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Learn How to Reduce Period Flow Safely and Naturally

written by: Rochelle Connery • edited by: Diana Cooper • updated: 1/9/2011

If you’re wondering how to decrease menstrual flow, you have several options at your disposal. Some are physical while others require hormone pills. This guide will help you determine which is the best option for you.

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    Reasons

    Most of us would probably like to decrease our menstrual flow – or make it go away altogether – mainly because it’s an inconvenience. Some women, however, need to decrease their menstrual flow because it is too heavy or it causes severe pain.

    Heavy menstrual flows can result from a host of health problems, including endometrial cancer and polyps, but more often than not, it is a sign of hormone imbalance. This is a more common problem than the more serious reasons, but the fact that more women share your pain isn’t all that comforting when you’re suffering from excruciating cramps.

    Decreasing heavy menstrual flows with certain remedies can bring your hormones back in balance and help you bleed less during your periods.

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    Over-The-Counter Drugs

    Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, can help decrease your blood flow. According to Livestrong.com, taking ibuprofen during your period can decrease the amount of menstruation up to 40 percent. That’s a fairly significant cut, especially considering that you don’t have to visit a doctor to get permission to use this remedy.

    If you want to know how to decrease menstrual flow easily and with few side effects, taking ibuprofen is one of your best options.

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    Hormone Pills

    Hormone pills, such as birth control or cyclic progesterone pills, help reduce the amount of blood you shed each month by releasing progesterone, which also decreases your blood flow up to 40 percent. A progesterone-only pill is ideal for women who do not wish to take birth control pills, which contain estrogen as well as progesterone.

    Unlike ibuprofen, hormone pills come with leagues of side effects. It’s not likely that you’ll experience all of them, but you might experience the common ones, such as headaches, nausea, mood swings and decreased sex drive.

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    Intra-Uterine Device

    An intra-uterine device, or IUD, is a non-oral birth control mechanism. You can only get one of these by seeing your doctor, as a doctor must insert it into the vagina. Dr. Dori Zaleznik of Harvard Medical School states that levonorgestrel, the hormone that the device contains, is more effective than progesterone pills.

    An IUD is shaped like a T at the top and is made of copper and plastic. Depending on the brand you choose, they can decrease menstrual flow up to 70 percent and last between five and 12 years.

    If you want to see how to decrease menstrual flow for the longest time possible, an IUD is a good choice. However, it comes with a hefty price tag that can get as high as $1,000.

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    Herbal Remedies

    Although herbal remedies aren’t a sure-fire way to decrease menstrual flow, it is possible for them to help. Herbs like belladonna and ipecacuanha reduce menstrual flow accompanied with blood clots while essential fatty acids like fish oil can help a heavy flow of any type.

    Some experts also recommend herbal remedies like lady’s mantle and shepherd’s purse, which you can take in the form of a tincture or a tea, depending on the type.

    Sources:

    Livestrong: Decrease Menstrual Flow

    Livestrong: Natural Ways to Reduce Heavy Menstrual Bleeding

    Dr. Dori Zaleznik, MedPage Today

    Planned Parenthood: IUD Birth Control