How to Treat Heavy Periods with Diet and Progesterone or Prometrium

heavy periodsNatural treatment can work for heavy or flooding periods but you need the right treatment for your cause of heavy periods.

There are three main causes of heavy periods: 1) low progesterone or “unopposed” estrogen, 2) endometriosis or adenomyosis, and 3) thyroid disease.

Let’s look at each cause (and possible treatments) and then I’ll provide the top five general ways to lighten menstrual flow. You still want to treat the underlying cause, if you can.

Heavy periods from low progesterone or unopposed estrogen

If your doctor says your heavy periods are the result of “hormone imbalance,” she means you’re having anovulatory cycles and are not making the progesterone you need to thin the uterine lining and prevent heavy periods. In other words, you have estrogen that is “unopposed” by progesterone and so develop a thickened uterine lining.  For more information about anovulatory cycles and progesterone deficiency, read 3 Signs Your Period Is not Really a Period.

👉 Tip: Uterine polyps can occur with unopposed estrogen or endometrial hyperplasia. They can be a cause of heavy bleeding.

The only way to make progesterone is to ovulate, so, if you don’t have progesterone, it’s because you’re not ovulating. The next question is “why are you not ovulating?” Here are some possibilities.

  • You have PCOS, in which case, your best treatment is to reverse PCOS so you can ovulate and make progesterone and prevent heavy periods. Read Treatment for 4 Types of PCOS and Period Repair Manual.
  • You’re a teenager so too young to ovulate regularly. It’s a temporary situation that you will probably outgrow. In the meantime, you can lighten your flow with a dairy-free diet, turmeric, and iron (see below).
  • You’re in perimenopause or “second puberty,” which is when ovulation starts to wind down and you lose progesterone. This type of heavy bleeding is also called dysfunctional uterine bleeding or endometrial hyperplasia and is tough to treat. You may need almost every period-lightening treatment listed below.
  • You have another medical problem such as thyroid disease or high prolactin that is preventing ovulation.

👉 Tip: Your doctor might not be able to tell you if you’re ovulating or have enough progesterone. You can test yourself by tracking your basal body temperatures. Read The Right Way to Test Progesterone.

Heavy periods from endometriosis or adenomyosis

Endometriosis or adenomyosis are gynecological conditions that can cause pain and heavy bleeding. Your doctor might be able to pick them up with an ultrasound, or she might refer you to a gynecologist for further assessment.

Natural treatments for endometriosis and/or adenomyosis:

  • Anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial treatments including zinc, turmeric, and a dairy-free diet. Read Endometriosis? Treat the Immune System.
  • Calcium-d-glucarate (see below).
  • Natural or micronized progesterone (see below).

👉 Tip: Fibroids are rarely the cause of heavy bleeding because most fibroids are located inside the muscle or on the outside of the uterus where they do not affect flow. Only ten percent of fibroids cause heavy bleeding.

Heavy periods from thyroid disease

Thyroid disease is the most common and treatable cause of heavy menstrual bleeding. Experts say that thyroid function should be evaluated in every case of heavy menstrual bleeding and that doing so “would avoid unnecessary surgeries and exposure to hormones.”

Ask your doctor to test your thyroid and then ask to see the results. If your TSH is higher than 3 mIU/L, it could be a sign of subclinical hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid).

Also, if you have thyroid disease in your family, look at the test “thyroid antibodies” or “TPO antibodies,” which is the marker of autoimmune thyroid disease or Hashimoto’s disease. Autoimmune thyroid disease affects one in four women and can cause symptoms of underactive thyroid (including heavy periods) even when TSH is normal.

Natural treatments for thyroid disease:

  • Thyroid hormone (T4, T3, or thyroid extract).
  • Natural treatment to correct autoimmunity. See Chapter 11 of Period Repair Manual.

👉 Tip: If you’ve suffered heavy periods all your life, ask your doctor to screen for coagulation disorders such as von Willebrand disease. The condition accounts for up to 20 percent of all cases of heavy menstrual bleeding which is sometimes the only symptom.

The best natural treatments for heavy periods

The following treatments are in addition to the core treatment of fixing the underlying cause of your heavy periods. For example, if you have thyroid disease, then the solution is to take thyroid hormone.

Avoid cow’s dairy

Avoiding cow’s dairy (A1 casein) makes periods lighter and it could be because it reduces mast cell activation which has recently been identified as a cause of heavy periods.

A dairy-free diet can work particularly well for the heavy periods of teenagers.

👉 Tip: You can still have butter, goat and sheep milk products because they don’t have A1 casein.

Turmeric

Turmeric or curcumin is one of my favorite treatments for heavy periods. It works by reducing prostaglandins and lowering estrogen (by downregulating the enzyme aromatase). You can take turmeric every day of the cycle and then increase the dose during your period. Turmeric can also relieve period pain and endometriosis.

Iron

Iron corrects the iron deficiency caused by heavy periods, AND it lightens periods by increasing blood viscosity. If you’re deficient in iron, take 15 to 50 mg of a gentle supplement such as iron bisglycinate. The best food sources are red meat and eggs.

👉 Tip: Can’t get your iron up? It could be because you’re consuming too much dairy. Dairy inhibits the absorption of iron.

Calcium d-glucarate

The active part of this supplement is glucarate (not calcium). Glucarate makes periods lighter by reducing estrogen. It promotes estrogen detoxification both in the liver and in the gut where it inhibits beta-glucuronidase, a bacterial enzyme that causes estrogen to be reabsorbed.

Natural or body-identical progesterone

Progesterone makes periods lighter by thinning the uterine lining. In that way, it’s similar to synthetic progestins such as norethisterone (PrimolutⓇ) and medroxyprogesterone (ProveraⓇ), but progesterone is a far nicer treatment because it’s better for mood and does not cause breast cancer.

The standard treatment is to take a micronized progesterone capsule (PrometriumⓇ) at bedtime during the last two weeks of the cycle. If you’re having trouble convincing your doctor to prescribe Prometrium, refer her to Professor Jerilynn Prior’s document “For Healthcare Providers: Managing Menorrhagia Without Surgery.”

Ibuprofen to reduce menstrual flow

Natural treatments work to prevent heavy periods. They cannot stop a heavy period once it’s underway. If you want an easy fix during your period, try ibuprofen. It reduces menstrual flow by half, and so is a good first step while you work on the other treatments. Take it on your heavy days, and take it with food to decrease the risk of stomach irritation.

My experience is that most women can find an effective natural solution for heavy periods. Please comment to share your story or ask me a question!

Dr Lara Briden

122 thoughts on “How to Treat Heavy Periods with Diet and Progesterone or Prometrium”

  1. My doctor is very resistant to prescribing micronized progesterone. She is insistent on progestin. I have been doing everything your book references for my symptoms for 3 years with major improvements, but I still only ovulate every 3-4 months, have major PMS/PMDD symptoms, my cycles are still clinically heavy (though majorly improved), I am anemic despite iron supplementation and my uterine lining is slightly thicker than optimal. I’ve done all the hormone/thyroid bloodwork without any answers or guidance from it. Am I right to insist on a prescription for prometrium or is it not right for my symptoms? I feel as though it could really improve most/all of my previously mentioned symptoms, but she has me second guessing my research and knowledge. I do plan to print for her the article you referenced. She seemed to believe progestin would work wonders for me, yet thought micronized progesterone would be useless and potentially harmful.

  2. Tracey. This is almost my story exact! I’m 44, but bleed so heavy, for 15 days and I’m done having children. I’ve got her book on my wishlist, but honestly, what else is there for us? I don’t want the consequences of a hysterectomy, but equally I’m tired of spending the rest of the month rebuilding my blood. Losing over 2 pints of blood a month is pain discouraging…

  3. I had crazy spotting in between periods, always from around cycle day 10-20. Awful. I read in one of Dr Briden’s post that high beta-glucoronidase in the gut causes excess estrogen to not be removed from the body but to be reabsorbed. This alerted me because my naturopathic doctor mentioned to me once that I have high beta-glucoronidase! So I heard that word before! I started to take calcium d-glucarate which binds beta-glucoronidase, it’s a supplement. Took it every day – zero spotting. So this worked for me. Lame OBGYN had already sent me for a transvaginal ultrasound, unfortunately, with no result.

  4. Hi Lara, I’ve used ibuprofen for the last three cycles. It has reduced the flow, probably not by half, but any reduction is good when its like that… I had spotting all the way up to day 18 though after my most recent period. Is that something that could be connected to the ibuprofen? Has anyone else noted spotting after using ibuprofen to reduce flow? thanks for your amazing book and resources. 🙂

  5. This feels really hopeful. I’m on oral contraceptive now after having an ectopic pregnancy erupt earlier in the year. After that happened my already heavy periods (I’ve had menorrhagia since having babies but it was always regular) were out of control, lasting weeks, with less than two weeks in between bleeds. My doctor’s only suggestion to avoid another ectopic pregnancy and manage the bleeding was BC. I feel terrible. It’s been almost 4 months and I don’t feel like myself at all. I really miss ovulating. Nether my MD or ND know how to help me. I ordered your book, as I’ve been contemplating getting off the pill and just accepting the heavy bleeds but maybe there is hope that I can get my bleeding back to a manageable amount.

  6. Tessa, if you have adenomyosis and not endo the ablation could worsen the problem down the road. Often the only way for doctors to tell them apart is with mri or exploratory surgery. With adeno damage to the uterine muscle and excess estrogen will trigger more growths! The only cure is menopause or hysterectomy.

    By luck and stubbornness I was referred to a gyno who treated me for subclinical hypothyroid, low testosterone and prescribed 100mg prometrium to be used continuously. I also take some vegetable cap that helps reduce excess estrogen, and avoid dairy, per Dr. Briden. I don’t know which is doing what for me, but my cycle is no longer flooding, clotty, or bright red, and I don’t look three months pregnant anymore (my uterus measures 280cc two weeks into my cycle! I hate to think what it was just before my period). My anxiety is gone, I sleep, and mood is much improved.

    Consider finding another gyno to give you another look. Generic prometrium is cheap enough to try for a month to get a hold on the estrogen dominance that can cause some probs with adeno or endo.

  7. I have tried everything you suggested with no noted improvements minus the natural progesterone. I’m resigned to
    Do the ablation after exhausting all other natural options. I was hoping not to take any opiates for the procedure…not a fan. Is that reasonable? My OB switched gears on me last minute and says I need to now..:.

  8. This was such a helpful article! I was surprised when I read the word “beta glucuronidase” because I came across this one before! A naturopathic doctor ran tests about 2 years ago and told me that the levels were very high! So if high levels of that cause estrogen to be reabsorbed and therefore high estrogen levels, no wonder my periods are insanely heavy! (And recently also heavy spotting on cycle days 10-17 which caused me to search for help.) So I will take calcium d glucarate and see if that helps. I also have Hashimoto’s, so that’s obviously another reason for heavy periods. Hopefully I can figure out how to stop the spotting. My current OBGyn only tested estradiol levels, not estrogen. Should I ask her to check estrogen levels?

    • There are many different estrogens that can be tested with urine testing like DUTCH testing. That would potentially reveal a much bigger estrogen story than just estradiol.

      All that said, if you have heavy periods, then you know you have high estrogen and calcium-d-glucarate should be a good start.

  9. Hi I just want to say thank you so much for sharing your research and helping me to understand my period. I just started reading your book today. One of my questions is related to my auto immune disease. I have celiac disease and I have heavy periods. I stick to my diet and have cut out most dairy, however I am not sure if I ovulate I also have thin hair and am always fatigued. I do get heavy periods and am scared that I won’t be able to have a baby or am infertile. Do you have any further information on auto immune diseases and fertility?

  10. Turmeric as with most spices are very high in salicylates (a natural blood thinner). Any spices taken during my period will increase bleeding. Salicylates build up in the body over time but it really depends on your own individual tolerance to these food chemicals as to how much you can handle. Amines also affect my bleeding and give my son nosebleeds.

    I have had very severe anaemia for many years from my periods with iron transfusions the only thing to keep me going. My bleeding lasted for over a week back then and the first 3 days I would pass clots the size of my hand consistently throughout the day and overnight. It was very unmanageable and excrutiating. I used to take ibuprofen but my body started to build up a tolerance to it and it didn’t work so well after that. I have had heavy bleeding since my period started when I was 14yrs old and excruciatingly painful periods when I became sexually active at 18yrs.

    I tried non dairy for 7years and although all the cysts in my ovaries disappeared I didn’t experience any change in my symptoms. The past year I have been sugar and grain free and noticed a ridiculously huge improvement after 2months. Magnesium tablets also help significantly. Because I can’t tolerate too many salicylates or amines also I am finding my diet to be very restrictive at times so am looking into taking progesterone to counteract my high estrogen levels so when I am out or away I am not stressed about what to eat.

    I have had absolutely no help from my doctors and although I am happy to have found a solution I can’t believe it’s taken this long, I’m 36years old and only just starting to manage life as a woman. I refuse to get a hysterectomy like all the women in my family have done before me however I am starting to realise that high estrogen levels seem to be more of an environmental issue that is beyond our control. It is very sad to see so many women with these challenges struggling to function in this stressful world.

    I’m glad more people are getting the word out and trying to help women with these issues x

  11. Been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2015, and I was a woman of 50. They put me on Rebif which I took until 2017 and was switched to Copaxone. I had two relapses on Rebif, none so far on Copaxone. I do notice my balance was getting worse, and my memory, as well as erectile dysfunction and spasms’ had no choice to sick for other solution and I was introduce to totalcureherbsfoundation.com which I purchase the MS herbal formula from the foundation, the herbal supplement has effectively get rid of my multiple sclerosis and reversed all symptoms. 

  12. Thanks Lara. I have been dairy free close to 3 months, recently started the zinc and turmeric. Will need to start calcium d-glucarate. Unfortunately the progesterone is not having the desired effect, even at such a high dose. Sometimes I feel like I should try something synthetic to stop the bleeding, although I really don’t want to and definitely am not interested in Mirena. Would a very low dose of progestin help?

  13. Hi Lara
    I recently purchased your book and along with 400mg of compounded progesterone nightly and implementing protocols for adenomyosis, I am really struggling. I have been bleeding pretty much non-stop for 4 months.
    My naturopath suggested very high doses of Vitamin A as a next step? Have you heard of this?
    Thanks
    Lynn

    • adenomyosis is really tough to treat, unfortunately.
      The progesterone capsules are a good start. Are you also trying the (strictly) dairy-free diet, zinc, and calcium-d-glucarate that I speak about in the blog post? You may want to also look at the mast cell and histamine connection.

      Yes, vitamin A can potentially be helpful but best used under the care of your clinician.

  14. Dear Lara,

    Thank you for your book the period repair manual. It has been an awesome read and many of my friends have borrowed it to read.

    I have been following the information on peri menopause. Tests through my naturopath show I have very elevated estrogen levels. Which is causing a myriad of problems with my cycle. Currently every 20 days for 7 days and quite heavy.

    I am following your recommendations to cut dairy and taking calcium d glucarate. I also take iron, turmeric and magnesium citrate.

    My GP has little experience in peri menopause apart from prescribing the pill or mirena. She did agree to writing me a prescription for progestin 100mg to take day 17 – 26.

    Although it helps me to sleep better my cycle remains unchanged after three months. Would you recommend I take the progestin from day 14-28? I note in your book you say to take it two weeks before the period is due. Also is 100mg the correct dose?

    Many thanks

  15. I am concerned about the inactive ingredients in Prometrium, namely, gelatin and the artificial dyes. Is there any progesterone pill that doesn’t have those? My daughter and I currently use a really good cream form, but I am wondering if we need a higher dose for our heavy bleeding issues. We do love the help that turmeric, zinc, and iron offers! Thank you for your help!

  16. As per her advice above : Anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial treatments including zinc, turmeric, and a dairy-free diet, turmeric- doubling amount in week before period. I’ve also been seeing a chinese herbalist for months.

  17. Hello aspen.- can I ask how you’ve been treating the adenomyosis? I’ve been recently diagnosed as well and could use some tips. Thx

  18. Thanks Lara, I have been following most of your advice for adenomyosis which has been helping. I would like to also try Calcium d-glucarate, is there any particulate brand or tips to buying this ?

  19. Just temporarily- its a blood thinner. So, it will increase in the hour or so after I take it and then return to normal.

  20. Hi Lara, thanks for the quick reply. That makes sense. How fascinating – we are all unique in the end! I have a client who also has stubborn peri-meno menorrhagia and has always taken multiple turmeric lattes every day. I am going to suggest to her to take a 3 month break and see if it makes a difference. I too would love to hear other people’s experiences on turmeric. N

  21. Hi Lara, I am curious to hear your comments regarding turmeric and increased bleeding in menorrhagia. This has certainly been my experience. Turmeric, being anti-platelet, has increased my bleeding to an unmanageable level. I understand the theory behind the anti-inflammatory action of turmeric but not sure how to overcome this increase in bleeding. Counteract with styptic herbs, stop the turmeric prior to and during menstruation (which kid of defeats the purpose), or stop the turmeric altogether? Is this a common response or am I in the minority? I see there are a few other comments here on this same topic. Would love to hear your thoughts on this, Lara. Thanks

    • Thanks so much for commenting. My experience with the majority of patients is that turmeric reduces menstrual bleeding similar to how anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) reduce bleeding. But yes, I’m hearing in the comments that some women are having a different experience. I suspect it’s something to do with genetic differences in coagulation or clotting tendencies.

      For anyone who does experience increased bleeding with turmeric, I think the best plan is to avoid the herb and use some of the other treatments I discuss including calcium-d-glucarate and progesterone capsules.

      And please everyone, chime in with your experience. Did turmeric help or worsen your bleeding?

  22. Thanks Lara, I could relate to so much of this as have PCOS and low iron and heavy periods. I didn’t know that dairy prevented the body from absorbing iron – you learn something new every day!

    I am a Creative Life Coach with a poetry blog and today’s here is today’s in case you have time to look?

    https://peacockpoetryblog.wordpress.com/2019/04/09/vexed-text/

    I am also on Instagram as #coachingcreatively, let’s follow each other if you use this medium? You can also find me on Facebook under Sam Allen wearing a bright red and orange hat!

    I love connecting with fellow creatives as you can see!

    Sunny greetings from Switzerland!

    Sam 🙂

  23. Hi Dr. Lara,

    I have both of your books and love them! They saved me from going on the pill at 23 years old (my doctor suggested it) because I was experiencing unexplained irregular periods.

    It turns out that my irregular periods were due to my vegan/vegetarian diet. The diet caused me to have a zinc deficiency. After supplementing zinc and changing my diet I got my period back! I now have about 8 periods a year compared to my previous 3-4 when I was at age 15-22. Thanks Lara. You’ve changed my life.

    One thing I’d love to ask you about heavy periods is clots. I notice clots that are bigger than the size of a quarter during the first 2 days of my period. It happens pretty often. I spoke to my doctor about it and I was told that the clots are due to anti-coagulants not thinning my blood quickly enough because of the heavy bleeding and because I occasionally miss a period or two I’m also losing old coagulated blood from the missed period. My doctor says not to worry unless I notice severe period pain. Fortunately, I don’t. Is there anything else I need to investigate, Lara? I love my doctor, but I’d also love a second opinion.

    Thanks,
    Sara

    • By the way, Dr. Lara, have you heard of cycle syncing?

      I’ve suggested your books to others because it is just THAT awesome.

  24. What dosage would you recommend for adenomyosis? Are there any other helpful supplements? I saw a gynaecologist who told me he wasn’t too worried about mine, it would diminish with menopause (I’m 52) and wouldn’t recommend surgery.

  25. Hi Lara – ive had my laparoscopy. You were right – it was adenomyosis – and endometriosis (severe).
    Thankyou so much for helping me dig deeper to find out what was going on. I wouldn’t have asked the questions if it wasn’t for your reply here and reading your book. I didn’t get the Mirena or ablation. I’m booked with a naturopath soon and then back to see my Gyn so I’m hopeful I can manage these diseases now with natural progresterone and diet. I know the adenomyosis is still inside me though as that couldn’t be cut out, but I’m hopeful I won’t need a hysterectomy too soon. Thanks again!

    • thanks for letting me know! I’m so glad you were able to figure out what is going on.
      And just to say again that some of my patients in Australia have been prescribed Prometrium (progesterone) for adenomyosis. The case just needs to be made that is safe and worth trying. And that it has far fewer side effects that progestin drugs.

  26. Lara thank you for your recent post on progesterone! My period started at 16 and by 19 I was on the pill, for almost 10 years, when i came off the pill I experienced no period (amenorrhea ) for 6 years post going off the pill. I was told that I had PCOS, however they doctors did not know why. I am 5’6, 115lbs. no dieting , lots of exercise and fairly low carb diet the past 6 years. I went on to have twins via IVF at 35, and then got pregnant naturally at 38 with another baby(best surprise ever) My period started about 6 months after I stopped nursing the twins and this was a surprise I had not had a natural cycle in almost 8 years! It was long cycle and often 60 to 70 days. After my second pregnancy my period again returned and was a long cycle. However after doing a gut health cleanse using ADP, my period regulated to exactly 30 days with scary predicability. However recently I am getting break-thru bleeding about 2 weeks after my period ends. I had an ultrasound that indicated my ovaries are PCOS. My period is also very heavy for the few first days. I have continued taking the ADP and identify with low progesterone on your post. I wanted to try taking Vitex, will increase my progesterone , you note only taking this for a few months and i wonder how to maintain my progesterone level after this? I try to avoid any medications and eat and live as cleanly as possible avoid chemical and toxic environments. thanks you

  27. Hello Lara! Thanks for posting such an interesting articles, I followed you since one year or two <3
    I've heavy periods (between 80-110ml). I went to see my doctor, he did a pelvic exam and, fortunately, everything was OK.
    For stopping heavy periods he want to prescribe me the pill. I said no, but he was pretty insistent. I told him that I've heard that progesterone treatments are a good result in this cases, and finally (after a long and annoying discussion about it) he prescibed me Progevera (medroxyprogesterone). My mother had breast cancer, so I'm not sure it's a good idea to try medroxyprogesterone. And I think it would be very difficault to achieve a natural progesterone prescription.
    What do you reccommend me to do?

    Thanks a lot!

  28. Just read the first two chapters if your book. I’ve been on high pill dose since 16. Regular periods heavy, anemia and acne.
    No problem conceiving three children first cycle off pill, but have returned to pill after children for the last 7 yrs now…… again for acne, itchy scalp, etc
    I will keep reading your book, I feel this is going to take years to get on track as probably my hormone paths were never established.
    Any thoughts??
    N

  29. Hi Lara,

    I wanted to thank you for your book and information on your site. I have suffered with endometriosis and adenomyosis for years. I’ve had my symptoms supressed for 3 years now and am having discomfornt regularly from my iud (I also take an oral progestin). I’m having the IUD removed and going to ask about prometrium- along with the other supplements you have laid out for pain, endometriosis and heavy periods.

    My last ultrasound did show that my uterus looks normal (has been very misshapen in the past) and I no loner am growing ovarian cysts. In your experience- since my endometriosis/adenomyosis has been successfully supressed- is going straight to a maintence dosing of prometrium (300mg nightly) a good starting point? I’m very nervous to experince pain and heavy bleeding agian. I’m sure my doctor will monitor things regularly through ultrasound.

    Thanks for all of your infomation!

  30. Lara, thank you for this information. I have been struggling with heavy periods (flooding) my menstrual life (so 26 years now) and I’m at the point where I’m considering a hysterectomy ☹️ I have a gyno appointment in a week to discuss all options.

    I do have Von Willebrand, doctors I’ve seen in the past (haematologist, ER dr, GP) have just told me to go on the pill or get the mirena to which I declined, I have tried it in the past. I also have liver issues, anxiety and chronic low iron where I need infusions. I’m already gluten and dairy free – low sugar, I eat well and exercise regularly. My stress levels are alright but I feel like my 12 day + period is controlling my life more and more. I have 3 beautiful kids, no more for us (tubes tied already).

    I will speak to another haemotologist about bleeding medication to try (factor) and will look at Calcium d-glucarate, but is there anything else I should put on my list to ask the gyno? I had ultrasounds a couple of years ago to check for Endo, nothing further was done. I might ask my GP for thyroid bloods again.

    Sigh…

  31. Hi Lara

    Found this amazing blog last week and finished your book on weekend – it helped me immensely! Thank you! I’m 47 and have been experiencing shorter cycles, poor sleep, heavy periods, painful breasts, mood swings / anxiety and headaches for around 12 months. I am just not feeling myself.

    I am now avoiding dairy, wheat, sugar and alcohol. Can you please help me prioritise the below list of supplements? (I’ve been taking magnesium for years and Iron since a recent blood test revealed I was extremely deficient. Also had my Thyroid tested and it was normal).

    Zinc
    B6
    Vitex
    Selenium
    Prometrium
    Taurene
    Calcium D’Glucorate
    Iodine
    Probiotic

    Bit of history:

    Age 14 – Periods started and were erratic – 6, 9 and 12 months apart.

    At 19 – had first ovarian cyst and blood tests revealed hormone levels were very out of balance. Laparoscopy showed thickened polycystic ovaries. Had severe acne and was diagnosed with PCOS. Slightly overweight for small frame, carrying predominantly around my middle.

    Early 20’s – Eating better and exercising – dropped weight to 53 kilos. Cycle became more regular and I felt so much healthier however continued to struggle on and off with awful PMS and painful breasts.

    Age 24 – Surgery to remove a 7cm dermoid cyst. Gyn put me on ‘Diane’ pill immediately after surgery for my skin and to give my ‘ovaries a break’. On the pill for 2 year, then surprisingly had no trouble falling pregnant with my two boys -born when I was age 28 and 30.

    Early 30’s – GP suggested my intermittent digestive issues were IBS which I have suffered with on and off since. Saw a Dietician about 5 years ago low and knowledge of FODMAPs has helped.

    30’s and early 40’s – maintained relatively good diet and exercise – as there is family history of type 2 diabetes which I am wary of. Other than the PMS my periods have been what I would consider to be relatively normal. Skin clear and ovaries appeared normal under ultrasound. Used Vitex with varying degrees of success over the years for the PMS.

    Perimenopause is not fun! I would so much appreciate if you could comment on which supplements may be of greater priority and if I am heading in the right direction?

    Many thanks
    Ginger

  32. Hi Lara, have as an opinion towards all the info that’s popping up about eating and exercising in specific ways based on where you are in your cycle in order to help optimize hormones. In some cases the eating advice seems to have fairly specific foods for each phase of your cycle (and thus requires buying more out of season/non local produce), but the exercise advice seems more reasonable – like doing the harder workouts earlier in your cycle. Is there much truth to any parts of that, or is it mostly just overcomplicating things? I do get heavy periods, but also asking in a general sense. Thanks 🙂

  33. What can be the cause of the increased level of progesterone? I have level 19 (1.2-15) 7 days after ovulation, estrogen 152 (21-312). I have water retention, my calves swell, light dizziness, fatigue, constipation. I’m 43 years old. I thought it was estrogen dominance. Can you reduce your progesterone diet?

    • There should never be a need to reduce progesterone. Was that a blood test? That reference range doesn’t look right.

  34. I finally convince myself soy based products are feeding my heavy bleeding because of its phytoestrogens…..which bleeding was 100% worse AFTER eating anything with soy. Now I find cows milk can be a culprit more so. I’ve been bleeding non-stop(24/7 365) for two and a half years now with no signs of stopping and your telling me cows milk may cause it not to stop?

  35. Good morning, I love your blog and follow you on social media. Thank you for the very valuable information. I have endometriosis and have had two surgeries and have also taken Lupron in the past. I am trying so hard not to have another surgery or a hysterectomy! I am 45 and was never able to get pregnant (and no longer trying due to age). I am not on any hormones. I have a lot of IBS-type pain (which I now know is endo related), breast pain, heavy and long, and very painful periods. I have started taking NAC recently and have just eliminated dairy. I am interested in trying Calcium d-gulcarate and turmeric and berberine. Anyone have advice on dosages/frequency? I have read that you should not take berberine for longer than 3 months. I have also read that turmeric is best in a concentrated capsule or tablet and dosage can be increased during period. Also, any advice on best brands? I will likely order from Amazon.

    On another note and just curious, a few years ago, I tried DIM for a couple of weeks based on prior research . I found that my symptoms increased dramatically and stopped taking it. Anyone else tried DIM for endo?

    Thank you, Cherry

  36. Dr. Briden
    Thanks for the fantastic blog! I am 51 and definitely experiencing perimenopausal symptoms. My periods are starting to become irregular, sometimes two a month. Currently my period has been going on for a month straight, which has never happened before. I have a large fibroid and a cyst on my ovary which causes significant pain at times.
    I saw a naturopath recently who would like to prescribe compounded progesterone. Is this the same as biodentical? Would this help ease some of the symptoms?
    Thanks

  37. Hi, I am currently struggling with heavy periods. I’ve had testing done and my thyroid levels are always normal. An ultrasound over 3 yrs ago revealed 2 small fibroids, but they haven’t changed in size to date. Two independent tests shows very high progesterone and low estrogen for women my age (40-45). I track my BBT temps daily and ovulate consistently monthly. I’ve been prescribed natural progesterone, but unsure if I should take this as I’m already excessively sleepy by the progesterone my body makes naturally monthly after ovulation. Lastly, my uterus is retroverted, but I don’t think this causes heavy cycles. I’m a vegan (3 years), borderline anemic, but take iron, magnesium and turmeric. After 2 years, still no change. Could there be any other reasons for heavy cycles that I’m missing? Please comment on this mystery.

  38. Hi Lara,

    Firstly I just want to say thank you for such an informative book that is also very easy to read, I honestly think every woman would benefit from reading it!

    My period problem is one not covered too much in your book but it has still been very insightful! I would love to hear your opinion/advice on uterine/endometrial polyps? I had a transvaginal ultrasound after a 12 day cycle which found a uterine polyp about 1cm in size. Since then I have had 5 cycles that have been 30 days with no spotting or any issues. My Gynaecologist was trying to push me to get a hysteroscopy and polypectomy, as well as inserting the mirena at the same time to avoid anymore polyps forming (because the progestin would keep the uterine lining thin). She told me the risk of the polyp being cancerous in a woman my age (25) was extremely unlikely but they do like to remove and test it just in case. I asked if it could go away on its own, to which she replied it was highly unlikely. I had done some research, so I asked if I could watch and wait as I have actually read that “spontaneous regression” can happen 25% of the time in women of reproductive age and as I wasn’t currently having any symptoms. After reading your book I also asked if prometrium would be a good alternative to the mirena whist still having the same effect of keeping the uterine lining thin just without the other risks, to which she agreed would have the same effect, but was also quite dismissive as “it’s more expensive than the mirena and isn’t a form of contraception, so you’re better off with the mirena”. If it comes to it I am willing to have the hysteroscopy and polypectomy, but if I’m not experiencing any symptoms (spotting) at the moment, is it really necessary? Will a polyp impact my chances of getting/staying pregnant? Could the scarring from removing the polyp impact my chances of getting/staying pregnant? Is there anything you recommend for trying to naturally remove/dissolve the polyp? Would the prometrium be beneficial? I’m thinking of taking an iodine and cruciferous vegetable supplement to help detox Estrogen (as well as avoiding as many xenoestrogens as possible) and thinking of taking vitex to get some extra progesterone. I’m not sure if I’m on the right track or if I’d be messing with my hormones and making things worse as my hormone levels seemed to be within the normal levels when they were checked, so any input at all would be extremely appreciated 🙂

  39. I have been having heavy periods with flooding and excessive clotting. I also have endometriosis. I asked my doctor for cyclical progesterone therapy and she prescribed 100 mg of Progesterone to be taken on cycle days 1-10. I am confused as to how this is going to be beneficial? Do you have any suggestions on how to broach the subject with her?

    • Hi Lara, I am currently reading your book, and I appreciate your work.
      Two questions:
      1. Turmeric for heavy periods: I have read in your book and other places that turmeric helps, but other sites say it makes bleeding worse. What are your thoughts on this?
      2. We have not given the natural methods a full try yet for my 12-year-old’s bleeding, but is there a point when you would consider using other methods? She has not had her period for long, but in February she bled heavily for two full weeks, had one week off, then started again and is still going nine days later. Her thyroid and hemoglobin are okay, and she is negative for Von Willebrand. She is also not in pain, but the constant bleeding is taking a toll on her mental well-being. She already suffers from anxiety. Thank you!

    • Hi Lara, I am currently reading your book, and I appreciate your work.
      Two questions:
      1. Turmeric for heavy periods: I have read in your book and other places that turmeric helps, but other sites say it makes bleeding worse. What are your thoughts on this?
      2. We have not given the natural methods a full try yet for my 12-year-old’s bleeding, but is there a point when you would consider using other methods? She has not had her period for long, but in February she bled heavily for two full weeks, had one week off, then started again and is still going nine days later. Her thyroid and hemoglobin are okay, and she is negative for Von Willebrand. She is also not in pain, but the constant bleeding is taking a toll on her mental well-being. She already suffers from anxiety. Thank you!

  40. supplementing with IRON is DANGEROUS,specially the cheap crap iron …. it oxidizes in the body and cause inflammation … low iron could be from copper disregulation !!!!

  41. Hi,
    Thank’s for a great post. Is it possible to get access to the research behind this article? I would be interested to read more about it.
    Love,
    Sanna

  42. Hi Lara,

    Have you found much difference in using bio-identical hormone progesterone in lozenge form or a capsule form like prometirum? Do they both get metabolized to ALLO?
    Can’t find any info out there about this? What is your preference?

    Also…..any UK women had luck finding Doctor to precribed bio-identical hormones on NHS. I can only find it via private GP.

    Thanks

  43. Hi Lara
    I’m always recommending you to family and friends. I just have a question please regarding taking progesterone. I’m 36 with 3 kids. My periods are getting heavier to the point I’ve been anaemic in the last year. My latest period is just horrible- insomnia, severe cramps all night, heavy flow, very sore breasts from 10 days before period. I’ve taken tranexamic acid this morning to manage the flow as it’s flooding. My thyroid is managed with thyroxine.
    Would progesterone help from next cycle though? As I have regular periods (30 days) so wouldn’t that mean I have enough progesterone? If it’s not thyroid, or perimenopause and not endometriosis what else could it be?
    I try to stick to mostly dairy free.
    Just so confused whether I need progesterone? I can’t continue like this.
    Thankyou Lara

    • did your doctor mention adenomyosis?
      If that’s what’s going on, then yes, progesterone capsules (Prometrium) can be very helpful. Even if you have normal levels of progesterone.

      • Thanks so much for your reply. I had a pelvic scan about 18mths ago and it said some pelvic congestion but GP and Gyn said as I have no back pain/symptoms no treatment. Thought PC due to 3 c/s big babies (over 10lb) My Gyn wanted me to get Mirena and I’m now thinking that’s my only choice/ even though I don’t want it. Would another type of scan be helpful? Wish I could make an appointment with you but on the other side of Australia! Thanks Lara

          • Thanks Lara. I have that page open in my browser! I will take it in to discuss more about starting progesterone and discuss the other diagnosis option. Hopefully before my next period! Thanks ava

          • I have had the same issues as Ava, and got the Mirena for three years. However, It made my legs swell so they took it out today. I now have golf ball size a cyst on my left ovary, never had a cyst before, read that Mirena causes cyst. Asked doctor about bio identical progesterone. She said synthetic and bio identical are the same, and basically dismissed my idea. Because she said I can not use progesterone long term. But I’m going to try your natural methods and Dr. Prior’s recommendation.

          • Hi again Lara just thought I’d add an update here thanks to your reply in January I did further dr visits. I had further blood tests and an ultrasound and I saw a Gyn. She thinks there is likely endo in some parts of my pelvis based on my symptoms and bloods and some scar tissue showed on the scans. I’m booked in for a Laparoscopy soon to confirm the endo.
            For the heavy bleeding she recommended pill, Mirena, ablation or hysterectomy.
            I’m leaning toward ablation, I know it may mean I am at increase risk of a hysterectomy before menopause though.

            I asked about natural progesterone. She said it is definitely something she thinks will become more used in Australia but she isn’t able to recommend it yet due to lack of research/evidence, which may change in future. So progesterone is out sadly.

            I can’t work out what to choose for managing the heavy bleeding – mirena or ablation? I don’t need contraception. I’ve tried natural treatments and tranexamic acid but my iron is still going to under 20.

            Which is the lesser evil out of Mirena or ablation in your opinion?

  44. Hi, I have thyroid disease had my thyroid surgically removed and I’m on suppressive doses of T3 for thyroid cancer (which means I have high ish SHBG). I also have major iron issues which I have to work very hard to stay on top of. I know I have high estrogen vs prog, however, attempts to increase prog cause whopping high cortisol, which I think is what’s called a pregnenolone steal. I am now having incredibly heavy periods, which means I’m forever stuffing in iron all month only to lose it again. I’ve been stable on NDT 4.5 grains for four years, but can tolerate 5, so might nudge up half a grain. I’ve also just had two uterine polyps and thickening of the endometrium diagnosed by two internal ultrasounds (one in Greece, v nice doctor, who said easy to just take them out, and one in the UK with a young whippersnapper of a deeply patronising male doctor who said it’s not the cause of my issues and let’s put me on a merena coil (no thanks, no more synthetic hormones for me)). I’m 46 but lovely Greek doc says I’m still fertile, and from body signs I do think I’m still ovulating, or at least sometimes. My major issue is just unbelievably high histamine which is utterly miserable, around mid point in cycle, and then in the two days before my period and two or three days after it starts, to the point where I’m climbing out of my skin with agitation, anti histamines do help, but I’m befogged, cranky, tired, buzzy and just miserable. I’m just about to buy your book, and also looking at a book called ‘grow your own HRT’ as wondering if I could increase prog via diet. Do you have any pointers where I could or should start? Would higher dose iodine help? I’ve worked so hard to get my health back, only to go around and around this cycle every month! Thanks very much! x
    PS my German Endo surgeon (brilliant, brilliant man) said that TSH needs to be 1 or below to be healthy, imho a TSH of 3 is hypothyroid, indeed would be diagnositc for hypo in both Greece and Germany and many people I know through thyroid forums would be having quite severe symptoms at that level. My TSH has to be kept at less than 0.01 due to cancer.

  45. Hi Dr. Lara,

    I’m 40 years old and have struggle with heavy periods all my life, however, at age 30 they became heavier to the point I once required blood transfusion. I never used birth control except before getting pregnant so my blood levels will get normal, I used it after my last pregnancy, but they weren’t working anymore, I was still anemic. I saw several doctors and I don’t have any issues apparently, but all of them told me that my only option was a hysterectomy, but I found a doctor that gave me to option to use Mirena. Initially it was not working really well, the doctor said that even though I had the Mirena inserted my uterus lining was very thick. So she put me a new one and closer to my uterus wall and finally it did work. I have had it for three years and I don’t bleed anymore. However, some days I don’t feel myself, I feel my legs swollen and sometimes it seems I retain liquids, some days I feel heavy and other days I feel normal. I want to try natural options, so I’ve an appt next week for it to be removed, however, I fear a Mirena crash. I want to check if I’m actually ovulating or not, so how long after the Mirena is removed, should I know if I’m ovulating or not. I’m going to start using the natural remedies you mentioned, use ibuprofen to manage the bleeding and eventually progesterone (I’m going to mention it to the doctor and see if she gives me a prescription). Thanks!

  46. Just stumbled on this blog and LOVE it! Do you have an OTC recommendation for progesterone cream for those of use without severe symptoms but still want to balance our hormones out?
    Thank you!

  47. Hi, Lara! I have PCOS and fibrocystic breast’s. Is there anything that can reduce the fibrocysts or make them go away? Much appreciated, thank you so much!

  48. Dr.Briden, I had a heavy period since I was a teen . Somewhere in my thirties it got so heavy that stepping out to work became a challenge . At that point my gynic put me on meftal500 which reduced it to 3 days . I gave up that after 6 months and just dealt it my situation somehow . When I turned 45 my periods which used to be so regular , though heavy, stopped . Became irregular . I would get them once in 3 months or once in 6 months . And when it did turn up itwould be so heavy that it really drained me of all energy . The gynic suggested mirena which I did not want to use and so began taking agnus castus after reading your blog .It has helped me greatly . The periods became more controlled .I have no hot flushes, night sweats or aching breasts! I have now been on agnus castus for 3 months and have no periods only a slight brownish discharge at times. Is that alright? I now stopped agnuscastus for a month and my period is back with a bang. How do I check if its really helping me on the endometriosis ? And do I get back on it once the period stops . I followed your 25days on vitex and 5 days off . Initially nothing happened in the 5 days . I figured the 25 days worked on the endo and thats why I had no period. But after 3 months , when I quit it for a month the period is back in full flow . I dont know how long it will last this time ! So I need to know if I can continue to take vitex after this and is it alright if there is a brownish discharge .

  49. Thank you for your wonderful book and for the great work that you do. I have been charting my cycles since I was 22 (never been on hormonal birth control, just FAM) but only recently realized (after 4 kids and a combined 105+ months of breastfeeding) that I have PCOS. My question is about low basal body temperature though. I always ovulate (usually quite late though), and I have a distinct temperature shift, but my BBTs are quite low—even post ovulatory temps are only in the 97.5F range. I have read that thyroid issues can cause this, but my TSH is quite low, just .9. Do you have any thoughts on what low BBTs mean and if they need to be addressed? (I will be addressing my PCOS symptoms with the treatments you recommend in your book.) Thanks!

  50. Dear Lara!

    First of all let me thank you for your great book, it’s impressed me! It’s a pity I didn’t know all that necessary for women wise things twenty years ago.

    I live in Moscow, Russia. I am 46 years old. I am a Iyengar yoga teacher. For last three years I tend to get functional ovarian cysts from time to time, which delay my menstruations dramatically, I have adenomyosis, a small fybroid (or even two ones), an issue with one breast. Three months ago I underwent a surgery (uterus curettage) due to bleeding after two and a half month delay. The gistology analysis showed that I have a simple (no atypical cells) glandular endometrial hyperplasia in addition to all my troubles. I understand, that the surgery had not solve my problem. All the doctors prescribe hormones (Mirena), but I try to avoide hormones.

    Having read your book I’ve started tracking my mens. For two cycles menstruations followed an ovulation. But last time the was no ovulation, and as a result no menstruation:(. The delay is two weeks already.

    Thyroid gormones are Ok. I’ve changad my diet (no diary, no gluten and sugar), take DIM and Magnesium).

    Unfortunately, there is no information on hyperplasia in the book. Is it a rare case? Would your be so kind to give me some advice on my issues? Which tests would be helpful and and what nutrients are good in my situation?

    Sincerely yours,

    Maria

  51. Dr. Lara, 2-3 days after my period I experience urinary incontinence, which lasts for a week or more.
    Is this hormone related?
    P.s i do have pcos

  52. Do you know anything about oral progesterone (prometrium) bioavailability? I was reading Dr. Lee’s book (what your doctor doesn’t tell you about premeneupouse book and I think it said oral progerestorene is bioavailable only 10 percent. Do you have any idea if thats correct? Thank you!

  53. Personally, much of the above has had the opposite effect on me! Turmeric makes me bleed every single time. Natural progesterone cream also made me bleed every time, made me gain weight, and made my hair fall out. My TSH was 3.4, my doctor put me on synthroid 0.25 and I lost 50% of my hair (no hair loss prior) and bled for 6 months straight! I don’t have von Willebrands, my estrogen to progesterone ratio is perfect – on paper – and though I am now in the early stages of perimenopause, I’ve been having heavy cycles my entire life, and I don’t have any of the other causes as the reason, since I’ve had every test, every scan, even exploratory surgery. I’ve been to naturopaths, medical doctors, the best hospitals in the country, even tried TCM (Chinese medicine) and all lead to one avenue: bleeding, bleeding, and some more of that. It’s been frustrating and I’ve even tried self-treating, to no avail. And I’ve ovulated every month throughout this nightmare, except missed one ovulation in the past year. And I don’t have PCOS, either. So..what gives? At this rate, I can’t wait for menopause, but who’s to say that won’t have its own version of issues?

    If anyone has any other ideas, please throw them at me.

    • Oh dear! Yes, turmeric can have the opposite effect in some people. But progesterone and thyroid should have been helpful. And one thing to keep in mind when assessing reactions to treatment is that hair loss always has a 2-3 month lag-time after the initiating factor. Did your hair loss start 3 months after taking progesterone?

      Finally, have you tried stopping cow’s dairy? It sounds simple and boring, I know, but it can give dramatic results.

    • Adenomyosis? It often does not show up on imaging, and typically pathology after a hysterectomy is the only way to definitively diagnose it (and sometimes not even then, depending on what part of the uterus is biopsied). Since pathology after a hyst is the only definitive way to diagnose adenomyosis, it often is not visualized during exploratory surgery either. Surgeons can suspect it due to an enlarged and/or boggy uterine appearance, but again, those characteristics aren’t always present.

      In my personal experience, and from the experiences of thousands of different women in my different adenomyosis support groups, at a certain point, most every treatment fails, and pain and heavy bleeding persist until a hysterectomy. Even though menopause does not offer relief for many women, it does for some. So many women who are close to menopause will ride out the pain and bleeding to see if they get better after menopause.

      If your doctor suspects adenomyosis, hormonal birth control is their frontline treatment (which comes with it’s own set of side effects). Personally, I found Dr Briden’s treatment protocol to be on par with hormonal birth control in terms of managing my symptoms. Some doctors will also recommend uterine ablation to control the bleeding. My surgeon told me that although ablation corrects bleeding, it often increases pain. This is due to the fact that the tool they use to ablate the uterine lining doesn’t reach to the top of the uterus. As a result, the bottom is scarred shut, but the top of the uterus still sheds every month. That trapped lining then causes pain, inflammation, and swelling. Obviously, a hysterectomy is a huge permanent decision with a lot of associated risks.

  54. Hi Lara,
    would having only one ovary be a cause of low progesterone? Would it also prevent consistent ovulation? I am 32 and I had my right ovary removed 2 years ago. since, I have suffered from heavy periods, mid cycle spotting and short cycle. What would be your suggestions?

    Thanks!

  55. Hi, would this be the same advice for someone who has bled continuously for two years? I don’t have a whole lot of information because it’s a new friend who just barely touched on it.

    • Bleeding continuously can mean that ovulation is not happening. So, the first step is to figure out why no ovulation. Often, it’s PCOS but it can be due to other things.

  56. Thank you for the information about iodine and breast pain. Mastalgia and insomnia have greatly improved since I increased from 100 mg of prometrium to 300 mg. Drinking dandelion tea and putting cabbage leaves in my bra as well as increasing vitamin C and fiber from greens has also helped.

  57. Dr. Briden, I look forward to your next post about prolactin! Can I ask here though, how do I get my periods back after 18 months of breastfeeding without stopping breastfeeding? (I’ve not had a single period.) I don’t want to stop breastfeeding but I want my period back so we can try to get pregnant again. Any suggestions? I’m almost 39 so we don’t want to wait any longer. I also want to avoid completely weaning if possible!

  58. I am taking Utrogestan which has thankfully stopped 6 weeks of anovulatory dysfunctional bleeding caused by a cyst on each ovary that seems to have disrupted ovulation. I have been prescribed 100mg at night for 21 days then a break for 7 days. I am 6 nights into my second 21 day cycle. My prescription differs from your (and Prof Jerilynn Prior’s) recommendation. Both prescriptions are listed on the data sheet that comes in the Utrogestan box. Do you see any value in me discussing the alternative prescription with my doctor? I am not sure what to expect as far as my periods go now, I’m just pleased to have stopped the exhausting bleeding.

    I have your book and once I had the diagnosis following an ultrasound and uterine biopsy and the doctor mentioned prescibing progesterone, I requested the micronised progesterone due to my studious reading of your book. My doctor was very supportive, which was great. Apart from the bleeding finally stopping, the other great thing I have noticed since taking it is that my sleep quality has dramatically improved.

    I’m also curious about micronised progesterone as a capsule vs progesterone cream which a friend swears by. I am sure I read something about this on your website but I’ve searched for it a few times and can’t find it, so a refresher would be welcome.

    I have recommended both your book and website to many friends all going through similar experiences. Many thanks to you ☺

    • There are different ways to dose progesterone. The real question is if you think you can re-establish regular ovulation — which depends on how old you are. If you can get ovulation going again, then your doctor might be willing for you to take it only in the luteal phase.

      And as for capsule vs cream, the capsule works better to control bleeding and for sleep.

  59. Hello Dr, Briden

    Hi my name is Latoya a 31 year old women who is currently suffering from heavy periods. I went to my doctor and she said I have small cyst on both of my ovaries. I had bad acne, night sweats, hirtutism, thin hair brittle nails, all the define signs of something is going wrong inside of my body. My doctor stated that my hormones are out of balance. What lead me to seeing her, was because I was spotting for about 4 months. my doctor wanted me to get on birth control. Therefore, I took bf for About a month, and my period came while taking them and it was super heavy. These are my lab results:

    TSH W/RFX TO FREE T4 2.9
    Prolactin serum 19.7
    FSH 6.0
    Progesterone 0.51
    LH 22.3
    E1 25.4
    E2 42.7
    E Total 68.1

    Do you think I have low. Estrogen, progesterone a thyroid issue etc. if I do is their anything in your book or what you would suggest I read or ask my doctor or conduct certain test. Also if natural progesterone is an option when should I take it ? Especially since my cycle is all over the place? I feel like my case is so weird. Please help and any additional information is helpful. Have a great rest of your day.

  60. I tried tumeric for a while but noticed it made my periods much heavier. Why would this happen when other women say it helped lessen theirs?

  61. Thank you so much for your blog on Heavy Periods.I recently came across your “Period Repair Manual” and I am in the process of reading it.I am reading this book mainly for my 10year old daughter who got her period at of 10(10years one month to be exact, she will be 11 years in Nov). From the 7th month things took a major U-turn for her and she started having very heavy flow.Doctors put her on a hormone pill “SPRINTEC 0.250mg”. I was not totally into the pill but had to start on it as I was told this is the only solution. She takes one pill a day and from the time she started with one pill a day she has not got a break with her bleeding.Doctors say it not abnormal and it is break through bleeding and things will get better slowly as the body is taking its time to heal. I understand from your book and blog that pill is NOT the solution. I know chapter 9 talks about heavy periods but I am yet to reach that chapter in your book. With this blog i see you suggested to stop on diary products and intake of turmeric.Could you please let me know how much turmeric in a day? I am going to try these suggestions from you and also appreciate it of you have any further suggestions for me. Thank you so much.

  62. I would be beyond grateful if you could answer my comment. I’m 22 year old. I checked my hormones several times throughout 2 years and I have extremely low progesterone (0,1 ng/ml – 0,4ng/ml) and a little bit too low estrogen. My ratio varies from 3 to 12. But I am not sure if that even counts as I am not sure if I ovulate. I have clinical depression, took antidepressants. I have dark hair all over my whole body, acne, water retention, receding hairline, cysts, no energy at all, IBS etc. The list could go on… I’ve been to 5 specialists in my country and every one of them told me that I overreact and I am looking for a problem.They say if I would not have period there would be a problem, but as I have period this is just my nature. I took contraception for 5 months and it was hell it made everything worse.
    Maybe I have unusual question but I have small breasts. My mother and grandma had barely A cups before pregnancy as well. After pregnancies in mid 20s (grandma) and late 30s (mom) they breasts stayed E/F cups. They didnt put on weight.
    Do you think that they hormones got balanced during pregnancy? Do you think is it possible that if I balance my hormones naturally my breasts will finally start to grow? Or is it only possible during pregnancy? Or am I daydreaming? I have all of the issues I mentioned since I was 10 years old…
    I know my questions may sound childish but I would be grateful for your answer. I am extremely lost in the situation. I practice yoga, have healthy diet, take natural supplements but have no more money to look for other specialists 🙁

  63. Hi Dr. Briden,
    I also have longer periods – not 2 or 3 weeks, but up to 8 days. Does that also indicate an anovulatory cycle? Thank you.

  64. Hello! This post is very timely for me as I’m currently experiencing a worryingly heavy period (day 3 of post childbirth like heavy bleeding). I’m 37.5 years old with 2 children (5.5 and almost 4 years) who were both born vaginally with no drugs or trauma and I didn’t ever have stitches. We have no plans for more babies and my husband had a vasectomy 3 years ago. I’m feeling weak and faint and have booked to see a GP tomorrow. I’m not experiencing any pain but there have been lots of small to medium clots, especially on day one and two. I last had a Pap smear a few months ago (all clear) and my thyroid tested normal 12 months ago. Thoughts!!? P.s I do consume small amounts of dairy 😉

  65. Hi Lara! I went to the dr for heavy periods very regular but heavy (400ml avarage) he did ulstrasound and found several small fibroids and he thinks that’s what causes bleeding (although I have only one that pushing the uterine wall about 4cm) he thinks histreoctomy is my answer but. I convinced him to try Premetrium first. He suggested I use 100mg at my luteal phase. But just this time I didn’t have a period in September and in October my period was 16 days with 825ml bleeding!!! I finally stoped bleeding and watching for ovulation to start prometrium. Based on professor priors suggestion for such heavy bleeds I should be taking stronger dose of prometrium daily but my dr says that too much and I would stop ovulating. I am just confused about how to even start taking prometrium. Any input appriciated. I am 42… thanks!

    • btw I should add I already knew I had several small fibroids, my other dr told me that during my c section 9 years ago they were small and they are still small, the biggest i have now is 4cm and i only have one pushing the uterine wall that might be causing my bleed but who knows… how will i know if the bleeding is from a)Fibroids b:) estrogen dominance c:) perimonopose/ not ovulating I dont know… I have had very heavy periods the last 3 years before that i thought i had normal periods but i probably was on a heaveier side forever as i have always been anemic…… Also I used to have nodule (and i was hipertyroid) but since the nodule removed 16 years ago I never had a tyroid issue that i am aware of i check my tsh/t4/t3 yearly but i never checked antibodies.

  66. Hi Dr. Briden,
    I have had extremely heavy and painful periods for years – so heavy, that I’ve used Mirena and it had no effect at all…I have anemia from bloss loss, and I need tons of ibuprofen to control pain each month. I have also had hypothyroidism for years. About a year ago my dr said she thinks I have adenomyosis but can’t confirm 100% without a MRI – she based it on an ultrasound and my symptoms. I am on armour thyroid, and thanks to finding you online, I convinced my dr to add progesterone 200mg during luteal phase too. I also take 1000 mg Vit D, 320mg of magnesium bisglycinate, and 50mg iron bisglycinate daily. I am 41 and probably in perimenopause and just trying to make it to menopause without major surgery. I have seen some improvement since adding magnesium and progesterone, though not a lot, but my PMS has actually gotten worse. Also, I am pretty sure I ovulate because I have ovulation pain consistently around day 12 of about a 26-27 day cycle. Do you have any thoughts about what I should do next? Thanks so much for your help.

    • Mirena had no effect?! Wow, that is a tough situation. Did your doctor screen you for a coagulation disorder? Check out this article: Bleeding Disorders Overlooked in Women with Heavy Periods.

      Also, if you haven’t already, you’ll probably want to stop all cow’s dairy and check out the adenomyosis section in my book where I discuss turmeric and calcium-d-glucarate.

      For what it’s worth, I just had a patient say her adenomyosis disappeared with dairy-free diet plus prometrium! (her specialist said her uterus looked totally different than before.) It’s rare for it to improve so much, but still, it’s an encouraging result.

  67. Hi Lara,

    Would you still recommend taking thyroid hormone in the case where TSH appears normal but thyroid antibodies are present?

    Thank you!

  68. All my life I’ve had periods on the heavier side of normal (apart from the 8ish years I was on the pill) but the last year they have become really heavy and really painful. I went to see my GP and they were pretty dismissive and wouldn’t have done anything if I hadn’t really pushed it. They said they’d normally recommend going on the pill but because I’m looking to get pregnant that’s not an option. Eventually they sent me for a scan which they thought showed polyps so I had a hysteroscopy which showed no polpys but the biopsy came back with simple hyperplasia. The gynaecologist doesn’t want to do anything further other than monitor it again in 6 months and ‘if it persists to consider the Mirena coil’. I’ve read that hyperplasia is often caused by low progesterone? I’m in the UK and doctors seem to use ‘progesterone’ when they actually talking about progestin, to the point where I’m not even sure you can actually get progesterone prescribed. My periods are unbearable but I feel like I’m being treated like an annoying little woman making a fuss over nothing. I cut out dairy a year ago and take zinc and a b complex supplement as well as a magnesium spray. Will try turmeric!

    • yes, endometrial hyperplasia is caused by “unopposed” estrogen or low progesterone, which suggests you might not be ovulating. Did your doctor test progesterone? Read the Right Way to Test Progesterone.

      You want to find a way to ovulate AND you can also take progesterone. Micronised or natural progesterone is called Utrogestan capsules in the UK as is available by prescription. Consider printing off Professor Jerilynn Prior’s document For Healthcare Providers: Managing Menorrhagia Without Surgery and then taking it into a consult with your doctor. The document contains the justification for using progesterone capsules for heavy periods and also the recommended dosing.

  69. I’m at the “desperate to give anything a go” stage!

    I’m 42, with irregular periods that are so heavily I can hear the Jaws theme song play for the first 3-4 days of my period. I lose about 2 cups of blood each period (I know cause I use a menstrual cup), and am in the bathroom every 30-40 minutes, even overnight. For these days, I can barely leave the house or only go short distances and there has to be a bathroom in the vicinity.

    I went off the pill in October 2016 after taking it for 20-something years. Went back on it again briefly Nov 2017 – Jan 2018 and have been off it since (went back on it due to a holiday that was for remote Tassie without regular toilet access).

    Daily throughout my cycle (which this year has varied from 39 days to 113(!!)) I take vit B12 x 1, B6 x 1, iron x1, iodine x 2, zinc x 1, turmeric x 1 and magnesium x 2. During my period I increase the iron and turmeric by 1 tablet each per day and I take over the counter anti-inflammatories. I don’t drink milk, but have the occasional bit of cheese or yoghurt. I eat a largely vegetarian diet and have meat once or twice a month (usually chicken or fish), and have eliminated a lot of processed foods and have minimal sugar.

    The last time I saw a Dr and gyne, their suggestions were to go back on the pill or have an IUD fitted, neither of which I particularly want to do.

    Any suggestions??

    • The next big thing to consider is Prometrium (progesterone) capsules. They’re available in Australia but you need a prescription. Consider printing off Professor Jerilynn Prior’s document “For Healthcare Providers: Managing Menorrhagia Without Surgery” and then taking it into a consult with your doctor. The document contains the justification for using progesterone capsules for heavy periods and also the recommended dosing.

      Also, you should make sure your thyroid is ok and consider avoiding all cow’s dairy including yoghurt and cheese and milky coffees.

  70. I use lactoferrin to keep my iron up to avoid the side effects. Is that ok?

    And, why does melatonin cause such heavy periods if it is supposed to lower estrogen?

    Thank you!

    • yes, fine to take lactoferrin.
      I haven’t seen the side effect of heavy periods from melatonin, but it does affect female hormones (different ways in different people)

  71. Hi Lara, I don’t necessarily have heavy periods but they are very long (2-3 weeks) would you recommend similar natural treatments for this? Or do you have another post about this? (Sorry if I’ve missed it!) Thanks

    • Bleeding for that long means you’ve had an anovulatory cycle (a cycle when you did not ovulate). So you need the section in this post where I talk about unopposed estrogen. You want to figure out if you have PCOS. Have you read Period Repair Manual?

      • Hi Lara, thanks for responding. I’ve been to the doctors and had all the scans/ tests they are willing to do in a woman under 40 (I’m 28 and in England) – they checked for PCOS and said everything was normal. They did unhelpfully prescribe me anti-depressants for the fact I’m either bleeding and miserable or having severe PMS or of course suggested I go on the pill… Ergh every time.🙄 I have your book so will look up this section on PCOS/ unopposed estrogen again. Any other tips would be very welcome I feel completely at a loss at the moment.

  72. What would the dosages be for turmeric and calcium d-glucarate? Can one get enough turmeric from diet alone?
    Also, my naturopath will not put me onto progesterone as she says that the body then stops making its own progesterone. What are your thoughts on that?

    • Standard dose for calcium-d-glucarate is 1500 mg.

      I always prescribe turmeric or curcumin as a capsule and the dose depends on the formula. Here is a helpful section about curcumin from Examine.com:

      To supplement curcumin with piperine, take 500 mg of the former with 20 mg of the latter, thrice a day (i.e., 1,500 mg of curcumin and 60 mg of piperine per day).
      To supplement BCM-95®, a patented combination of curcumin and essential oils, take 500 mg twice a day (i.e., 1,000 mg/day).
      To supplement Meriva®, a patented combination of curcumin and soy lecithin, take 200–500 mg twice a day (i.e., 400–1,000 mg/day).

      Finally, no I don’t think progesterone stops the body from making its own. It will only do that if you take high dose (200 mg) during the follicular phase. Then it can stop ovulation and therefore stop progesterone. When taken in the luteal phase, progesterone seems to promote better ovulation in the next cycle. That’s certainly true for PCOS which is why Professor Jerilynn Prior recommends “cyclic progesterone therapy” for PCOS.

  73. I tried every treatment that you recommend for my heavy bleeding and painful periods. Those treatments stopped working after about a year, however, so I decided to pursue laparoscopic surgery for excision of suspected endometriosis and a total hyst and salpingectomy for suspected adenomyosis. Surgey and pathology confirmed both endometriosis and adenomyosis. I am thankful for the extra time your treatment protocol gave me, but my body was telling me that it was time for surgery. For serious diseases like endo and adeno, I think it’s a good thing to remind women that there is nothing wrong with a surgical approach, as it is considered the “gold standard treatment” for those conditions. However, I’m glad that I took the less invasive route first- because it gave me more time to mentally come to terms with my surgery, and it gave me peace of mind that I tried everything that I could.

    • Thanks for sharing your story. And, Yes, you are definitely right that sometimes surgery cannot be avoided. I do say that in my book and other places, but I should probably also make it clear in this post.

      • In your opinion, what is the best surgical option for treating adenomyosis? Ablation or D/C? Or a partial hysterectomy? I am 51 and would like to avoid any surgery and am implementing all the natural methods suggested. Thank-you

I welcome your comment!

Send this to a friend