Natural Treatment of Very Heavy Periods

natural treatment for very heavy periodsSee my updated 2022 blog post and YouTube video: Natural treatment of heavy periods.


Here’s a story about very heavy periods. It’s 7pm on a Friday night when I get a panicked call from my patient Karen. She’s bleeding so heavily that she cannot leave the bathroom. She’d been at work earlier when she soaked through three super tampons in an hour and then ruined her favorite pair of jeans. Her work colleague had to help her into a taxi. Karen is understandably frightened. I sent her to a local medical center for the clotting drug tranexamic acid, which will slow her bleeding.

I know what will happen next. Karen will meet with her gynecologist who will tell her that her only options are the pill, the hormonal IUD, or surgery. Karen had always tried to use natural treatments. She never imagined she would end up in a situation like this.

There is hope. Natural treatment can work to prevent heavy periods and did eventually work for Karen. The key to success is to start natural treatment early—as soon as you notice your periods getting heavier, and before they get too bad.  This is especially true if you are forty or older and your mother or older sisters suffered very heavy periods. You know what’s coming.

How heavy is heavy menstrual bleeding?

A normal bleed is anywhere up to 80 mL (millilitres). One soaked regular pad or tampon holds 5 mL. A super tampon holds 10 mL. So, 80 mL equates to 16 fully soaked regular tampons, or 8 fully soaked super-tampons over all the days of the period.

Very heavy bleeding is much, much more than 80 mL. Some women report that they lose up to 500 mL (2 cups) of blood. Frightening. As we saw in Karen’s case, that means blood-soaked clothing. It can mean serious iron deficiency, and sometimes a trip to the hospital.

Heavy periods can occur at any age, but they are more common in young teenagers and perimenopausal women. For both age groups, heavy bleeding is usually the result of too much estrogen (which thickens the uterine lining), and not enough progesterone (which reduces the uterine lining).

Natural treatments for the heavy periods of teenagers

Heavy periods are a temporary thing for teenagers. They happen because:

  • estrogen receptors are quite sensitive for the first few years of periods
  • cycles are often still anovulatory, so there is no progesterone being made to lighten the period.

As estrogen receptors become less sensitive and girls start to ovulate, periods should lighten.

Here are some simple ways to reduce heavy menstrual flow in teenagers:

  • Conventional anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen (Advil or Nurofen) block prostaglandins and reduce menstrual flow by half. I learned this simple treatment from Canadian endocrinologist Jerilynn Prior. The recommended dose is 200mg every 6 hours during the first day or two of the period. Ibuprofen is not a natural treatment as such, but in my view, it is a very sensible and practical solution. Two days of ibuprofen per month is a better strategy than the pill.
  • Turmeric also works to reduce bleeding. Take it every day throughout the month.
  • Avoid cow’s milk products to reduce inflammation and lighten periods. Dairy-free really works for some girls, but it might take two to three months to see the full benefit. A2 milk (like Jersey, goat, and sheep) is usually ok. Read What dairy does to periods. 
  • Supplement iron. Heavy periods cause iron deficiency and iron deficiency worsen heavy periods. Use a good quality, gentle chelated iron (like iron bisglycinate). The dose is 15-50 mg and is best taken after the evening meal.

Natural treatments for the heavy periods of perimenopause

Perimenopausal heavy periods are more serious than the temporary heavy periods of the teenage years. Without treatment, perimenopausal periods can become heavier and heavier as menopause approaches.

Natural treatments for perimenopausal heavy periods include all of the above treatments:

  • Ibuprofen
  • Turmeric
  • Dairy-free diet
  • Iron

Plus the following:

  • Get a medical diagnosis. Heavy bleeding is usually caused by anovulation, but your doctor needs to rule out issues such as endometriosis, coagulation disorders, uterine polyps, infection, adenomyosis, and fibroids. Fibroids are benign growths in the muscle wall of the uterus. They are common during perimenopause and often occur in women who also report very heavy bleeding. Only rarely are fibroids the actual cause of the bleeding.
  • Identify and treat underlying thyroid disease. Under-active thyroid like Hashimoto’s autoimmune thyroid disease can cause or worsen heavy periods. Please see my post: When Heavy Periods Are a Thyroid Problem.
  • Enhance estrogen detoxification. Estrogen is normally cleared through your liver and bowel. To support this process, avoid as much as possible the alcohol and antibiotics that damage gut bacteria. You can further enhance estrogen detoxification with vitamin B6, and the nutritional supplement calcium-d-glucarate.
  • Eat phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens such as nuts, soy, and flaxseeds make periods lighter. Phytoestrogens compete with stronger endogenous estrogens and therefore reduce estrogen stimulation of the uterine lining.
  • Get enough iodine. As discussed in my iodine post, iodine down-regulates estrogen receptors in the breasts and uterus and reduces the thickness of the uterine lining.
  • Keep insulin low. Women who are overweight or who have insulin resistance are more likely to suffer very heavy periods. That’s because insulin is a growth hormone and thickens the uterine lining. Insulin resistance also causes obesity, which causes high levels of an estrogen called estrone (made by body fat). The best way to improve insulin sensitivity is to quit sugar and supplement with magnesium and berberine. Please see my insulin resistance post.
  • Oral micronized progesterone. The standard medical treatment for heavy periods is a synthetic progestin such as medroxyprogesterone tablet, or levonorgestrel (Mirena) IUD (see below). Micronized progesterone is a viable alternative to synthetic progestins. It thins the uterine lining as well as other progestins but has fewer side effects. It can be used as a topical cream or a capsule such as Prometrium. See Dr Jerilynn Prior’s Doctor’s Guide for Managing Menorrhagia.

Conventional treatment of heavy periods:

Hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus) has been the standard medical treatment for heavy bleeding for many decades. It is still necessary for some women, but I encourage my patients to keep their uterus, if at all possible. Hysterectomy doubles the long-term risk of vaginal prolapse and urinary incontinence. It can also reduce sexual response and ability to orgasm. If hysterectomy improves underlying gynecological symptoms like pain, then it can have the end result of improving sexual function.

Progestin-secreting IUD (Mirena) decreases menstrual flow by 90 percent. Mirena delivers a very small dose of the synthetic progestin levonorgestrel directly to the uterine lining. Some of that synthetic hormone does enter the blood but at one-tenth the dose of most contraceptive Pills.  Mirena can, however, cause acne or depression. For more information about Mirena, please see The pros and cons of the hormonal IUD.

Endometrial ablation is the surgical scraping or destruction of the uterine lining. It is effective, but 22 percent of women require a repeat procedure, and 20 percent experience long-term pelvic pain.

I mention these medical treatments only because they are sometimes required, despite all of your best efforts. To resort to a medical treatment is not a failure. No one can be expected to endure very heavy periods for long. It is still worth trying natural treatment before resorting to a hormonal IUD.

101 thoughts on “Natural Treatment of Very Heavy Periods”

  1. Thanks so much Dr. Briden,
    I am almost 48 and was having non stop heavy bleeding. I had been on progesterone cream but able to get my OBGYN to follow the advice of tDr prior’s article and am now taking 300mg prometrium at bed. It seems to be working. Only having light spotting here and there. My question is what am I supposed to do at the end of the 3months? Switch to cyclical 14 days on 14 days off?? Continue with daily 28 day treatment? Stop altogether??
    So far the only diagnosis I have is an 6cm ovarian cyst and two fibroids. Waiting for results on uterine biopsy and also requested an mri to confirm the cyst is bign but that could take awhile thanks to the covid backlog. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Kindest regards
    Toronto, Ontario

  2. tumeric causes bleeding. it is a blood thinner. i’ve used it plus many other women i know use it and we all get the same effect. heavy bleeding. tumeric is known here for that. so i dont know how u can say it is used to stop bleeding.

  3. Is climen as good as natural progesterone my doctor prescribed it for me for my long periods and i searched about its ingredients it does not contain progestin is it okay if i take this ? Or do I have to take progesterone i dont know if i can convince her to do that.

  4. I have been looking into the relationship between taking turmeric and being anemic. Whereas women with very heavy periods can often be anemic (as is the case with me), it seems like where you are encouraging someone to take turmeric to manage her period, you should also include the possibility that it can inhibit iron absorption. Do you have any additional information on this?

    • I’ve read (somewhere) tumeric, caffeine & dairy all inhibit absorption of iron….probably should take it at a different time of day. Take Vit C w/iron

  5. Were you able to help your daughter? My girl is also 11 and this month had a horrible period, 3 weeks long so far, clots, heavier and heavier, etc. acupuncturist gave her Chinese pills which lowered the bleeding 70-80% so far, but still waiting. Gave her chlorophyll to build up her red blood cells, ibuprophin and turmeric both helped too, but not gone yet. Her heart was beating fast today and she was a little lightheaded, that’s why we gave her the chlorophyll. Please let me know what helped your girl.

    • That’s been discussed in the comment already. Heavier flow can sometimes occur but is not the usual reaction. Most women experience a lightening of flow due to the anti-inflammatory, prostaglandin-reducing effects of curcumin.

  6. Thank you very much for replying back. I am 42, my doctor only found polyp on an emergency visit during heavy prolonged bleeding and strong pain (i have 2 fibroids diagnosed in past years, doctor says not the cause for bleeding, no pcos that i know of).
    I have been tracking my period, regular usually and i have confirmed cervical mucus compatible with ovulation consistently, although can’t confirm if i ovulate just from that, and not this past month. I have been having more blood clots this past year, that being the only change. My pain went away with paracetamol only. This cycle was completely different, and now doctor prescribed progestin pill just until next appointment, to see if polyp gets smaller.
    I was only on the pill for a while in my 20’s and never wish to got back to it, so i am trying to find if there are any ways to naturally approach this without synthetic drugs (i am on this pill for 3 days now upon advise from doctor but wish to quit with a safe alternative). Maybe i will try to discuss micronized progesterone instead the pill. Would they work in the same way?


  7. Hi Lara,
    just got your book, thank you for so much practical information!
    I am trying to find more information on endometrial/uterine polyps, and heavy pain and bleeding coming with it.
    I couldn’t find it mentioned specifically in your book, should natural treatment follow alike any other of the conditions mentioned?
    Thank you very much,

    • Uterine polyps are usually the result of anovulatory cycles or no progesterone. Do you know if you ovulate regularly?
      If you’re younger than 45, you should be able to re-establish ovulation and the first step is to identify the underlying cause (often insulin resistance or PCOS), and then correct that.
      If you’re older than 45, you might want to speak to your doctor the micronized progesterone capsules I discuss in the heavy period section of Chapter 10 (the perimenopause chapter).

  8. I like this post. On Saturday I went to A&E after bleeding profusely – emptying a soft cap (contains 55ml) and soaking pads every 10 minutes. I am in the UK. I was taken immediately to resuss where I was given NO treatment – just bloods. I was told 2 hours later than my haemoglobin levels were fine (I told them I’d been taking iron supplements for the last few days but no one seemed to take much notice) and only after 2 hours was I then given Norethisterone tablet and told to get some water ‘on my way out’! All the doctor would say was that, she’d spoken to gyny and they’d decided I should take Noresthisterone for 10 days, see my GP and she’d give me a referral for cancer treatment so I’d get seen within 2 weeks. I was discharged – still bleeding heavily! That night I read everything I could about heavy bleeding – I am – and remain convinced – at aged 54 and two months short of my 55 birthday that whilst the bleeding is extremely heavy and long (I’ve had this for over 14 days) that this is a natural end to my menstrual cycle. I know about fibroids etc but I have never wanted to take HRT (every woman I know who has taken HRT has simply delayed the inevitable and ended up getting cancer) – and reading that women who take Noresthisterone simply stop the period so that doctors can carry out their intrusive tests incensed me. Talking to the pharmacist the next day, he said I could simply take one Noresthisterone if the bleeding became too heavy.

    The bleeding stopped for one day and has now come back with a vengeance. I refuse to see my doctor; I don’t care what anyone says. I take iron tablets and know that the bleeding has to stop eventually – that it’s natural. I shall try the tumeric and the other suggestions above. But I am not getting into this medicalisation of women’s bodies. If we lived in an ideal world (a world where women mattered) we’d be permitted to have some paid days off work (as women do in Japan!!) and it would be recognised, as a natural condition that the last period – or two – can be extremely heavy – as I read online. I am not happy with the way I was treated by the NHS – who did not offer me tranexamic acid (so don’t expect it women if you’re in the UK) and were only interested in finding something wrong! I am only interested in treating something that is right.

  9. Hi,
    I just left the doctor appointment with a diagnosis for adenomyosis…
    She said that the only thing that can help me is hormone therapy (the pill).
    I’ve had really heavy periods for 5 years (I am 40 now), and when I mean heavy I mean running to the bathroom every hour and still not being able to save clothes due to sudden gushing of blood … for the last year I have been taking fish oil pills during my period with fantastic results: this happened by coincidence at first, but after trial and error I realised it is the fish oil that controls my heavy period! I feel so lucky that this worked for me! I only take 2 pills a day when I have my period (1 morning and 1 before bed: works better when is spread throughout the day).
    I just wanted to share his in case it helped anyone else.
    I also eat a whole food diet, lots of vegetables, gluten free, no milk, no coffee and barely any sugar. I was already eating this diet before trying the fish oil capsules.
    This really was the best thing that happened to me, as I hate to be on the pill… I just don’t feel like myself when I’m on it.

  10. Hi. I’m perimenopausal (47 years old ) and my period is slowly becoming irregular, then regular for a while, then skip a month, then regular etc.
    My first 2 days are super heavy. I’m quite a slender woman, i have a very fast metabolism and an active lifestyle, and very cautious of what I eat and drinl due to IBS (caused by certain foods like any sweet things : sugar, chocolate, dairy, wheat etc.)
    I was using a MIA cup for a few years and washable pads but I all of a sudden experienced TSS for the cup and as is my period got so heavy I have to now use throwaway pads and even they can’t keep up with my flow (I sometimes go through a pad an hour especially at night and it’s those leak free night pads). I’ve had a few cycles where after 2 to 3 days of very heavy bleeding I’d then bleed and spot on and off for a total of 2 weeks.
    I have actually found that I’m now a bit more anemic but am eating liver more often from game to get levels up again . I totally avoid foods with GMOS hormones etc.
    The weird thing is that if I do eat any soy products it brings my period on earlier that scheduled so I avoid any soy products too. I tried a natural progesterone cream for about 3 months but found symptoms got worse. I then tried Chasteberry tincture for 3 months and did not see much improvement either. I’d love any advice you can share. PS I am trying to include Tumeric (with pepper for absorption ) more daily due to painful joints (which I don’t know if it’s related to my crazy hormones or due to old injuries I suffered as a young adult ie kicked by horises etc). I hope, after reading your article that perhaps I’m on the right track to “calm” the flow a bit.
    I look forward to your response. 😍

  11. Hi Lara!

    I am a 32 year old mom of 2. I also had 1 known miscarriage pre my first born son.

    I had gastric bypass surgery (roux en-y) in late 2007. Thus I have major absorption issues and I have AWFUL iron deficiency anemia. (There are lots of stories-I’ll spare you.)

    Only in the past 6 months did my period become some monster-creature/emerge as (one of) the obvious causes of my bottom of the barrel iron counts. I was admitted with an iron of 0. Yay, me.

    Anyway since then I have tried some synthetic supplements, and they have raised my numbers to a low normal. However, now my periods are 1) still heavy and 2) happen 2 or 3 times a month… times…not.

    So, I was headed out to buy grass-fed dessicated beef liver tablets (I think I’m going to need to order online), when I decided to look up Agnus Castus once more and read a little. I guess I’m so used to a heavy period that I’m more bothered by having 2 or 3 a month.

    So I found some Vitex, in liquid form which is good for a post gastric bypass person since I rarely absorb anything LOL… But then I found your site and now I’m worried that rather than regulate my period the Vitex is going to cause more periods?

    When I was searching things to regulate my period naturally I was viewing thru the lens of “my period is too frequent, regulating it will mean it happening once a month again”. …oops, was I wrong?

    Thanks for reading!

  12. Young women still having periods should research before adding any form of soy or other phytoestrogens to their diets. They cause heavy periods, cramping and other issues for many women.

      • No. “A little” phytoestrogens is an anti-estrogen effect. Too much phytoestrogens is really bad for the women who have estrogen related disease.

        • Everything I’ve read and seen with my patients says that phytoestrogens have an anti-estrogen effect in women of reproductive age. They can have a pro-estrogen effect in men, children, and postmenopausal women.

          • I and my friends have serious endometriosis. We eat very clean: organic, lots of vegetables, gluten-free, dairy-free, no sugar, no meat, and a little fish and fruit (too much fruit means too much sugar, so just a little fruit).

            When we eat high-phytoestrogen food (organic soy, organic chickpea, organic flaxseed, reishi mushroom..etc), our symptom are worse soon (Our endometriomas/fibroids grow when we eat them! We do ultrasound every month) ! When we stop eating those high-phytoestrogen food, we feel better and the endometriomas/fibroids stop growing.

            I read thousands of medical paper during the years. I can tell you that “anti-estrogen effect of phytoestrogen” is not 100% true. And actually, “high”phytoestrogen can act like estrogen in women’s body and it induces some types of cancers in the recent researches (You can check it via PUBMED). Also, you can join some fb groups like endometriosis, fibroids, estrogen-related fb groups and you could know the real situation. (I know you might have your patients. But that is not enough. In these fb groups, you could see more than 100,000 “samples”.)

            As what I mentioned before, “A little” phytoestrogens is an anti-estrogen effect. “Too much” phytoestrogens is really bad for the women who have estrogen related disease.

  13. I am so happy to have found your information! I am 40 and had my third baby one year ago, and am experiencing many of the things you discuss (most concerning being hair loss and very heavy periods). My doctor has ruled out iron deficiency, TSH (but won’t do any more specific thyroid testing because TSH is normal), and fibroids/polyps. She wants to put me on mirena because she says I don’t produce enough progesterone (seen on US right before and after period with excess thickness of lining of my uterus just before menstruating). I am the lightest weight I have been in quite some time without trying. Anyway, I need to make some changes, and wondering if I should start with things you have suggested (magnesium, iron, turmeric) and was wondering if I should start with a vitex chasteberry for natural production of progesterone since I haven’t been tested to know if I’m truly lacking progesterone? I probably should go dairy free, although this would be extremely hard for me!! Thanks in advance for any direction!

  14. Hi Lara I am 37 and have been following your advice for 1.5 year now to reduce my blood flow and enhance my progesterone. It worked really well until recently. I experience huge blood clots on my 3rd day (several big clots every few hours). This happens after taking ibuprofen for 2 days, so could it be that my body reacts this way on the 3rd day (without ibuprofen)? I eat a very clean and dairy-free diet, supplement with magnesium, iodine, curcumin, gentle iron and adaptogens (rhodiola and ashwagandha). No antibiotics. I also had a lot of stress in the last 2 months in my personal life that I couldn’t control. Can extreme stress cause these big blood clots? Should I take ibuprofen throughout my period to prevent them? My obgyn just wants to put me on the pill or progestin which I refuse. Thank you.

    • You’ve had a couple of anovulatory cycles, and yes, stress could be the reason. Another possible reason is that your thyroid has gone underactive? Might be worth having a test for TSH and thyroid antibodies, just to see. Once you start to ovulate again, things should settle down.

  15. Yep taking medicines can help but of course our doctor words still the powerful i mean we need to obey the rule that they give to us specially on this siyuation

  16. Hi my daughter is 11 and has heavy periods each month. Her periods are weird starting with a week of light to medium bleeding and then it will stop or be light and then it will come back very heavy for about another week. So I was thinking of trying your suggestions. How do you do the turmeric treatment? Thanks

  17. The herbal anti-inflammatory property of turmeric is not only helpful to relief in pain , but also helps in balancing hormones and regularizing menstruation. Great Stuff Here..I am happy to find such an informative post.Hope more to come.

  18. I got to find a way out of this sh*t….
    First things first, im 35 years…. I’ve 7 month now extreme heavy bleeding with pieces as big as my palm and bigger. At the ER they catch me away, and it seems that nobody cares about human rights, in fact it seems I’m not even human for them.
    So, my housebund found some magnesium in the trash, yes it’s out of date, but if I care I never get better…..
    However the magnesium seems to get it better. What else can I possibly do from the nutritional side?
    I go nuts, cause they want to let me die!!!!

    Ps even via my mail adress…..

  19. Hi Lara, I have a lingering period (spotting on off from Day 5 onwards until Day 9) since starting Intermittent Fasting and low carb diet. On days when I spot, I could feel abdomen / uterus gurgling (prostaglandin?). Most recent Pap smear and ultrasound in February came back normal. What do you suggest could be the issue?

      • Thanks for your response Lara. I do feel that I am ovulating due to the egg white cervical mucus every cycle (with ovulation spotting some cycles). My period is also regular average around 30 days now. I was told that I had PCO four years ago due to number of cysts on ovaries but blood works normal (at that time I had long cycles around 40 days). I managed to conceive naturally around same time. I feel my PCO is insulin related as I have difficulty keeping weight off. I have lost 30 pounds after starting IF and low carb / moderately high fat (olive oil / coconut oil / avocado), current BMI is ideal. Tail end spotting started when I started IF, low carb / moderate fat and lost weight while stopping breastfeeding at the same time. Do you think the tail end bleeding could be from the stress from the IF or low progesterone? I have experienced this for around 1+ year.

  20. I need some help. I have Hashimoto’s and medullary sponge kidney disease. I eat a very clean diet. Gluten free, corn free, dairy free. I stay away from sugar.
    My cycles are very heavy I use a menstrual cup and catch 350ml to 400ml the first two days of each cycle. I have had iron infusions in the past but I reacted not very kindly to them. My doctor has given me tranexamic acid to get me through but I am afraid that they will further damage my kidneys. I have also tried natural progesterone cream but my cycles only got heavier with it and I also suffered from vaginal dryness and loss of libido. My GP thought it not wise to use mirena IUS because of this. I have been on thyroid extract for 7 months.
    How long would it take for it to slow my cycle down after starting thyroid extract? I have had the thyroid disease for a long time un-dignoised. I have been suffering from heavy cycles for 9 years or so, but they have gotten worse as time goes on. How bad is the novasure? Or would it be a good option? I have read your book and implementing most things in it already. I will try the DIM and see if it will help.

  21. Thank you for the article!
    I am 52 and have irregular periods meanwhile, but when they come, the bleeding is immense. Sometimes I cannot leave the house for 2 days.
    I am experimenting with natural progesterone cream now.
    And what I would like to add: ibuprofen increases the blood flow in my case (I have researched it and this seems to be a quite common issue). So I switched to other painkillers that don’t thin the blood. It makes a little difference at least.
    Thanks again, Ava

  22. I have had heavy menstrual bleeding for as long as I can remember, leading to chronic anemia. I had been taking iron supplements and started taking slow flow. My diet already had very little dairy. I also started exercising regularly. I think the combo of exercising and the slow flow really did the trick. I’ve never been significantly overweight and have always walked regularly but I switched to running about 2-3 miles a few times a week. The results are amazing. I stopped taking the slow flow and still had a manageable, non debilitating period for the past two months! My periods used to cripple me and cause loss of sleep because i needed to get up several times in the night. Still heavy now but doable with a menstrual cup.

  23. This information will help those suffering from Adenomyosis and Endometriosis, I was also a victim. I am excited to share this testimony, I was 3 years ago diagnosed of Adenomyosis and complicated Endometriosis. My medical condition was heart broken because it was causing my menstrual cramps,bloating before menstrual periods, lower abdominal pressure which result to heavy periods. I was subjected to different medications by my doctor for treatment such as Coenzyme Q10,ibuprofen, Danazol and many more. Despite my visit to several doctors my health wasn’t getting better, all they could say was surgery. At the verge of giving up, I went to the internet to search for a treatment at least. But I found a cure instead. In the internet, I read a testimony of a lady who had Adenomyosis and Fibroid. She shared an e-mail address of the Doctor. Luckily everything seemed to be okay after I took the Herbal Medicine. I wish I could say that’s the end of it because I haven’t had any symptoms since then.
    Do not expose yourself to more danger, use a herbal remedy that is safe and effective. If interested contact him: [email protected] to find out more information and treatment.

  24. I find that milk products are very helpful for me in reducing heavy bleeding, provided they do not contain rgbh residues. Switching to organic milk products, and those from cows not treated with growth hormones literally cut my flooding by about a third. When I have access to raw milk, I have far fewer hormonal and digestive issues than otherwise also.

    Stopping using tampons cut it by another third. Turns out the bleach in tampons is an irritant, causes inflammation (worse in me than most people, I’m badly allergic to chlorine), so they made the bleeding much worse.

  25. Most of what you have said makes sense. But…. the dairy thing, doesn’t. For YEARS I avoided dairy, and my health and migraines got worse and worse, and nearing menopause they became life style threatening. I discovered the Stanton Migraine Protocol, along with hundreds of other men and women, of which dairy is a big part of it. Especially milk, full cream cows milk. I was nervous at the beginning, as I have never drunk milk, always hated it, and thought it was evil!! lol…. but since introducing dairy into my diet, the change has been incredible. My periods did not get heavier, in fact, they lessened. Part of the diet is to eliminate sugar and grain. I personally believe grain is the evil, and not milk. Insulin, the hormone responsible for insulin resistance, is at the core of so many of our health issues, and grain is one of the drivers for insulin resistance. Fat and dairy I don’t believe are the enemy. Sugar and grain are. So while I think your article was helpful in many ways, I do question promoting soy, and eliminating dairy. i am sure where there is an intolerance to dairy, it is required for sure, but for those who can tolerate it, i believe our brains need it. And fat. The lowfat, high grain diet, I believe, is at the core of so many diseases we are now seeing, including hormonal issues in women. Like to hear what you think on this. I really enjoy your articles, so this is not a criticism, just a ‘wonder what you think on this’ question. 🙂

    • Thanks for sharing your story. Certainly, gluten can be a big problem for endometriosis and migraines. And yes, sugar can make periods heavier. Many of my patients do well on a no-wheat, no-sugar, no-A1-milk diet.

      And I agree that if some people can have dairy with no problems. And that if one is going to have dairy, then it should be full-fat. But I find that many of my patients do not do well on Holstein cow milk with A1 casein. Were you drinking Holstein milk or Jersey milk?

    • I found for me that freshly milled whole wheat is very helpful – the full grain has a balance of nutrients that refined grains do not. Brown rice has also been helpful, and freshly rolled oats. Hard to obtain, I have to process some of it myself, but I can handle those, and they help with many issues.

      The problem with grains may not be the grain itself, but with what is done to it before we get it.

  26. This is a great write up, I was also a victim, having uterine fibroid for many years. The size of my fibroid was very large as a grapefruit in my womb, trying to conceive was so hard. My difficulty was not only getting pregnant, but keeping the pregnancy. I occasionally had reoccurring bouts with dysfunctional uterine bleeding due to fibroid tumors. I even came close to having a hysterectomy, but due to future/possible complications, I refused. I learned about some herbs mixture prepared by Dr.Leonard and that was my breakthrough to a long standing problem. I already gave birth to a bouncing baby boy, very healthy, happy, and bright. I forgot to mention that my non-existent sex drive returned within just a few weeks of starting the herbs, this was a pleasant surprise. If interested and ready to give a try check out his blog: or contact me for my detailed experience; [email protected].

  27. Thank you for a very comforting article, Ms Briden. It’s really hard dealing with heavy bleeding and when so much information out there is a warning about cancer, it’s great to read a well-written article that doesn’t scare people. It is also comforting to know it is from your own experience rather than percentages and scientific studies.

  28. Hello Lara,
    I am new to your site and I really enjoy reading it! I am 46 and suffering from heavy blood flow every month since March 2016. I have had a D&C and also a myomectony hysteroscopically but to no avail!! Last period was very heavy and had to use transanemic acid. I want to find a solution to make my period manageable because I don’t want to have partial hysterectomy!! Is there anything I can do/try? Please let me know.
    thank you,

  29. What are your thoughts on high frequency ultrasound. … I am petite and in the past three yrs my fibroids have grown n shrunk n grown again… last yr it was 5 cm and in yr it grew to 10.7 cm. I’ve been told by my family not to have surgery and to take estro adapt. Ive read to quit dairy… only have difficulty not having cheese…. athough in small amount Thanks Ingrid

  30. I recently got stitches and I took an antibiotic. The first day I took antibiotic is the first day of my period ( after not having it for 2 months) My period is longer and heavier ( this morning will start my 9 Th day ) I read that antibiotics may be cause of heavy bleeding so I stopped antibiotic on 7th day. how long after stopping antibiotic will I see decrease in heavy flow? Thank you for your time

    • If your period has gone on that long, you should see your doctor. Sorry, I’m a bit late replying to this comment.

  31. Please help! I took bioceuticals iodine drops for just 3 days b4 my period was supposed to be due and it’s always on time but it’s now 3 days late and still not here? Have I ruined my perfectly timed cycle? Where is my period? Thanks 🙂

    • Your period’s delay wouldn’t have been from something you did just 3 days before it was due. Remember, period timing is determined by ovulation–which occurs 2 weeks before the period. Was there anything else earlier this month? Stress? Dentist work? antibiotics?

      • Hi Lara,

        Thanks so much for your reply. I did have the flu for the past two weeks but didn’t take anything for it. I also started taking more supplements I’m the past month to try and prevent another nightmare of a period . I’ve been sick b4 though and stlll gotten it on time .

        Thanks ?

  32. Is it safe to use DIM on a daily basis? I’ve been taking 300mg per day for the last 3 months. Can you take it continuously or take a break?

  33. Dear Lara,
    After 6 months of constant (heavy) menstrual bleeding and a desperate search for a solution I came across your blog. I actually just ordered your book, which hopefully provides me with advice on my situation. I have been diagnosed with a prolactinoma a few years ago but never had medication, since I had no complaints. I had a light but very regular (22 days cycle, 5 days period) painless period after I came off the pill, and to everyone’s surprise I became pregnant within 1 month at the age of 33. Unfortunately this ended in a missed abortion with 13 weeks (foetus was 9 weeks).

    After that my period was back after 5 weeks, but then the cycles got longer and longer every time (the longest was 70 days) with light bleeding that took 7-14 days. Last November (a year after i got pregnant) this period started that has not stopped till today. I never had such severe bleeding before. My endocrinologist only found the (already known) slightly elevated prolactin levels plus a slightly low level of cortisol. (Both ‘just above the margins) I also had an operation but besides removing a cyst (whcih the doctor said had been the cause most likely, of the bleeding) they have found nothing suspicious. Unfortunately the bleeding continued as heavily as before 5 weeks after the operation (in between I kept spotting).

    I now take Carbergoline (Dostinex) to normalise my prolactin levels, and take cortisol 10 mg plus a pill called Visanne 2 mg, a progestin. I have to take this combination for 3 months and then they are going to check my hormones again. Till now the bleeding is lighter but still continuous and the uncertainty drives me almost insane and makes me scared. The uncertainty of the doctors too ‘just be patient and try this medication’. The pills make me tired, dizzy and emotional, as well as the bleeding. I’m 35 and since the miscarriage I suffer… I am afraid the only thing that is left is just ‘live with it’ or a hysterectomy, cause that is the only solution they seem to provide when they don’t find any causes… an ‘easy way out’ I’d say, and not an option for someone my age.

    I have always been told your periods become very light or disappear when you have a prolactinoma, now my doctor said it can also be the other way round. He strongly believes that now this is the cause. Therefor I am not allowed to take Vitex Agnus Castus (which a friend recommended me), as apparently you cannot take that when you have a prolactinoma. Is that true? I already avoid dairy, gluten and take extra magnesium, and a multivitamin for people who wish to conceive with the whole B spectrum, Iron, Zinc and Iodine.

    I would be very grateful if you have any advice for me. Like I said I have already ordered your book, but I am not sure if my specific problems will be discussed, since I am starting to believe that I am a very severe case, the doctors here do not know what to do with me anymore.

    Thank yo very much in advance,

  34. Hi Lara i have HBM and have tried natural and conventional methods to repair but have had no luck as yet, I found this article and would like to try natural options again. Had op to fit mirena but they couldn’t place due to large fibriod now looking at onother op to remove then advised hysterectomy or endometrial abdulation may work for me. Ive done lots of research and everything could potentially come with evan worse symptoms, get so confusing. But I am trying give up dairy and tumeric atm and have introduced soy lots of controversy over soy out there but if anything can help reduce estrogen for me would be a good thing ? Im severely anemic and overwhelmed but will try before more surgery and need to buy your book
    Do you do consults by phone or email
    Thanks Tracey

    • Hi Tracey, giving up dairy is one of the most important treatments, and soy is usually okay as long as you don’t have a thyroid problem (see How Soy Affects Hormones). It’s worth having a thyroid test (if you haven’t already) because under-active thyroid makes periods heavier.
      Also, you don’t have to have soy. You could have other dairy-substitutes such as coconut or almond milk.

  35. Hi Laura, I’ve got a question about absorbency of tampons. In your book and this article, you say a regular tampon holds about 5 mL. However, my tampon boxes indicate a regular tampon holds from 6-9 mL. Depending on if I use 5 or 9 in my calculations, I’m getting getting very different totals! I’m trying to get an accurate measure of how much fluid I’m losing per period but don’t think I can unless I figure out the actual absorbency of a tampon. Do you have any thoughts? Should I just go with what the box says, or do you find that they tend to inflate the absorbency of their products for some reason? Should I stick to 5 mL in my calculations?

    I only use regular tampons, so I’m not really curious about the absorbency of other sizes.

    • Interesting. I guess go with what the box says. You could also consider using a menstrual cup, which will be a more accurate gauge.

    • You can weight your tampon before and after change and take note,it will give you aproximately amount of fluid in gram then convert it to ml

  36. I am 42 years old and have very heavy periods. My doctor has me on an assortment of supplements: quercetin, vitex, calkcium/magnesium, iron, vitamin d, vitanica slow flow, and probiotic. Dr also recommended pregnenolone due to high estrogen/low progesterone/low progesterone. What are your thoughts on this? I’m concerned about taking pregnenolone due to adverse side effects. Other supplements not vreakky helping after 4 months…

    • I have never recommended pregnenolone because I have not yet been convinced of its usefulness. As I explain in the post, I find the most powerful treatments are dairy-free diet, turmeric, and natural progesterone.

  37. I have a 10 year who is experiencing extremely heavy cycles. I just saw the suggestions and will try the ibuprofen and giving her iron supplements. do you think I should take her to her doctor for this?? confused and worried but I know it’s a part of life

  38. Hi Lara.
    How much turmeric should I take everyday? I have a heavy period, not very heavy. I’m 18. Currently I’m taking Ibupofren during my period and it works, but I want to replace it for turmeric. Thank you, I’m very happy for finding your blog.

    • Turmeric is a very safe herb. I usually give 1000 mg of the Meriva (phosphatidylcholine formula) for every day of the cycle, and then increase to 2000 mg during the first few days of the flow. You can also use small dose of ibuprofen.

      • Lara, I used the pill for three years and I stopped using it on October 2015, so I asked you about turmeric, but my period still didn’t come. I think it could be because of the communication of HPO axis or because of my low carb diet. So a month ago I stopped eating low carb, only paleo. Was it enough time? If I test my LH, will I be sure the problem is in the HPO axis? I want my period back because I am with acne, I’m losing my hair and I’m finding it hard to sleep. This two last problems I never had before.
        I don’t mean to have a consult online. But I still didn’t read your book (I’m going to buy) and I don’t know a naturopath in my city.
        Sorry if I wrote something wrong, English isn’t my first language.

          • But it could have nothing to be with my diet, it could be just a post pill amenorrhea, right? I’m thinking about trying Vitex…

          • Lara, thank you for your answers. I have no more questions, I’ll just tell my current situation!

            What happened to me was exactly what you wrote:

            1) went on the Pill as a teenager, 2) came off the Pill, 3) periods don’t show up (probably because of post-pill syndrome), 4) acne flares up (because of Pill-withdrawal), 5) ultrasound shows that the ovaries have a polycystic appearance, 6) doctor diagnoses PCOS without doing any blood tests, 7) doctor prescribes the Pill.

            My LH is elevated, but I didn’t test male hormones. I’m going to ask the doctor to test them so I’ll be sure, although perhaps my symptoms already indicate that the male hormones are high, I don’t know 😛 But if they are, I’m going to try Peony & Licorice.

            I was thinking that when I was a teenager, I had very healthy periods, they were regular and everything. They were just heavy, but normal for my age. I didn’t know it was normal for a teenager to have heavy periods, that’s why I went to the doctor and she prescribed me the pill after trying some NSAIDs that didn’t work. I knew nothing about natural treatments. But that’s ok, now I know and it’s time to try them 🙂

          • Hi,
            I am here again because I bought your book and I am sure I have to take Peony & Licorice. The problem is that I cannot find it in my country and the amazon’s seller doesn’t ship to my country. I will keep searching though.
            I went to the doctor and she prescribed me Provera (I don’t know if the commercial name is the same outside, but it is medroxyprogesterone) but I didn’t buy it. I decided to wait for my period to come without taking anything. It was some months ago.
            Now I don’t know what to do. Should I try Provera once I can’t have Peony & Licorice or should I give more time for my period to come? Could you give your opinion?
            I’m sleeping well, not losing my hair and my acne got better. Because of that I think estradiol rose again. About a month or two months ago I thought I had ovulated, because I got a mucus just as the fertile mucus. But I didn’t menstruate 2 weeks after that, so I didn’t understand.. I’m afraid my hair starts to fall again, and acne come back and I start having problems to sleep again.

  39. After reading your article, I’m looking into a turmeric supplement, but there are several different kinds (formulations: Meriva, Longvida, BCM 95 and Sabinsa C3). Which do you recommend for this very heavy periods?

    • I have experience prescribing Meriva and BCM 95, and they both seem to work well. I’m not familiar with the other formulations, but they may work as well.

  40. Hi,
    Thank you for all these articles. I have been reading non stop. Since the beginning of 2015, end of 2014 I have had very heavy periods that last weeks at a time, sometimes 20 to 25 days then I stop bleeding for a few days and start all over. My Dr put be on the pill in Feb and it didnt help much – bleeding lessened but was still weeks and weeks. Finally in August I had enough – not being able to be intimate has destroyed my marriage quit a bit… Bleeding non stop will do that. My dr explained your three solutions above- surgery- ablation and mirena …. He also suggested losing weight ( I have been a bigger my whole life). I decided to do a diet called Omnitrition – similiar to the HCG diet, supplements and no carb no sugar no dairy for periods of times but we pull back in dairy… But not carbs or sugar really. I have lost 60 lbs since Feb!!! And keeping it off…. I also got the Mirena Iud put and stopped using the pill. (Keep in mind I think I did maybe 4 treatments of mexyprogeterone courses if not more since feb to try and stop the bleeding.
    This brings me to the fact my hair is falling out- i am devasted. I finally lose weight (alot) and my hair is so thin now (today is Nov 15). Could this be from the pill for 6 months? The progesteone treatments 4/5 courses or now from the Mirena? The weight loss? I now have less bleeding volume but still 2 week periods and when it stops I still feel crampy– but only have had the iud in since early Sept.. I have progesterone on hand if I need it. But I will say I feel crampy alot. Not badly and have the down feeling alot- perhaps my body getting use to it.
    I just dont know what to do. I love my doctor he delivered both my kids but I am thinking I may need to talk to someone else. He did check my levels and wasnt concerned about anything manor except my iron levels – which I take supplements for.
    Any guidance you can give I would appreciate it. I need my hair (it is a major part of who I am- I use to be a stylist so it is like a big deal)

    • When did your hair start to fall? Count back 3 months before, and that was your cause. Was 3 months before when you stopped the pill? Or took medroxyprogesterone? Or when you were most iron deficient? It’s probably one of those things. It could have been the low carb diet. Pinpointing the cause will guide you in knowing how to recover.

      • Well thats the issue 3 months prior I had all those things.. I guess my concern is the mirena if that is still a source of progesterone inside of me will my hair grow back?

        • Mirena is levonorgestrel (not progesterone), which is a high-androgen index progestin so it’s not the greatest for hair. BUT, it’s such a low dose that most women don’t see a problem with it. And in your case, if the alternative is heavy, crazy bleeding, then you should probably keep Mirena.
          My guess would be that your hair loss is from a combination of provera (medroxyprogesterone), iron deficiency, and maybe low carb diet. It should improve.

  41. Hi Laura,

    Thank you so much for this wealth of information. You stated that you would write a post about natural treatments for fibroids. Have you written that post yet? I am very interested in reading what you have to say on this because I currently have fibroids and I do not want to get surgery as my doctor suggested.


  42. I was put on the pill at 13. My periods were so heavy I became anemic and they were considering a blood transfusion. I stayed on the pill til I had kids. Breastfeeding did a good job with keeping it my period away. Now I’m in my early/mid 30’s and likely done having kids. It’s still really heavy. I’ve switched to a cup, which makes it bearable. But I’d still like to know WHY it’s like this. I’ve had numerous ultrasounds and blood tests, all come back fine. One thing I’ve found interesting is that after I give birth, the bleeding is totally normal. Also, when I had an early misacrriage, it was what I’d imagine a normal person’s period is like. That’s why I think it’s hormonal. Something that happens in the leutal phase when I don’t conceive is causing it to be heavy. Any ideas?

  43. Hi Lara,

    I have just recently found your blog and read about you. I have been looking into this because about 3 years ago my periods went crazy. I went from having what I thought were average type 5 day periods with a bit of period pain but nothing crazy and then they stared to become longer and longer and are up to 12 days at the most and heavy to the point where I would gave to run to the loo on the heaviest days. At it’s worst they have made me faint (only a couple of times). What I can’t understand is how they could just change like this and what the reason is. I have been for a scan for POC and blood test (thyroid but not sure what for) but just said I was slightly anaemic. I started taking magnesium a while ago and they have started to reduce slightly but not sure if this is related to the magnesium or not? Like Nikki I am not teenage or near menopause (I hope) but 30 years old. Is there anything you could advise?

    Many Thanks

  44. Hi Lara i was diagnosed with PCOS in January 2014, my results were TSH=3.32 T4=17.9 FSH 7.0 and LH=28.7. I am worried that my LH is higher than FSH, my gynae didnt wanna give me clomid he says my blood pressure readings is too high and i am 28 years old so i must manage it first. So i decided to take Vitex and when i read your comment you say we mustn’t take Vitex if LH is higher than FSH. I want a baby so bad.
    Thank you

  45. Menstrual cups!

    I’d leak through ultra absorbency tampons and overnight pads within 15 minutes on my heavier days, menstrual cups were a lifesaver as unlike tampons they’re safe to use throughout your period, they hold 35ml on average but highest capacity is up to 42ml, and they have light suction so don’t leak like tampons/pads – I don’t ever leak now, you can feel when it’s full or start to see light spotting, not like when tampons are full and you get that sudden gush.

    Many women like myself find that menstrual flow and menstrual cramps are reduced when switching from tampons to menstrual cups, unfortunately there is no research on this, but it’s common to see reduced flow so worth mentioning as a natural means of reducing menstrual flow.

    I started with Mooncup and think it’s a good mid-size/mid-flexibility cup for new users, also the brand is one of the longest running with good reputation.

    • Great contribution. Thanks Kay. Yes, I also find that menstrual cups lead to reduced flow, but I don’t know the mechanism. Maybe one day we’ll understand the reason why.

  46. What about for women in between? I’m in my mid-20s and went on the pill after years of resisting it to combat very painful/heavy periods. (I have PCOS but my periods were fairly regular.) Six months later I’ve gained close to 15lbs and decided it wasn’t worth it and stopped the pill. Now I’m struggling to figure out how to manage my periods when I can’t lie in bed all day and make a run for the bathroom at a moment’s notice. Ibuprofen helps a bit, but my flow is still very heavy. I’m supplementing iron (my ferritin stores are quite low) as well. Any tips?

  47. Hello. I believe that I might have low progesterone. I have so many of the symptoms. I had very, very heavy periods and very painful periods when I turned 40. My doc found a large fibroid and said that removing the fibroid would help with all of my symptoms. it has not. I am also losing a lot of hair, tired all the time, sore breasts and a restless sleeper. Should I consider taking a progesterone cream? I am so confused!

    • The hair loss suggests either iron deficiency or thyroid disease. (thyroid could also be the cause of your heavy periods). As your doctor to test you.

  48. Thank you for this article. It seems to me that my PCOS symptoms, are similar to those described above. I appreciate the presentation of both the natural and synthetic approaches to treating heaving bleeding. Knowledge is power and now I can bring this information to my Dr. and discuss all options. Again, thank you Dr.!


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