Tips to Have Lighter Periods Naturally
Raise your hand if changing your tampon or pad has kept you in the bathroom more than you’d like to think about. *Raises hand.* Or you’ve had the fear of sitting on someone’s light-colored couch during your period has given you major anxiety… yikes.
If you’ve suffered through the discomfort and inconvenience of heavy or prolonged periods, I’m with you, and this post is for you. With so many women experiencing this, I thought it was important to round up my top tips to reduce your menstrual cycle bleeding.
It’s taken some time, but I’ve been able to get my periods down to about two days of moderate bleeding and a couple of days of spotting. Sounds like a dream, right?
But I have to say, the most important part of this accomplishment is that I’ve been able to do it without any medical intervention or pharmaceuticals.
Signs you’re losing too much blood during your period:
An occasional heavy period probably isn’t likely cause for concern. But if you find yourself having several menstrual phases where you experience this, you should take action.
Heavy bleeding, also known as Menorrhagia, is defined as bleeding of more than 80ml during a cycle. It’s unlikely that you’re measuring the amount that you’re bleeding. So, it’s ok to use your instinct on what’s heavy or abnormal for you.
Other symptoms of Menorrhagia include bleeding for more than seven days and going through more than one tampon or pad within an hour for several consecutive hours.
Causes of Heavy Periods
Menorrhagia may be a symptom of several uterine conditions, such as fibroids and polyps, hormonal imbalances, or poor lifestyle habits. It’s important to notify your healthcare provider to rule out more serious conditions such as fibroids, polyps, or endometriosis.
Yet even with these conditions, it’s still possible to achieve lighter periods. I know this from experience. Just make sure you’re actively treating any of the more serious conditions in the meantime.
The key to having better periods is making lifestyle shifts that help reduce inflammation and improve gut health and hormone balance.
Ways to Promote Lighter Periods
Avoid inflammatory foods.
Processed foods, seed oils, processed dairy, conventional red meat, and large amounts of caffeine are all foods that can make periods heavier.
Avoid environmental toxins when possible.
Xenoestrogens, compounds that mimic estrogen, are found in everything from unfiltered water to cosmetics and personal care products. While it’s not realistic to completely eliminate them, taking steps to swap out your products can help reduce your toxic load over time. I have a post about ways to avoid Xenoestrogens.
Support your detox pathways.
Another way to encourage your body to clear out excess estrogen is to support your detox pathways daily. I have a whole post about this, so check it out!
Show your liver some extra love.
The liver is a workhorse for helping the body eliminate toxins and excess hormones. Show it some TLC with castor oil packs, antioxidant-rich foods like berries, and vitamin C-rich citrus fruits.
Learn to support your entire cycle.
Leaning into a menstrual cycle lifestyle helps you take a more proactive approach to period health. By giving each phase the support it needs, you’re more likely to have a better menstrual phase.
I made a Cyclical Living Planner that can help you become more in tune with your menstrual cycle. Find it here.
How to Recover from a Heavy or Prolonged Period
It’s not difficult to imagine with that much bleeding that you’re feeling fatigued. If you’re bleeding heavily or have just finished a heavy period, focus on restoration.
Focus on replenishing foods like soups, stews, and bone broth for minerals and easy-to-digest nourishment. Add some iron-rich foods to your diet during this time as well.
Listen to your body when it comes to movement. Opt for a light walk, yin or restorative yoga, or stretching.
The most important thing to remember is that it can take a few cycles before you start to see improvement. Be gentle with yourself and continue to incorporate these tips for better periods.