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Simple Home Remedies for Prolonged Periods

By Dr Rajeev Singh +2 more

Introduction: 

Are you suffering from prolonged periods? Read on to know more about it. A prolonged period is a very common disorder that affects 27-54% of the women who menstruate. Generally, a normal healthy woman passes 40 ml of blood during her menstrual cycle, which lasts from four to seven days. Prolonged menstrual bleeding refers to bleeding that lasts more than seven days and causes more blood flow than the regular menstrual period. Women suffering from prolonged periods might face the problem of changing pads or tampons every one hour for several hours back to back. Prolonged periods may cause disruption in the day to day activities. A woman may suffer from chronic (heavy or prolonged bleeding) that lasts for more than six months or acute (sudden and severe) bleeding.1,2 

how to stop long periods

What Causes Prolonged Periods? 

The following can be the reasons for prolonged periods. Scroll down to know more. 

  • Hormonal imbalance: Hormones such as progesterone and estrogen regulate the menstrual cycle. Conditions such as thyroid problems, polycystic ovary syndrome, and obesity may cause these hormones to become imbalanced, thus causing prolonged menstrual bleeding.2 
  • Non-cancerous growths in the uterus: Benign growths in the uterus such as polyps, fibroids, and adenomyosis may hamper the growth of uterus cells and thus lead to prolonged menstrual bleeding.2 
  • Cancerous growths in the uterus: Cancers such as uterine cancer, cervical cancer and endometrial hyperplasia may affect the reproductive system, thus causing a prolonged menstrual flow.2 
  • Infection: Sexually transmitted infections can lead to prolonged periods.2 
  • Complications related to pregnancy: Conditions such as miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy and C-section delivery can lead to prolonged periods.2 
  • Medical conditions: Medical conditions such as Von Willebrand disease, liver disease, kidney disease, pelvic inflammatory disease, and leukaemia may lead to heavy and prolonged menstrual bleeding.2 

Also Read: Home Remedies For Vaginal Itching

Did You Know?

  • Heavy menstrual bleeding (HMB) affects 20-30% of women in the developed world. [source: NCBI]
  • HMB is the fourth most common reason for secondary gynaecological referrals. [source: NCBI]
  • Heavy periods can be caused by the womb not contracting properly. source: NCBI
  • Heavy periods can lead to low iron levels and anaemia. source: Healthdirect Australia
  • Adhesions (scar tissue) in the womb can also cause heavy periods. source: NCBI

Mimosine, a poisonous alkaloid with antiproliferative and apoptotic properties, is thought to be present in chhuimui or Touch-me-not (Mimosa pudica) leaves. It has traditionally been used as home remedy in cases of severe menstrual bleeding.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, MD

Symptoms of Prolonged Periods: 

Prolonged periods are accompanied by the following symptoms: 

  • Pain in the abdomen 
  • Periods that last more than seven days 
  • Blood clots of the size of a coin or a bigger one are passed during menstrual flow. 
  • The colour of the blood may appear to be red, pink, brown or rust. 
  • Bleeding that requires the use of one or more pads or tampons every hour for more than two consecutive hours 
  • You lose more than 80 ml of blood during your period instead of the normal 35-40 ml.  
  • Anaemia like symptoms such as feeling exhausted, tired and short of breath 
  • Inter menstrual bleeding (bleeding or spotting that occurs between periods).1,2 

Also Read: Effective Home Remedies For Period Pain

Suggested Home Remedies for Prolonged Periods: 

Diet plays an important role in the management of prolonged periods. Try to include the following in your diet to deal with prolonged periods: 

1. Flaxseeds 

They have the ability to regulate the menstrual cycle.3 You can add grounded flaxseeds to porridge, oats, muesli, cooked vegetables or curd and consume. 

2. Soya Protein 

It has the ability to regulate the menstrual cycle.3 Consume tofu, soya milk, soy nuts, tempeh and sprouts to get soya protein in your diet. 

3. Iron 

Chronic iron deficiency may lead to prolonged periods. Including foods rich in iron in the daily diet may regulate the menstrual flow, especially in cases where there is heavy blood loss on a monthly basis. Apricot, raisins, eggs, beans, cooked spinach, ground beef and chicken are rich sources of iron. Brewer’s yeast and wheat germ are also excellent sources of iron.3 

Also Read: Anteverted Uterus: Clarifying Misconceptions and Understanding Its Impact

4. Vitamin A 

Vitamin A blood level is found to be low in women having prolonged periods as compared to healthy women.3 Consume cheese, eggs, oily fish, milk, yoghurt, fortified low-fat spreads, liver and liver products as these are rich sources of Vitamin A.4 

Want instant relief from period pain? Try Nua Cramp Comfort Heat Patches For Period Pain

5. Vitamin B Complex 

In some cases of prolonged periods, there is an excessive estrogen effect on the endometrium (lining of the uterus). This can be normalised by eating Vitamin B rich foods as Vitamin B helps in estrogen metabolism, which is one of the reasons for prolonged periods.3 

Include eggs, liver, kidney, meat (such as chicken and red meat), fish (such as tuna, mackerel, and salmon), shellfish (such as oysters and clams), vegetables (such as beets, avocados and potatoes), whole grains and cereals, dark green vegetables (such as spinach and kale), beans (such as kidney beans, black beans and chickpeas), nuts and seeds, fruits (such as citrus, banana, and watermelon) in your diet. 

6. Vitamin C and Bioflavonoids: 

Vitamin C and bioflavonoids help in making the blood capillaries strong and prevent them from becoming fragile. They also help in the absorption of iron in the body, thereby managing anaemia caused by prolonged periods.3 Add citrus fruits (such as orange), peppers, strawberries, blackcurrants, broccoli, brussels sprouts and potatoes to your diet as these are the rich sources of vitamin C.5 

PharmEasy Recommends – Sanfe Feminine Cramp Relief Roll On For Instant Relief From Period Pain 

7. Ginger 

Ginger inhibits substances like prostaglandin and leukotriene, which are responsible for causing inflammation, thereby acting as an anti-inflammatory agent. Anti-inflammatory agents are found to be effective in reducing prolonged menstrual flow.3 

To prepare ginger tea, boil grated ginger in water for 10 minutes. Now strain it with the help of a mesh strainer and drink. You can consume up to three cups of ginger tea in a day.  

8. Asoka 

The bark of Asoka is used as an astringent that helps in stopping excessive uterine bleeding during prolonged periods.3,7 Boil Asoka bark in water till it is reduced to one-fourth. Now filter it and add a little bit of honey to it. Consume it daily before meals to manage prolonged periods.   

Also Read: Effective Home Remedies For PCOS

Omega-6 fatty acids are abundant in evening primrose oil. Omega-6 fatty acids may enhance fertility by enhancing the structure of reproductive cells, lowering the risk of inflammation, reducing heavy bleeding and enhancing the health of the body’s organs.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

When to Seek Medical Help? 

Refer to the doctor immediately if you notice the following symptoms of prolonged periods: 

  • You need to change your sanitary pad or tampon every one to two hours as it is completely soaked with blood  
  • Menstrual bleeding for more than seven days  
  • Spotting or bleeding between periods  
  • Anaemia like symptoms such as tiredness, shortness of breath, exhaustion etc.2,6    

Also Read: Meftal Spas Uses

Conclusion:  

Prolonged periods are a common problem affecting lots of women who menstruate. The period may last for more than seven days and is accompanied by heavy blood flow, which hinders the normal day to day activities of an individual. Women may experience pain in the abdomen, feeling of exhaustion, tiredness, shortness of breath etc. The blood flow is so heavy that it might require a change of pad or tampon every hour. There is also a discharge of blood clots of the size of a coin or bigger. There are various causes of prolonged periods, which include hormonal imbalance, cancer, non-cancerous growth, infection, pregnancy-related conditions such as C-sections, miscarriages, etc. However, various home remedies are found to be useful in getting rid of prolonged periods. Improvement in the diet by including various vitamins (such as vitamin A, vitamin B complex, and vitamin C), iron, soya protein, and flaxseeds are found to be effective in the management of prolonged periods. Herbs like Asoka bark and ginger also help in dealing with the condition.  

Also Read: Natural Home Remedies for Stretch Marks

Frequently Asked Questions: 

Are there any home remedies to treat prolonged periods? 

Improvement in the diet by including vitamins, iron, soya protein, flaxseeds and herbs like Asoka bark and ginger helps in the management of prolonged periods.3,7 

How common are prolonged periods? 

Prolonged periods are very common, affecting nearly 27% – 54% of women who menstruate.2

Is a prolonged period a serious condition? 

A prolonged period becomes a serious condition if one starts showing anaemia like symptoms such as tiredness, shortness of breath, exhaustion etc. Anaemia, if not treated, can be life-threatening.2

How long does a prolonged period last?

A prolonged period is bleeding that lasts for more than seven days. How long the person will bleed depends upon the cause behind the prolonged period.2 

What pregnancy complications cause a prolonged period?

Pregnancy complications such as ectopic pregnancy (the fertilised egg implants and grows outside the uterus), miscarriage and C-section deliveries may cause prolonged periods.2 

Can an iron deficiency cause prolonged periods? 

Yes, iron deficiency can cause prolonged periods. Foods rich in iron such as apricot, raisins, eggs, beans, cooked spinach, ground beef and chicken should be included in the daily diet, especially when blood loss is heavy and persists on a monthly basis.3 

Can ginger stop prolonged periods? 

Anti-inflammatory agents are found to be effective in reducing prolonged menstrual flow. Ginger inhibits prostaglandin and leukotriene synthesis, thereby acting as an anti-inflammatory agent. Therefore, it is used traditionally for the management of prolonged periods. 

Also Read: How To Increase Breast Size Naturally?

References: 

  1. Menstruation – abnormal bleeding – Better Health Channel [Internet]. Betterhealth.vic.gov.au. 2022 [cited 14 May 2022]. Available from: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/menstruation-abnormal-bleeding 
  1. Heavy Menstrual Bleeding (Menorrhagia): Causes & Treatment [Internet]. Cleveland Clinic. 2022 [cited 13 May 2022]. Available from: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/17734-menorrhagia-heavy-menstrual-bleeding 
  1. Livdans-Forret AB, Harvey PJ, Larkin-Thier SM. Menorrhagia: A synopsis of management focusing on herbal and nutritional supplements, and chiropractic. The journal of the Canadian chiropractic association. 2007 Dec;51(4):235. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2077876/ 
  1. Vitamins and minerals – Vitamin A [Internet]. nhs.uk. 2022 [cited 13 May 2022]. Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vitamins-and-minerals/vitamin-a/#:~:text=You%20can%20also%20get%20vitamin,as%20mango%2C%20papaya%20and%20apricots 
  1. Vitamins and minerals – Vitamin C [Internet]. nhs.uk. 2022 [cited 13 May 2022]. Available from: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vitamins-and-minerals/vitamin-c/ 
  1. Menorrhagia [Internet]. Hopkinsmedicine.org. 2022 [cited 13 May 2022]. Available from: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/menorrhagia 
  1. Baranwal V. Asoka: Herbal Boon to Gynecological Problems. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/318041805_Asoka_Herbal_Boon_to_Gynecological_Problems_An_Overview_of_Current_Research 

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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