Managing heavy periods and their symptoms
Resource inner page top image

Heavy menstrual bleeding (also known as menorrhagia) is a common gynaecological concern that affects many women. While some variation in menstrual flow is usual, heavy periods can significantly impact a woman’s quality of life. In this blog article, let’s delve into the causes, symptoms, and effective management strategies for heavy periods, empowering women to take control of their menstrual health.

Heavy periods will have excessive menstrual flow, lasting more than a week or requiring frequent pad or tampon changes. Common causes include:

  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Polyps
  • Adenomyosis
  • Certain medical conditions

This condition can also lead to fatigue, anaemia, and emotional distress.

Main Symptoms of heavy periods(menorrhagia)

Aside from increased bleeding,heavy periods may manifest with the following symptoms:

  • Clots: Passing large blood clots is a sign of heavy bleeding.
  • Fatigue: Excessive blood loss can lead to anaemia, causing fatigue, weakness, and dizziness.
  • Pain: Severe cramps and pelvic discomfort might accompany heavy periods, particularly in conditions like adenomyosis.
  • Long Duration: If your period lasts longer than seven days, it’s considered abnormal.
  • Social Impact: Heavy periods can disrupt daily activities, social life, and intimacy.

How to effectively manage heavy periods?

Managing heavy periods involves a holistic approach that combines medical interventions, lifestyle adjustments, and self-care practices:

1. Consult a Healthcare Professional

If you suspect you have heavy periods(menorrhagia), consult a gynaecologist for proper diagnosis and personalised treatment options. A thorough medical history, physical examination, and possibly diagnostic tests will help determine the underlying cause.

2. Medication

Depending on the cause of heavy periods, your doctor may prescribe:

  • Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs): Help reduce pain and blood flow.
  • Hormonal Therapy: Birth control pills, hormonal intrauterine devices (IUDs), or hormone-based injections can regulate menstrual cycles and reduce bleeding.
  • Tranexamic Acid: This medication helps decrease bleeding by promoting blood clotting.
  • Iron Supplements: If you’re anaemic, iron supplements can help replenish depleted iron levels.

3. Non-Medical Approaches

  • Lifestyle Modifications: Regular exercise, a balanced diet rich in iron and vitamins, and stress reduction techniques can all contribute to better menstrual health.
  • Hygiene: Choose high-absorbency menstrual products to manage heavy flow comfortably. Menstrual cups or reusable cloth pads can be eco-friendly alternatives.
  • Heat Therapy: Applying heat to the lower abdomen can alleviate cramps and discomfort.
  • Healthy Habits: Maintain a healthy weight and avoid excessive caffeine and alcohol consumption.

4. Surgical Interventions

If medical management proves insufficient, one might consider surgical options.

  • Endometrial Ablation: This procedure removes or destroys the uterine lining to reduce bleeding.
  • Myomectomy: It entangles the removal of uterine fibroids while preserving the uterus.
  • Hysterectomy: In extreme cases, doctors might recommend removing the uterus.

5. Natural Remedies

Although scientific evidence is limited, certain women discover relief from heavy periods through natural remedies. These include herbal supplements like chaste berries, acupuncture, and dietary adjustments.


Managing heavy periods involves a multifaceted approach considering medical, lifestyle, and emotional factors. If you’re experiencing symptoms of menorrhagia, don’t hesitate to consult a healthcare professional. By understanding the causes and available management strategies, women can reclaim control over their menstrual health, improving their overall quality of life and well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1) Can lifestyle changes really make a difference in managing heavy periods?

Absolutely. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise, a balanced diet, and stress reduction techniques, can better menstrual health. These practices can help regulate your menstrual cycle and reduce the severity of heavy bleeding.

Q2) What is the role of hormonal therapy in managing heavy periods?

Hormonal therapy, such as birth control pills, hormonal IUDs, and hormone-based injections, can effectively regulate your menstrual cycle and reduce heavy bleeding. These methods change hormone levels, leading to lighter and more manageable periods.

Q3) Is it safe to consider surgical options for managing heavy periods?

Doctors recommend surgical interventions such as endometrial ablation, myomectomy, or hysterectomy when alternative treatment methods have not yielded satisfactory relief. It’s crucial to discuss the potential risks and benefits of these procedures with your healthcare provider to make an informed decision based on your individual circumstances.

Q4) Are there any natural remedies that can help with heavy periods?

Some women report finding relief from heavy periods through natural remedies like herbal supplements and acupuncture. However, note that scientific evidence supporting these remedies is limited. Always consult your doctor before trying natural treatments to ensure they are safe and appropriate.

Q5) Can heavy periods be a sign of an underlying health condition?

If you’re facing heavy bleeding or other concerning symptoms, it’s crucial to consult a medical professional. It will help determine the underlying cause, which might involve uterine fibroids, polyps, or hormonal imbalances. Seeking timely attention ensures you receive the necessary treatment for your specific situation.

Mahantesh Karoshi
Mahantesh Karoshi

I'm a Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist and Women's Health Expert. I believe in educating my patients to contribute to achieving the best possible clinical and holistic outcomes. By taking this approach, I enable and empower my patients whilst addressing their issues and concerns. I run a private practice with an extremely high standard of professionalism. My patients are directly involved in their care and management in all stages. My approach to my patient's problems is built on dedication and passion, drawing on analytical thinking and my on-time honored reading, teaching medical professionals nationally and internationally.