Heavy periods with clots is one of the classical signs of health imbalances in your body that have progressed a little too far!
If you are currently struggling with heavy menstrual bleeding, short menstrual cycles and or spotting in between your periods, then you need to immediately attend to your menstrual cycle health.
This is because, heavy periods or menorrhagia as it is termed is not a disease but a health symptom of possibly serious health conditions.
It is not normal and neither it is going to be normal without you acting on the root cause of your period problems.
In fact, if you keep on struggling with heavy menstrual bleeding; it may create serious nutritional deficiencies as anemia and low calcium levels, which can further complicate your health situation.
So first of all stop suffering in silence! And ask for help from a qualified health practitioner, who can guide guide you better.
In this post, we will help you dig deeper into the symptoms and causes of heavy periods. We will also go through Ayurvedic natural ways to support your hormone balance so that you can find relief from period problems. Let’s get started!
What is Heavy Menstrual Bleeding?
Heavy Periods refers to monthly menstrual bleeding which is excessive in the quantity of bleeding during the periods. It may also happen in the form of extended menstrual cycle with heavy bleeding.
Heavy periods is termed as Menorrhagia in medical terms. Clinically menorrhagia is diagnosed when a woman experiences menstrual blood loss in excess of 80 ml per cycle.
Heavy menstrual bleeding is not a disease in itself. It is a common menstrual health symptom that is observed in multiple gynecological conditions such as Endometriosis, Fibroids, Hormone Imbalances, Thyroid dysfunction, and many more.
Symptoms of Menorrhagia
Some of the symptoms and signs of heavy periods include burning sensation in lower portion of groin, pelvic region, and back region of kidney.
Severe pain in uterus may also accompany heavy vaginal bleeding. Additional symptoms include:
- Excessive Menstrual Bleeding, more than 80 ml per cycle. This may require you to change more than 4 pads during the day and also in the night. You may also need to use double protection to avoid the leakage.
- Heavy periods with clots
- Extended menstrual flow, more than 7 days
- Pain in the lower back portion and lower abdomen
- Fatigue, Pain and Weakness due to excess blood loss and low Iron
- Pain in central part of the abdominal region
- Giddiness and Inability to do usual work
- Palpitations and shortness of breath, primarily due to excessive loss of blood
- Burning Sensation in the uterine region
Range of Women Who Suffer From Menorrhagia
Did you know that more than 75,000 hysterectomies (removal of uterus) are carried out every year? Out of these surgeries, nearly 30% happen due to menstrual cycle disturbances.
And that Heavy Periods is one of the most serious menstrual cycle complaints that leads to Hysterectomy?
- The World Health Organization reports that 18 million women aged 30-55 years perceive their menstrual bleeding to be excessive
- Medical data indicates nearly 30% women of reproductive age to have reported heavy bleeding at some point.
- Out of these, 10% of the women experience severe blood loss that leads to anemia and is clinically defined as Menorrhagia.
What causes Heavy Periods with Clots?
Heavy menstrual bleeding may happen due to nutritional deficiencies or hormone imbalances that eventually trigger chronic health conditions of the reproductive system.
1. Hormone Imbalances
- High Estrogen levels and Estrogen Dominance
- Thyroid dysfunction
- Low Progesterone levels
- No Ovulation
- Menopause and Perimenopause
- Early years of Menarche
Hormone imbalances as high Estrogen, PCOS and thyroid problems often result in no ovulation. This further aggravates hormone imbalance causing low Progesterone and Estrogen dominance.
Thus, the uterine endometrium keeps building up under the action of high Estrogen. However, the quality of endometrium is not good as there is no progesterone, which should have been released after the ovulation.
Thus, the endometrium mostly has fibrous tissues and muscles, which come out as heavy periods with clots.
2. Obesity and High Body Fat
High body fat both create a situation in which your endometrium is not able to build up in good quality. Usually, it contains high mucus, muscles, and fibrous growth.
Thus, your periods appear heavy, clotted, and with excess vaginal discharge.
3. Health Conditions and Medications
- Certain blood thinning medications
- Birth control pills as Progesterone-only pills
- Intrauterine Contraceptive Device
- Pelvic adhesions or congestion
- Ovarian tumors
- Genital T.B.
- Infections in Vagina or Uterus
- Fibriods and or Polyps in Uterus or Ovaries
Stress hampers fertility and ovulation. And when you are stressed chronically, you undergo same symptoms as hormone imbalances that have been fueled by high Cortisol levels.
You may or may not have periods. Usually, these are anovulatory cycles (no ovulation), hence accompany heavy periods with clots.
5. Nutritional Deficiency
Nutritional deficiency as low Iron levels and or Vitamin D deficiency often trigger hormone imbalances and stop ovulation.
Thus, you may end up struggling with the same problem of anovulatory cycles, which create heavy unabated bleeding due to low or no progesterone.
Low Iron and Vitamin D directly affect the thyroid gland, which is often the reason behind periods that won’t stop no matter what!
In this case, you need to take thyroid hormones to quickly attend to your health condition and eventually adopt natural measures for long term relief.
Health Complications due to Heavy Periods
Chronic and extreme cases of heavy periods put the health of women at risk. Heavy menstrual bleeding affects the health of women at all levels including physical, mental, emotional and social.
- Heavy menstrual flow leads to blood loss. It may lead cause Anemia and trailing symptoms of low Iron levels.
- Giddiness, extreme fatigue, severe backache, weakness and excessive water retention may result from severe loss of blood.
- Congestive heart failure, fainting or loss of consciousness in multiple cases.
- Menorrhagia also increases risk of reproductive system infections as bacterial vaginosis.
An Ayurvedic View of Heavy Periods with Clots
In Ayurveda, symptoms of heavy periods with clots are similar to a condition Asrigdara, which means heavy vaginal bleeding during, before, or after the menstrual cycle.
Heavy menstrual bleeding is also referred as Raktapradara in Ayurveda.
The ancient physicians of Ayurveda were also able to successfully classify heavy periods into different types based on the symptoms, dosha and dhatu “body tissues” that are involved.
1. Vataja Raktapradara
This is primarily triggered by Vata Imbalance in the reproductive system. In this condition menstrual blood is frothy and reddish, or blackish in color. The menstrual blood flows quickly, does not clot, and it is cold in temperature.
2. Kaphaja Raktapradara
This is caused by Kapha Imbalance in the reproductive system. In this condition, menstrual blood resembles has a red rusty colour.
The blood flows very slowly. In this case, menstrual blood is clotted in nature. These clots resemble muscular masses as fibers that are joined together.
3. Pittaja Raktapradara
This is caused by Pitta Imbalance in the reproductive system. In this condition, menstrual blood becomes blue, yellow, green, blackish in color. It resembles water mixed with smoke.
It flows fast and does not coagulate. Menstrual blood may also contain white flecks and at times may be thin and stringy.
4. Sannipataja Raktapradara
This is caused by combination of all three doshas. In this case, menstrual blood has features of all three doshas together.
Such in-depth classification of the condition based on the underlying causes and their specific symptoms allows an Ayurvedic Doctor to advise on patient-specific treatment for the heavy menstrual bleeding.
When you opt to treat the root cause of your heavy periods, you will be sure to find relief in the long term. Now, let’s look into the details of Ayurvedic treatment.
How to Stop Heavy Periods Naturally? Ayurvedic Treatment
Heavy periods is considered to arise due to vitiation of Vata Dosha and Pitta Dosha. That’s why, Ayurvedic treatment of heavy periods focuses on the diet and lifestyle modifications to balance off the aggravated Dosha.
In addition, medicines and herbs that stop excessive bleeding and nourish the Rakta Dhatu (blood tissues) are prescribed.
Since, Anemia generally accompanies menorrhagia, strength promoting rasayanas are also recommended to the patients.
One of the best points about Ayurvedic treatment is that there are no side effects. What you experience with Ayurveda is a complete rejuvenation of body and mind.
Once you become familiar with Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle, you can also support your overall health and that of your family members (if they are dependent on you).
Ayurvedic Therapies and Natural Remedies
Here’s the line of treatment that is adopted in Ayurveda for heavy periods with clots. The natural remedies that we will cover for heavy menstrual flow are based on the following steps:
- Ayurvedic Herbs and therapies
- Healthy Lifestyle
- Exercise and Yoga
1. Ayurvedic Herbs for Heavy Periods
These Ayurvedic herbs can be consumed upon consultation with Ayurvedic doctor, who can advise you on specific dosage and directions.
Ayurvedic herbs for heavy periods provide an effective way to naturally balance hormones, detoxify to reduce inflammation and to restrict heavy bleeding and pain.
All the herbs and formulations that have been shared in this post are for information purpose only. All of these are potent Ayurvedic medicines that should be taken under the supervision of a qualified Ayurvedic doctor only. Do not indiscriminately use Ayurvedic herbs. It may cause more harm than benefit.
Amla is useful for its detoxifying qualities. It also works well to reduce cholesterol levels.
That is not all. It is an anti-inflammatory agent, so it removes free radicals and helps to restore hormonal balance in the body.
Licorice is a sweet tasting root that helps to balance hormones. Specifically, it helps to reduce high Estrogen and high Androgen level. This thus helps to remove the root cause of multiple health conditions at once.
Licorice is effective against inflammatory disorders and helps to establish the integrity of the digestive tract. This reduces bloating and constipation symptoms as well.
Ashoka bark acts as a tonic for uterus. It promotes ovulation, establishes hormone balance and significantly reduces high Estrogen levels.
Thus, it is highly effective to restrict heavy bleeding due to anovulation and Estrogen dominance.
4. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera has a toning effect on reproductive system, specifically the uterus. It is an emmanagogue, meaning it helps to establish regular menstrual flow. Also, aloe vera supports detoxification. It significantly reduces inflammation and pain in the body.
Regular consumption of aloe vera will help you to reduce the pain, support ovulation, establish regular periods and restricts heavy bleeding
Lodhra is highly effective in reducing uterine disorders and heavy bleeding. It helps to regulate ovarian hormones, establishes regular ovulation and improves fertility.
It is a rich source of compounds called flavanol glycosides, which reduce inflammation and establish hormone balance.
Triphala is a powerful Ayurvedic Rasayana (Herbal elixir known to promote longevity and rejuvenation).
It deeply cleanses our body and helps to flush out wastes and toxins. Triphala has powerful antioxidants to rejuvenate, inhibit inflammation, promote healthy build of body cells, and blood purification.
Regular use of Shatavari prevents miscarriages. Thus, it is helpful in cases of sub-fertility and infertility.
8. Dandelion Flower and Greens
The bitter tasting herb dandelion is extremely useful to pacify both Kapha and Pitta Dosha. This helps to restrict heavy periods with clots and prevents them from occurring in the long term.
Dandelion also stimulates breakdown of fat and cholesterol in the body. It is also a diuretic, which helps the body get rid of excess water weight.
It is one of the best common herb that acts as a natural pain killer, detoxifies and supports digestive system. Ginger reduces intensity of menstrual cramps and elevates the level of brain chemicals. Take it as ginger tea.
3. Your Diet – Ahara
In Ayurveda Menorrhagia is considered to be a result of faulty lifestyle and foods. Excessive consumption of salty, sour, hot, spicy, and heavy to digest foods vitiates the Doshas resulting in heavy bleeding during menstrual cycle.
A diet involving Sweet, Bitter and Astringent tastes is highly beneficial to stop heavy bleeding in periods. These tastes help to pacify Pitta and Vata Dosha and also supply the required nutrients to remove the deficiencies.
Thus your diet can improve your chances of having healthy menstrual cycle, regular ovulation and balanced nutrition.
Best Foods to Restrict Heavy Bleeding
- Include sufficient proteins from plant based foods to support hormone balance. These are pitta pacifying foods that will also restrict heavy bleeding within 7-10 days.
- Take in lots of iron rich foods to support your iron levels and restrict heavy bleeding. You can find here how low Iron levels trigger heavy periods in the first place.
- Include blood purifying and antioxidants rich foods in your daily diet. Some examples are: watercress, green leafy vegetables, cruciferous vegetables, raisins, green tea, ginger and garlic.
- Prefer cooling and normal temperature beverages such as coconut water, still water, and herbal teas.
- Consume foods that promote your digestive fire and help you to reduce inflammation. Some examples are: apple, berries, mangoes, oranges, avocados, asparagus, zucchini, cucumber, cabbage, celery, garlic, onions, sprouts, barley, oats and wheat.
- Eat vegetables and foods that help to balance hormones. Some examples are: Apricots, green banana, cherry, coconut, kiwi, lemon, carrots, green beans, leeks, spinach, oats, quinoa and rice.
- Oils to prefer are Ghee, Olive Oil, and Coconut Oil. These will provide you with the right source of energy to keep your metabolism, energy levels and hence hormone balance in place.
Diet Habits for Heavy Periods
- Avoid or take in moderation animal products like meat, dairy and eggs.
- Drink a lot of water to keep yourself hydrated at all times.
- Take salads in moderation during lunch time or morning, but avoid salads in evening.
- Prefer Astringent and Bitter tasting vegetables, fruits, and grains.
- Do not hold off hunger or delay your meals. Always eat on the same time every day.
- Include a variety of fresh vegetables in both raw and cooked form.
3. Worst Foods for Heavy Bleeding
According to Ayurveda sour, salty and pungent tastes can aggravate Pitta and Vata dosha. Hence, these foods should be consumed in moderation.
Additionally, you should avoid processed foods and all the stimulants that create toxins in the body. Here’s a list of foods and dietary habits that you should avoid:
- Eliminate foods with a hot potency and hot temperature such as chili and cayenne pepper.
- Reduce your intake of non-veg foods, especially red meat or foods that are high on fat.
- Lower your intake of foods that have a high glycemic index.
- Avoid excess salt, chilies, spices, sour foods, and pickles.
- Reduce the use of caffeine, stimulants, refined sugar, and cold drinks.
- Stop consuming junk food, and carbonated drinks.
- Avoid untimely meals, multiple meals, late night foods, and snacks.
- Stop the consumption of processed foods and packaged foods.
- Remove and avoid smoking, alcohol and nicotine.
4. Ayurvedic Lifestyle Tips for Heavy Periods with Clots
A faulty lifestyle involving excessive stress, lack of sleep, emotional distress and excessive physical work trigger an imbalance of Dosha resulting in heavy menstrual bleeding.
Ayurvedic lifestyle tips provide guidance daily routine that helps to establish hormone balance mental wellness. Here’s what you should do:
- Manage and reduce stress levels by either avoiding stressful activities or by better planning. Stress is one sure way to get your hormones out of whack.
- Practice regular meditation to help you relax and reduce your stress levels.
- Reduce your exposure to endocrine disrupting materials such as BPA and Dioxins. They trigger Estrogen dominance and make you more prone to heavy periods with clots.
- Restrict your use of hormone-based contraceptives. If you can, then you should avoid them completely.
- Avoid Smoking, Alcohol and any other stimulants. All of these disturb the hormone balance and create additional toxin build up in the body.
- Keep a regular, again, regular, sleep pattern in the night. Learn here on Ayurvedic guidelines for good sleep.
5. Physical Activity and Exercise
- Engage in regular, relaxing, calming, and cooling physical activity.
- Exercise at least 3 – 5 days a week through stabilizing workout routines such as involving in recreational and non-competitive sports, traditional dances, swimming, hiking, running or brisk walking in nature or near water, yoga, Tai Chi, or Cycling.
- Avoid over exertion and excessive stretch. As a golden rule, exercise up to 50% of your body’s capacity.
- Regularly practice breathing exercises (pranayama) to improve oxygen circulation, relax your mind and naturally detoxify your body through the lungs pathways. Here are the helpful breathing exercises:
- Anuloma Viloma Pranayama
- Bhramari Pranayama
- 3 Part Deep Breathing
6. Yoga for Heavy Bleeding
Yoga is one of the best forms of exercise that improves muscular strength and mental balance. Regular practice of yoga can help to strengthen and tone up pelvic floor muscles and that of the uterus.
This helps to promote circulation and hence reduce the possibility of heavy flow in periods.
Yoga therapy is also applied in Ayurvedic medicine to address health concerns. Here are some yoga poses that are helpful to prevent heavy bleeding.
PS: Do not practice excessive physical activity and inversion yoga poses during menstruation.
- Cat cow pose: It squeezes the region of the abdominal area where the liver is found. Thus, it stimulates liver function, promotes natural detoxification and improves hormone balance.
- Frog pose: This benefits the digestive system and pelvic floor as a whole. It also improves blood circulation around the abdominal area.
- Half Lord of the Fish Pose (Ardha Matsyendrasana): It squeezes the abdomen in a way that relaxes the abdominal muscles and the liver. Also, it helps to reduce inflammation in the lower body.
- Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana): This has wide-reaching effects on all body systems. It promotes the storage of nutrients in the cells of the body and relaxes the nervous system.
- Plow Pose (Halasana): This pose reduces fatigue, improves circulation, enhances metabolism and detoxification.
Before You Go!
Ayurvedic treatment is not based on testing your willpower but it nurtures you to develop “self-love” and switch on your body’s natural healing mechanism with the right diet and lifestyle.
Also, do note that Heavy Periods is a progressive and painful health symptom of hormone imbalance. But, you can prevent it by pursuing a Healthy Diet and Lifestyle. Act Early to Prevent Health Issues Later!
Now we want to hear from you. Do write to us for any queries and feedback. If you have tried any of the above natural approaches for heavy periods, then do share your experience with us. We will get back to you the soonest.
Wishing you vibrant health!
AYURVEDIC APPROACH OF MENORRHAGIA: ASRIGDARA