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11 Things You Can Do for Your Heavy Periods

If you’re like the thousands of women who experience heavy periods each month, trying to live normally with your regular work and routine while dealing with excessive bleeding can be stressful. Not only can heavy periods be more painful than typical periods, but you’re constantly searching for inventive yet practical ways to increase protection and avoid embarrassment. Despite your best efforts, there’s no guarantee that you won’t occasionally find stains on your nice work pants by lunchtime.

We don’t blame you for being at your wit’s end when it comes to your heavy periods. But the good news is that there are options—both for the short term and when you’re ready to make a significant change and break free from the shackles of needless heavy periods. This is especially true if uterine fibroids are the culprit behind these episodes.

Wondering if your heavy periods are because of fibroids?

Schedule a consult with Fibroid Institute, national advocates for treatment without fibroid surgery.

What Is Considered a Heavy Period?

It’s important to define what a normal menstrual cycle typically looks like. While these can be different for every woman, a normal menstrual flow lasts three to seven days and occurs every 21 to 35 days, with the menstrual cycle counted from the first day of one period to the first day of the next.

Also, a “typical flow” is less than 80 ml of blood per menstrual cycle. That’s about the amount contained in a small Dixie cup. Anything more than that is considered heavy bleeding, as each soaked normal-sized tampon or pad holds a teaspoon (5 ml) of blood. About one-third of women seek treatment for heavy periods, which can include these symptoms:

  • Heavier than normal bleeding or clotting
  • Bleeding that causes pad changes every 1-2 hours
  • Bleeding through your pads or the need to double up with a pad and a tampon
  • Menstrual flow with blood clots that are as big as a quarter or larger
  • Bleeding through your clothes or bedding
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Women Share Their Go-To Tips for Heavy Periods

After polling patients, asking on forums, and pulling from our own experience, we’ve collected a few quick strategies for getting through your day and night with heavy periods.

  1. Wear two pads and a tampon for that time of the month to increase protection. Many women prefer to change their pads or tampons throughout the day, regardless of the amount of bleeding they experience.
  2. On their heaviest days, one strategy women do is to set separate alarm clocks or reminder alerts throughout the day or night (on their phones, computers, or traditional alarm clocks) to remind themselves to get up and change.
  3. Wear dark-colored pants throughout their period cycle. Lighter-colored garments don’t mask potential accidents.
  4. To prevent ruining bedsheets with blood stains, many women fold up a dark-colored towel or an old blanket and place it underneath their bottom to catch leaks. Some also combine this with wearing period panties or menstrual cups, which are small silicone cups that sit inside the vagina and catch period blood.
  5. Get plenty of rest during this time, to help your body restore the blood that it loses during heavy periods.
  6. When not resting, regular exercise activities such as yoga can help reduce related stress and combat menorrhagia. Though exercise may seem like a difficult task to some, it offers a number of advantages. Exercise causes your body to release endorphins, which counteract the chemicals that cause cramps during the menstrual cycle and may help lessen related stress. Participating in exercise or other extracurricular activities that you enjoy can also help you forget about the period pain.
  7. Rather than continuously ruin new panties, many women wear specific underwear at night during their periods—ones they’ve designated as their nighttime period underwear.
  8. When they know they will be particularly active and out and about for the day, many women keep an emergency bag in their car and at work that includes at least two extra pairs of panties, a pair of jeans/pants, extra pads, tampons, and panty liners, and a long-sleeved sweater or jacket to tie around their waist.
  9. Panty liners have become a go-to solution. This doesn’t eliminate having to get up at night to change pads and tampons for some women, but it’s still highly regarded as an extra layer of protection and a way to avoid leaks when asleep since blood can be difficult to get out of bed sheets.
  10. Disposable heating pads help manage cramping during the day or throughout the night. These can stick under your clothes.
  11. When accidents occur, very cold water and hydrogen peroxide help remove blood stains on clothes or sheets. Rubbing the stain as much as possible before placing it in the washer/dryer is essential. Dish soap is also known to remove blood.
heavy periods laundry

Many women prefer to change their pads or tampons throughout the day, regardless of the amount of bleeding they are experiencing. But if it’s because the pads and tampons are no longer useful, or you’re using multiple products at the same time to account for heavy periods, this is a problem.

Seek expert medical help if you soak through one or more tampons or pads every hour for several hours in a row, to determine the root cause of your abnormal heavy bleeding.

Fibroids May Be Causing Your Heavy Periods

Experiencing regular heavy periods is undoubtedly frustrating, painful, stressful, and embarrassing. And many times, women are quick to chalk the condition up to simply being a woman. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Heavy periods are not normal, and in many instances, there is an underlying condition of complication that should be addressed. For your unique situation, the culprit may be uterine fibroids.

Fibroids are non-cancerous growths inside a woman’s uterus. They can differ in size and either stay that way or grow at different rates. Researchers estimate that 70-80% of all women develop fibroids, and most patients we see are between the ages of 35 and 54.

Some women don’t experience any fibroid symptoms, but those who do complain of debilitating pain ranging from pelvic pain and pressure to pain during sex, and yes, excessive heavy periods. The good news is that fibroids are very treatable, and the result can be a pain-free life without heavy periods.

Our Experts Can Help if Fibroids Are Causing Your Heavy Periods

Please don’t suffer in silence when it comes to heavy periods or any of the common fibroid symptoms mentioned above. While the tips above work for coping with heavy periods, it’s important to seek medical intervention and uncover the root cause of your issues. In many cases, the answer is fibroids. And we have the solution.

Thousands of women visit Fibroid Institute Texas year-round to find relief from their fibroid symptoms. We cater to those needs and offer a nonsurgical solution: uterine fibroid embolization. UFE is the gold standard in non-surgical fibroid treatment. At Fibroid Institute’s multiple fibroid centers in Houston and Dallas, we help thousands of women avoid fibroid surgery and find relief from their fibroid symptoms. Meet some of these women here:

Rather than surgery, UFE is a minimally invasive procedure where tiny particles are introduced through the uterine arteries into the fibroid vessels, blocking blood flow to the fibroids. As a result, your fibroids shrink and die so that you can get back to your lifestyle and normal activities quickly. Many women say they experience a high success rate with minimal discomfort.

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Wondering “is UFE right for me?”

Download a free checklist to see if you are a candidate for fibroid treatment without surgery.

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The benefits of UFE at Fibroid Institute are plentiful and include the following:

  • Procedure typically completed in under an hour
  • In-office procedure instead of hospital stay
  • Recovery time is 7-10 days
  • Tiny wrist puncture, no need for vaginal access
  • Avoid side effects of pharmaceutical hormone therapies
  • All fibroids may be treated at the same time
  • No incisions, which means no surgical scarring
  • Over 90% of patients see dramatic improvement in symptoms
  • Patient-centered care, from consultation to pre-authorizations through follow ups

Our fibroid doctors are board-certified interventional radiologists and experts who are passionate about helping women become #FibroidFree. Dr. Suzanne Slonim and Dr. John Fischer are highly experienced UFE specialists, 100% focused on fibroid issues.

Request a free 10-15 minute phone screening to determine if you are eligible. After the screening, if you qualify for UFE, you can schedule your onsite or telehealth consultation. Most major medical insurance providers cover the cost of UFE. We are dedicated to helping you become #FibroidFree. Get started now with Fibroid Institute Dallas at 214-838-6440 or with Fibroid Institute Houston at 713-903-3733 or complete the form below.

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This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Prior to starting any new treatment or if you have questions regarding a medical condition, always seek the advice of your doctor or other qualified health provider.

Fibroid Institute Texas serves the Dallas and Houston areas including Addison, Carrollton, Plano, Frisco, Craig Ranch, McKinney, Allen, Fort Worth, Grand Prairie, Hurst, Euless, Bedford, Arlington, Hutchins, Irving, Duncanville, DeSoto, Cedar Hill, Lancaster, Cockrell Hill, Highland Park, University Park, Park Cities, Garland, Mesquite, Richardson, Dallas, Sherman, Houston, Sugar Land, Katy, Webster, Clear Lake, The Woodlands, Universal City, Spring, Kingwood, Stafford, Conroe, Texas City, Cypress, League City, Bellaire, and more.

*Patient stories are true. Names and/or photos may be changed to protect patient confidentiality.

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