Heavy flow: Remedies and Supplements

In the final addition to the HEAVY PERIODS SERIES, we found an amazing article about different options and supplements available to those with a heavy flow.

The article covers the small tweaks we can make to ease our flow, recommends home remedies and highlights some great supplements.

Click the link to access the article https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-stop-heavy-periods

Let us know your thoughts !!

Also… how would you categorise your flow?? The image below is an effective aid to describe the strength of your flow and how often you should be changing your sanitary products.

Image: Heavyperiodtalk.ca

We would like to take this chance to thank all our contributors for excellent submissions and our supporters for great engagement in the comments!

Providing honest and open views, sharing of your experiences and signposting where possible. We appreciate you!!

Haven’t seen them all ??? Click the links below to check out the other instalments of THE HEAVY FLOW SERIES

Heavy Flow: Sophie, 41

Heavy Flow: Adanna, 40

Heavy Flow: Sophie, 41

Team PD x

Heavy Flow: Sophie, 41

IN This series WE WILL BE SHARING OUR READERS SUBMISSIONS ON HEAVY PERIODS. OUR AIM IS HIGHLIGHT THE EXPERIENCES AND SITUATIONS OF THOSE WHO HAVE HEAVY FLOWS (MENORRHAGIA)
THIS WEEK Sophie Shares her experience of how heavy periods can get in the way of everyday events, as well as much more joyous occasions, which led to her eventual diagnosis of Fibroids. Sophie also details her early struggles with period poverty.
Entry into Womanhood 

My first period, I was 11-12. I sat on the toilet, looked down and saw Red – I screamed. My dad, mum, sister and cousins all came at the door. My mum took me aside and very gently, explained the process of womanhood and suggested for me not to freak out. From then, I have always had heavy and painful periods. It has not ceased and over the past three years it has worsened.

toilet period

Illustration by: CELINA PARENTE

Night and Day 

The second and third night of my period, I wake up every 3 hours to change. This is despite the super plus tampon and night pad. If i fail to do so, the blood streams through to my mattress. To avoid this, my mind wakes me – usually from a dream where I’m drowning or being surrounded by a large body of water, and to the bathroom I go.

In the daytime, as a social worker, I visit service users in their home. I try to stay in the office during the first 3 days, but it’s not always possible. I have had what I call ‘incidents’. I have also sat in heated meetings, hoping there will not be a blood stain on the chair once I stand up.

Three years ago, I went on a camping trip. As I got on to the Eurostar, my period came early. I have memories of going for breakfast with my bloodstained PJs on, I wore my jumper around my waist to disguise the stains. That was a wake up call and decided to see my GP about it.

I was diagnosed with Fibroids, I am informed that  1 in 3 women develop this condition throughout their lifespan. I was prescribed Mefenamic Acid mainly to lower blood loss – it worked partially.

compare-uf_fibroids-101_types_12oct2015

There was another occasion, last year when one of my best friends got married. When I received the wedding invite, the first thought,as always was, ‘I hope I won’t be on’. Thankfully I was not. It was not so much the logistics of being near toilet facilities that was anxiety provoking. It was the prospect of being bloated and having to reconsider outfit choices.

Creativity in Poverty 

The biggest impact my heavy periods have had on my lifestyle was when I could not afford sanitary products. Those were the days I was stealing toilet paper from work – I was so broke. I was ashamed, I wished I could have disappeared from planet earth.

On reflection, I recognise that us woman are a creative bunch when it comes to our period and how not to draw attention to it.

I look back on my experiences and have thoughts of having a YouTube channel tutorial on DIY period items to support women, who like I once did,  experience period poverty.

period poverty

Illustration by: Emma Evelyn Speight

 

Have you ever experienced Period Poverty? Or Fibroids? If so, let us know in the comment sections, how you have managed such conditions.

Why not check out Adanna and Charmaine’s experience of Heavy Periods.

Heavy Flow: Charmaine, 29

Welcome to our new blog series Heavy Flow!
In the upcoming weeks we will be sharing our readers submissions on heavy periods. Our aim is highlight the experiences and situations of those who have heavy flows (Menorrhagia)
This week Charmaine shares her at times frustrating journey to understand and ultimately accept her body’s flow.
In the Beginning 

Growing up I didn’t know much about periods just that my mum would be moody for a few days every month. I started my period when I was 12 going on 13. Although that sounds young and I guess a ‘normal’ age.

I was the last one of my friendship group to start my period which I got teased about. When I started I told my mum because I was way too embarrassed to go and buy sanitary products from the shop. She explained the option of sanitary wear to me. My mum told me that she had always suffered with heavy periods and bad PMS and hoped that I would not get the same symptoms as she did; unfortunately I did.

As my periods were always heavy I didn’t know any better until through speaking to friends I realised mine were not ‘normal’. Sometimes mine would last up to 2 weeks long, just before I got my period I would get really irritable over the smallest things sometimes for no reason at all.

So at 14 I went to the GP and it was suggested that I go on the contraceptive pill. Despite not being sexually active at the time my GP said it may help regulate my periods and make them lighter. The pill did help regulate my periods and now they only lasted a week however they were still pretty heavy.

Pills, Pills, Pills

I took the pill for a few years. I would sometimes get spotting in between periods so decided to give my body a break. My periods soon went back to being extremely heavy. The first 2 to 3 days I would feel exhausted and would end up taking over the recommended dose of pain killers to deal with the cramps. I decided to go back to the GP and ask to go back on to the pill again however they advised that they did not like prescribing Dianette anymore due to the side effects and recommended Microgynon. I tried it for a few months and although it regulated my periods and made them slightly lighter, I found myself feeling low in mood and had put on weight due to increase of appetite.

medicine.png

I didn’t put two and two together until talking to a friend who advised that these symptoms could be due to the pill and recommend I try Yasmin. So I went back to the GP and they said that the side effects I experienced were rare however that combination was not working for me. I asked about the Yasmin pill my friend recommended and they were reluctant to prescribe it for me. I looked it up on British National Formulary (an online medical dictionary for medical professionals) and found that it was one of the most expensive. They told me the make up of Yasmin was similar to Microgynon, but what did they know.

Diagnosis P

I and Google knew better right? Wrong, again I felt low in mood, my skin broke out in loads of spots on my face and my appetite was out of control. Again I had a break from the pill but the periods were just too much to cope with, what with balancing university and placements. So another friend who reported she had similar symptoms and was diagnosed with PCOS advised I try Cilest as that had really worked for her. She also advised I should explore whether I also had PCOS.  Back to the GP I went and they referred me for an ultrasound, bloods etc. All came back normal. Cilest seemed to be working for me as in no low mood, less mood swings although now I feel more emotional just before getting my period but not as irritable as before.

I passed a blood clot the size of a golf ball.

All was going well, then I began to get spotting again. I was on training one day and felt this weird feeling down below. You know like when you’re on period and you sneeze, yeah that feeling (if you know, you know). I had really bad cramps so decided to take myself off to the toilet. I passed a blood clot the size of a golf ball. I remember being so concerned I took a photo and sent it to my mum. My mum said that I needed to go back to the GP as it was not right. It was only that I was not sexually active at that period of time otherwise I would have thought I was miscarrying.

golf balls

This time I was referred to gynaecology. Through investigation they found I had cervical polyps and the consultant queried whether I had endometriosis due to my symptoms. The polyps were removed and the consultant explained that they can be caused by higher levels of Estrogen. Estrogen being a main component of the contraceptive pill is thought to be linked to cervical polyps. He suggested the marina coil instead.

Investigations and Normality 

The thing I like about the pill is that I can stop it whenever I want and it’s not so invasive, I was reluctant to have the coil and chose to continue with the pill. I had a laparoscopy to investigate for endometriosis but again they found nothing and said that unfortunately I’m just one of the unlucky ones who have really heavy periods and maybe that was normal for me.

Arriving at Acceptance 

I’ve now accepted that this is how my periods are. The downside is I was recently diagnosed with anaemia. This may be due to my heavy periods so I have been prescribed iron tablets. Since taking the iron tablets I have noticed my periods being even heavier although I need the iron to stop me looking like a zombie and actually make me feel alive instead of a 90 year old who wants to sleep all the time. It’s a never ending cycle but who said being a woman is easy.

The Bigger Picture

When we talk about periods we don’t always see the bigger picture and the knock on effect they have on our mental and physical health. This is why it’s great to have these platforms like Periodical Diary, where we can discuss things such as periods and understand what may be normal for me may not be for someone else.

acceptance

Charmaine is also an aspiring writer and you can find her work on Instagram: @theanthologyofcharms.

*Please note that Periodical Diary always recommend choosing the right medication for you in collaboration with your medical practitioner. 

 

Enjoyed this? Why not check out our other topical Series:

Fatherhood Series

First Series

Parent Talk

 

Let’s talk about Sex…

Great Article in Huffpost talking all things sex and periods….

Great Read in HuffPost
Click the link for the full article https://apple.news/Ad4t0888vT8qbDOwKfVWPLg
One poll of 500 people found 55% of participants thought period sex was “awesome” and “natural” (not least because a release of post-orgasm oxytocin and dopamine hormones can be helpful in lessening cramp pain). In fact there are some people who enjoy period sex.

Ask Flo..

Dear Periodical Diary

I have a period question. Do you have any ideas on how I can regulate my periods? Since baby no 3, they are all over the place.

I stopped breastfeeding over 6 months ago but unlike my last two pregnancies, my period will just not realign!!

I’m usually like clockwork but have been randomly noting the dates and noticed that now they can come on anything from 21 to 28 days.

I can never predict 😫😫

Yours Sincerely

Frustrated Mumma

Periodical Diary :

Dear Frustrated Mumma,

To be honest between 21 -28 is pretty regular, it can take a year to normalise after breastfeeding but generally if you want on the clock, scheduled periods, it can be done through the pill (as it gives a fake period every month)

Not everyone is in favour of the pill but some people like the regularity it brings.

Also download a Tracking App, Clue is good because you get informative content as well as tracking periods, stress and daily activities but there are other apps available.

Finally….. remember any changes to your routine, eating habits or if you have a stressful situation, it can take up to two months to manifest through your period.

We hope this helps

Auntie Flo x