heavy menstrual bleeding like we would any other symptom with Endometriosis—find a pill to fix it. Unfortunately, heavy menstrual bleeding is often an indicator of the imbalances that are going on in the body and that it needs some help. High estrogen, insufficient iodine and low iron stores are all factors which might need your attention.
A healthy diet and lifestyle can often fix these imbalances naturally. Hence, I am always recommending eating that seaweed!
What is your experience with heavy bleeding? Have you tried any of these herbs?