A heavy menstrual flow can be annoying and can sometimes interfere with activities you enjoy. But don’t let heavy periods affect the quality of your life. Until you are able to see your healthcare provider, here are some tips to help you cope with heavy periods.
- Use pads that are designed for heavy flow and have wings to prevent spillage.
- Carry extra tampons, pads and undergarments with you during the “heavy days” of your period.
- Try the reusable menstrual cups that are available in many drugstores. They hold 3 times more blood than a super tampon.
- Avoid wearing white and light-colored clothing during your period.
- Wear a long shirt or keep a sweater or sweatshirt with you to wrap around your waist in case of leakage.
- Use a disposable heating pad that can be worn under your clothes.
- Do not take aspirin, NSAIDS (anti-inflammatory drugs) or Midol®, because they may increase bleeding. If you have cramps or back pain, take Tylenol®. Talk to your healthcare provider to find a medication that is best for you.
- Lower or avoid salt, caffeine and alcohol in your diet.
- Try using a hot water bottle or heating pad.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Try to relax and get the proper amount of sleep.
- Eating a low-fat, high-fiber diet may help with cramps.
There are many kinds of pain associated with menstruation. Many women with bleeding disorders have pain during their menstrual period. This is called dysmenorrhea. Some women feel pain in the middle of their cycle, between periods. Each month, one of the ovaries releases an egg — this is called ovulation. When the egg bursts from the ovary, it can cause pain, called mittelschmerz.
Some women can have a separate condition called endometriosis. In this condition, endometrial tissue forms outside the uterus, for example in the abdomen. When a woman menstruates, endometrial tissue bleeds wherever it is in the body. If the woman also has a bleeding disorder, the bleeding may be heavy. If the woman has endometrial tissue in the abdomen, the blood can irritate the abdominal wall, causing pain.