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According to MedlinePlus, completely soaking a sanitary pad or tampon every hour for 2-3 consecutive hours is considered a very heavy period. One should notify a doctor to rule out a particular condition that may require treatment. Sometimes the cause of excessive menstrual bleeding can be a troublesome IUD, hypothyroidism, or endometriosis and once the problem is corrected the heavy bleeding should cease. For other cases, there are natural remedies that may help.
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Iron deficiency can be a complication from heavy bleeding but it can also be the cause. In one study, women with an iron deficiency and no underlying cause to their heavy period, were given an iron supplement. 75% of those women improved.
Vitamin A deficiency has also been shown to be a causative factor. In one study, 40 women who had low blood levels of vitamin A were given 25,000 IU of vitamin A two times a day. 92.5% of them had either complete relief or great improvement.
Vitamin C is required for the production and maintenance of collagen which is the supporting material of capillaries. Weak capillaries are believed to be a cause in some cases of a heavy period. In one study, vitamin C (200mg three times a day) and bioflavonoids were given to 16 women. 14 of the 16 women had reduced bleeding.
Vitamin K, found in dark green leafy vegetables, is necessary for the synthesis of at least two proteins involved in blood clotting. Although women had sufficient levels of vitamin K, the use of vitamin K has clinical and limited research support.
Shepherd's purse, an herb used for many years in treating obstetric and gynecological hemorrhage, may also be used for excessive menstrual bleeding.
• Sip hot cinnamon tea throughout the day.
• Pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1-2 teaspoons of dried yarrow, steep for 10 minutes, and strain. Drink 2-3 times a day
• Drink 1 cup of warm water (or your favorite herbal tea) with 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Cayenne is a powerful bleeding regulator and can help treat a heavy period by restoring the balance of circulation.
• Pour 2 cups of boiling water over 2 tablespoons of fresh thyme, steep for 10 minutes, and strain. Drink 1 cup. Add an ice cube to the other cup, soak a washcloth in it, wring it out, and place it on your pelvic area.
• Nettle tea is an excellent tonic for women and can help stop excessive menstrual bleeding.
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-  JAMA 187 (1964): 323-7
-  S Afr Med J 51 (1977): 191-3
-  Curr Ther Res 2 (1960): 539-42
-  South Med J 37 (1944): 556-8
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Image courtesy of the National Library of Medicine (NLM).
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