Heavy bleeding – getting your period back on track.
During the course of women’s reproductive years there are many periods where hormone fluctuation can occur, namely postpartum, and perimenopause. During these times the hormones from the ovaries begin to fluctuate and result in a number of physical symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia and heavy bleeding. Often the temperature changes and sleep disruptions take centre stage when women are describing their symptoms but heavy bleeding should not be neglected because large amount of blood loss can effect your body all month long, not just during flow.
Two tablespoons (30ml) is considered “normal” amount of blood loss for a women over the course of menstrual flow.
There is a huge variation in the amount of blood loss with reported values as high as 2 cups (540ml). Heavy flow is considered anything above 80ml or 16 soaked pads over the course of menstrual flow. It is not uncommon for women to experience heavy flow and it is important to have an evaluation with ultrasound to determine if there is any structural cause for example fibroid(s). Just like heavy bleeding, fibroids are more commonly linked to the imbalance of estrogen and progesterone that is thought to be caused as result of change in hormone output from the ovaries.
It is important to not shrug off heavy blood loss because it can have huge impacts on the body. Acutely lowered blood volume can result in either fainting or dizziness, and long term iron deficiency is likely.
In addition to increasing iron rich food, supplementation should be discussed with your Naturopathic Doctor, as there are different types of iron that are more absorbable, with less gastrointestinal effects. Naturopathic Doctors can also approach heavy bleeding by working on hormone balance to ensure a smooth transition through menopause.