What Helps With Heavy Periods, Why Do You Get Them, and When Should You See Your Doctor?

It’s no secret that periods aren’t fun. 

From sudden emotional waves to spending days out of every month bleeding, periods just don’t have much going for them. 

But for some women, periods are worse than others. If you battle a heavy period each month, you already know the struggle. If you’re looking to figure out the cause of that flow or find ways to lessen the intensity, this is the guide for you. 

Keep reading to find out how you can treat your heavy period at home and when you should take a trip to your healthcare provider. 

Table of Contents

what helps with a heavy period flow

How to Know if Your Period Is Heavier Than Normal

Did you know that many women naturally have heavier flows? No two women’s menstrual cycles are the same and that’s totally okay. 

We’ve all been there — the clots in your pad at the end of the day, the feeling of a full tampon after just having changed it. These are often unfortunate but normal parts of menstruating. 

But, there are some cases where a period is heavier than it should be. 

A good rule of thumb is if you’re soaking through one or more pads or tampons per hour, your period is likely too heavy and you should see your doctor. Additionally, severe cramps that keep you from going about your day are a sign that you should consider scheduling an appointment with your healthcare provider. 

what helps with heavy flow periods

Why Do You Have a Heavy Period?

There are tons of reasons you might be experiencing heavier periods. Our bodies are much more interconnected than we might think and changes or issues in a separate part of the body can affect your period. 

Below are some of the top reasons you might be noticing more bleeding than usual. 

Lifestyle Changes

It’s mid-September and you just moved into your dorm. You’re halfway across the country and it’s your first real time away from home. Classes just started and the stress is amping up. From drama with the girls in your hall to stressing about whether or not that cute guy in the cafe noticed you, your body and mind have been hit pretty hard. Not only that, your diet and exercise routines have been thrown completely off kilter. 

Believe it or not, these shifts and other lifestyle changes can lead to heavier periods. Stress can cause a variety of menstrual irregularities that can lead to heavier than normal periods.

Hormonal Imbalances

Your body relies on hormones for many things including regulating your period’s frequency and severity. When these hormones get thrown out of whack, menstrual cycles are often affected

Hormone balances can be a semi-delicate thing and there are a ton of factors that contribute to imbalances, including:

  • High stress
  • Lack of sleep
  • Unhealthy diets
  • Menopause 
  • Diabetes; and
  • Thyroid issues

If you’ve noticed consistently heavier periods, your doctor may advise you to look at some of these areas of your life and make adjustments. 

Changes to Medications

What you put into your body matters and, just because a medication doesn’t have anything to do with your lady parts, doesn’t mean it won’t affect them. 

Changing medications or dosages might leave your body in a lurch for a moment which could lead to irregularities in your period flow. 

Birth control pills will likely, in most cases, affect your period. Often, your period lessens or goes away altogether. But some women may find that birth control leads to worsened periods. 

If you notice that your birth control is causing you to experience heavier bleeding or more intense cramps, you should seek the advice of your health care provider immediately.  

Uterine Fibroids

If you’re experiencing heavier or more painful periods, uterine fibroids might be to blame. Fibroids are non-cancerous growths within the uterus that can be as small as a pen dot or large enough to affect the size of your uterus. 

Your doctor may advise you to have them removed if you are dealing with an abnormally heavy flow since they can lead to multiple menstrual maladies such as:

  • Heavy bleeding
  • Painful sex
  • Lower back pain; or
  • Swelling in the abdomen

Endometriosis

Endometriosis — a condition where the uterine-like tissue grows outside of the uterus — affects about 10% of women worldwide. This often causes painful and heavy periods. 

While there are no recognized cures for endometriosis, there are a number of treatment options designed to lessen symptoms and improve the quality of life for women battling endo. Some common treatments include:

  • Dietary changes
  • Painkillers
  • Birth control pills
  • Surgery 
what can help with heavy periods

What Helps With Heavy Flow Periods?

Now that you know what might be behind your heavy period, it’s time to dive into what you can do to help alleviate the issue.  

Hydration

It’s time to fill up that water bottle and start chugging. 

Staying hydrated helps your body function at its best and that includes keeping your period regular and mild. 

Whether you have to get a new bottle with motivational messages or set a ton of alarms to remind yourself to drink, you need to make hydration a priority. 

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is good for more than just warding off the cold running through the office. 

Vitamin C is like a cure-all for your body. It helps with countless functions all throughout your body and is responsible for helping your blood stay healthy, which can affect your period. 

From keeping your skin looking fabulous to helping your body absorb iron, Vitamin C is a mini superhero. 

Iron

Excessive bleeding can lead to an iron deficiency which can lead to a plethora of unpleasant symptoms. If you have heavy bleeding, you should speak with your doctor about starting a supplemental form of iron. 

Your body needs iron to create healthy blood and, without it, every bit of your body is likely to be off track, including your period. 

Over-the-Counter Medications

From ibuprofen to the female essential, Midol, there are some great over-the-counter options for you if you have a heavier period. 

Many medications are aimed at relieving pain and lessening the severity of the symptoms. 

Some can even reduce the severity of your flow, like ibuprofen.

Birth Control

Are you wondering what helps with a heavy period flow? Birth control might have something to do with it.

For some, opting for birth control is a good way to reduce or eliminate heavy periods. 

Women pursuing this course of treatment should still try to find out why they are experiencing the heavy flow since the pill won’t necessarily heal the issue at hand. 

Surgery

A much less common treatment option for heavy periods is surgery. For some women, the root cause of heavy bleeding is something like fibroids or endometriosis. Sometimes, the best course of action is to operate. 

This option should be seen as a last resort and is only used when underlying conditions are present. 

what helps with heavy periods

What Can You Do for Heavy Periods at Home? 

What can help with heavy periods? There is no single answer. 

Depending on the cause, there are many great ways to alleviate or manage heavy menstrual cycles. 

Try a Menstrual Cup

If you find yourself constantly leaking through pads and tampons, a higher-capacity menstrual cup might help reduce your bathroom trips. 

Menstrual cups aren’t for everyone, but many women find that they help make having a period easier. Keep in mind that it can take two to three cycles to really get the hang of using a cup. You should wear backup protection while you figure it out and if you have an incredibly heavy flow. 

ONDRwear is a great option if you’re looking for a comfortable menstrual cup backup. It’s slim enough to not feel like a diaper but still absorbent enough to catch anything it needs to. 

Apply Heat

It’s your monthly best friend’s time to shine. Not only can a good heating pad make your cramps go away, but it can also help reduce your flow. 

Wear Period-Proof Underwear

Few things are worse than feeling the “gush” and knowing that your pants just got ruined. Whether you felt your cup tip inside or you have that nagging feeling that your tampon is struggling to keep up, leaking is an awful experience. 

Enter period-proof underwear. 

High-quality period undies, like ONDR, are low profile and designed for comfort. They are long-lasting and made to move with your body. 

With ONDRwear, you won’t feel like you’re wearing a diaper but you will still have full leak-proof protection. If you have a really heavy flow, consider swapping your underwear for ONDRwear during your heavy days so that you never have to worry about ruining those white shorts again. 

Exercise

Don’t worry, you don’t need to go run a marathon. While extreme workouts while on your period might not sound too fun, gentle exercise or stretching can go a long way in improving your overall menstrual experience. 

You might find that a pilates class or a brisk walk helps regulate your period and boost your mood a little bit.

what helps with heavy flow periods

When Should You See Your Doctor?

Super heavy periods might be common for you but they aren’t normal and you shouldn’t have to endure them month after month. Knowing when to seek advice and care from your doctor is important.

Periods change from month to month — you might have a really heavy one month and then things go right back to normal the next. But that isn’t always the case.

If your period is consistently heavy or if your cramps are making it hard to live your life, you might want to schedule that appointment with your healthcare provider

Additionally, if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, consider seeking medical care:

  • Periods that last more than a week
  • Blood clots larger than a quarter 
  • Symptoms of anemia:
    • Fatigue
    • Pale skin
    • Shortness of breath
  • Needing to change your pad or tampon throughout the night
  • Fully soaking through at least one pad or tampon in one hour

How to Control Heavy Periods and Avoid Embarrassing Leaks With ONDRwear

Heavy flows are no match for ONDRwear. With the ability to hold up to nine tampons worth of menses, ONDRwear is a no-brainer for heavy periods. 

With ONDRwear, you can stop worrying about leaking all over or leaving something behind on your seat when you get up. 

ONDRwear is soft and breathable while still being leak-proof and slim. No bulky, soggy discomfort here — ONDRwear is made to last, and to make your period as easy and comfortable as possible. 

Find out what all the fuss is about and place your first order today. 

what helps with heavy flow periods