In case you needed one more example of how conventional medicine fails women in perimenopause, let’s take a moment to consider heavy bleeding…
Virtually every woman is going to experience at least occasional heavy bleeding during the perimenopause years; (and there are real issues causing this that you CAN address to get relief).
Yet most conventional doctors will say something along the lines of:
“Just buy heavier pads/tampons.”
“It’s not hurting your body to bleed so much; it’s ‘normal’ after all. So you can keep living your life.”
“Well, you can look forward to menopause and you won’t have to deal with it anymore!”
Can you see the thread running through these suggestions?
Deal with it.
It’ll end, so why should we try to fix it?
You’re a woman so you’re used to bleeding… it’s not that bad, right?
I’m here today to tell you that you do NOT just have to suffer from heavy, painful periods in perimenopause. There’s a reason it’s happening, and there are natural, safe ways to get relief quickly!
If you have a broken arm, do you wait until it heals to do something to fix it?
Of course not.
You get an x-ray, find the root cause of your pain, and make adjustments immediately.
In the same way, you shouldn’t just think, “this will end in a few years when I’m in menopause; so I’ll just deal with the pain.”
This article is going to be your heavy bleeding “x-ray”—let’s dive into what’s causing this painful; disruptive symptom and (most importantly) how you can get relief!
Before I start, I just want to say this out of the gate—if you are experiencing extremely heavy periods, are bleeding outside of your period, or have a sudden change in your bleeding pattern; you NEED to make an appointment with a trusted practitioner.
The advice I share below is designed to help ALL women who want to transition through perimenopause with ease and grace. But sometimes there are significant underlying health concerns that only your doctor can help you with. Getting a diagnosis of endometriosis, fibroids, or any of the other causes of heavy periods can help you target your healing plan to work best for your body.
WHAT CAUSES HEAVY BLEEDING DURING PERIMENOPAUSE?
There are lots of different reasons your bleeding can increase during perimenopause, and (ready for some good news you won’t get at your doctor’s office?) all of them are often reversible with targeted lifestyle, nutrition, and supplement protocols!
#1: Estrogen Dominance
Estrogen dominance is a hormone imbalance epidemic among women over 35. While you’re menstruating, your body relies on a balance of progesterone AND estrogen to keep things working as they should.
But once you start into the slow decline of ovary function that happens in perimenopause, it’s super common for your estrogen levels to outweigh progesterone, leading to a myriad of uncomfortable symptoms with heavy bleeding and increased cramping at the top of the list.
Excess estrogen causes the lining of your uterus to grow thicker, which leads to heavier flow each month. The lack of progesterone to counteract this estrogen is also a recipe for accompanying symptoms like:
- Mood swings and anxiety (or always feeling “hyped up” leading up to your period)
- Trouble sleeping
- Fibrocystic breasts
- Severe PMS
- And more (see the full list HERE)
Please do not ignore these signs if you identify with them! Estrogen dominance is an early warning sign that something is off in your body, and letting it go unchecked can cause even more severe issues like cardiovascular disease and cancer down the road.
#2: Insulin Resistance
When you are chronically stressed or live mainly on a diet of sugar and carbs, your body becomes desensitized to the constantly-elevated insulin levels circulating.
This means that your body releases more glucose to go to your cells (because that’s what insulin signals), but your cells don’t take it. The glucose then has free reign in your bloodstream, increasing your blood sugar levels and causing more stubborn weight gain. (Because… guess what that glucose gets turned into when your cells don’t take it? Fat, often in your midsection.)
This combination of elevated blood sugar, insulin, and (as a result) extra weight all contribute to heavy bleeding in perimenopause.
All the ways this resistance to insulin affects your body are not known at this point, but here’s what we do know: it’s not good. It sets you up for diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and even more disruptive symptoms (including fibroids—keep reading to learn more).
Fibroids become much more common during the perimenopause years. Sometimes they happen and cause no alarming symptoms so you don’t even know they’re there.
But more commonly, they are the culprit causing heavy bleeding and other signs like pelvic pain or pressure, back pain, constipation, and trouble peeing.
While research is not definitive about exactly what causes fibroids, here are two that we know contribute to the presence and growth of fibroids:
First, shifting estrogen and progesterone levels. Since fibroids typically disappear after menopause, they are believed to be a product of the fluctuating hormone levels that are also causing issues with weight, mood, sleep, vaginal changes, and hot flashes.
Supporting optimal hormone levels through this transition is key to getting relief by digging back to the root!
Second, insulin resistance. Research indicates that there is a connection between insulin resistance and fibroid growth. (1) Increasing insulin sensitivity through diet, supplements, and exercise is a critical piece for addressing this underlying cause of heavy bleeding.
It’s commonly acknowledged that women with low thyroid function often suffer from heavy periods. But once you hit 35 or 40+, doctors usually suddenly stop digging for the root cause and explain it away as “a result of perimenopause.”
FACT: your thyroid function is critical for how your body works and how you feel, especially in perimenopause.
If heavy bleeding has been your norm for years, or if you are just starting on this journey, getting a full thyroid panel to identify if there are any shortcomings is an important step in nailing down the root cause of your heavy periods.
Last but not least, you can’t neglect your emotional health and stress levels. Some studies indicate that women who are stressed are twice as likely to experience heavy, painful periods as those who are not feeling that way.
Your emotional well being affects more than just your mood and your mindset. It has real, physical implications for your body—including making your periods worse.
HOW TO ADDRESS HEAVY BLEEDING IN PERIMENOPAUSE TO GET FAST RESULTS
So let’s do a quick recap…
- Heavy bleeding is common in perimenopause.
- You don’t have to suffer through it and just “look forward to menopause,” like your doctor may have told you.
- There are real root causes driving this symptom.
And now the fun part…
We get to dive into the critical pieces you need to implement to restore hormonal balance to your body so you can get relief naturally!
The solutions your doctor will offer: Your doctor may give you the option of going on birth control or hormone replacement to try to lighten your periods. While this may sound tempting, it is really just a band-aid solution that won’t address the underlying issues. This means that you’re disrupting your body’s rhythms, inciting potentially dangerous side effects, and putting your long-term health at risk for something that may not even work for you.
Getting to the root cause and healing your body from the inside out is the best solution to establishing lasting health to help you feel better, yes, but to also prevent issues in the future.
Here are 5 critical steps to get your body back in balance and relieve heavy bleeding:
FIRST: Lower stress
I say it often: efforts to fix your hormones and relieve your symptoms WILL FAIL if you don’t address your stress.
Stress is an insidious driving force for every chronic disease and symptom… and we need to fight back.
You may feel like so much in your life is out of your control. It’s easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day, and constantly rush from one thing to another all the time.
But your body is paying the price for all your good intentions.
No doubt, everything you’re doing is fantastic. Your work, your family, your friends, your community all rely on you—but are you doing all of this at the expense of yourself?
I’m not saying you need to give these things up. I’m just saying that YOU are the most important part of your own life. If you’re not taking time for yourself each and every day, your hormones will suffer, your energy will suffer, and your body will become something you don’t even recognize.
I know what it’s like to be a busy woman who feels like there’s no room for self-care in my jam-packed schedule. Even if it starts at just 5 minutes per day, setting intentions and creating space for yourself is crucial to your whole-body healing.
Get started today:
I created my Daily Self-Care Journal to help busy women create a pattern of self-care within their daily rhythms. This journal will guide you through setting goals, a daily gratitude practice, and creating an intentional focus to show yourself the care and attention you deserve—in only 5 minutes every morning!
SECOND: Increase progesterone
Since the imbalance of estrogen and progesterone typically results in heavier, more painful periods, restoring the ratio of these critical hormones is an essential piece to transitioning into perimenopause and menopause with ease and grace.
Yes, these hormone levels are meant to decline during this stage of your life (which is why I don’t recommend long-term hormone replacement or estrogen replacement in any form). BUT you can use these hormones to your advantage to get relief from many of your biggest symptoms and protect your health long-term!
Get started today:
I’ve compiled some simple, natural strategies to raise progesterone levels in your body in this blog post. Check it out to see what you can start doing immediately to get some balance back in your life!
THIRD: Eliminate inflammation
Inflammation is like a wildfire in your body that stops your systems from working as they should—especially your hormones. Inflammation blocks hormone conversion, leaving them in their “active” forms (which results in increased symptoms like, you guessed it, heavy bleeding).
Beyond this blockage, inflammation wears down your energy, makes your body work WAY harder than it should to do basic things, clouds your thinking, drains your energy, and leaves you even more depleted and stressed.
This just continues the cycle… until you break it.
Get started today:
Start your day with an inflammation-fighting, hormone-loving green smoothie. Check out this post for my favorite tips and inspiration to get you started!
FOURTH: Support your thyroid & insulin sensitivity
This sounds complicated, but some basic daily switches can really give your body the 180 it needs. Things like swapping high intensity workouts for more gentle movement can protect your thyroid and increase insulin sensitivity.
Eliminating inflammation, especially in your diet, is going to be the biggest key here. Gluten, sugar, dairy, and alcohol are the biggest culprits that drive insulin resistance and thyroid dysfunction, so taking a break from these foods for 2-3 cycles could really benefit you and reduce your bleeding each month!
Get started today:
Take a walk! Gentle exercise won’t tax your systems like more strenuous exercise would. (And bonus points if you can do it outside! The fresh air and vitamin D will be an added bonus!)
FIFTH: Increase intake of key nutrients
A combination of nutrient deficiencies can really keep you trapped in the cycle of heavy bleeding. Even if you try to get all your nutrients through food alone, you WILL come up short.
Here are the top 3 supplements I recommend for women in perimenopause who are consistently experiencing heavy bleeding:
- Magnesium (Ok, I recommend this for everyone, but that’s how amazing it is!)
Magnesium is the PERFECT tool to give you quick wins during your period and throughout the month. It acts as a gentle muscle relaxant to reduce pain during your period and it may even help lighten your flow! Plus it helps you sleep, handle stress better, and keep your hormones in an ideal balance. Not all magnesium supplements are effective, so click here to get the one I recommend!
If you bleed heavily for more than a couple of cycles in a row, adding iron supplements can help ward off anemia due to blood loss. If you feel especially tired and lethargic, or if you have symptoms like thinning hair, reduced thyroid function, or cold hands and feet, you should definitely consider adding iron to your daily regimen!
- Vitamin D
If you are a typical woman in the US, you aren’t getting enough vitamin D. And if you are dealing with heavy or painful periods, adding vitamin D is an easy fix to get you feeling better, faster! Studies show that vitamin D deficiency and menstrual problems go hand-in-hand, (2) and especially during perimenopause, this vitamin becomes essential to help govern your energy, mood, sleep, immunity, hormones, and more. Get my recommended vitamin D supplement here (formulated for optimal absorption).
Get started today:
Supplements are the easiest and fastest way to support optimal hormone health, and they become SO important during perimenopause. Click here to shop my entire line of hormone-supportive supplements that will help you kickstart your healing and reduce your biggest symptoms!
YOU DESERVE BETTER
I’m so tired of women believing that feeling miserable and sick is normal for their age.
In The Essential Oils Menopause Solution, I go deep into root causes like those I outlined above to help you create a healing plan for YOUR body that fits YOUR unique needs (because no solution is going to be one-size-fits-all).
Buy the book now, and I’ll also give you my Menopause Toolkit ($500 value) FREE just for ordering! This is an essential collection of resources to help you determine what your body needs and create a plan to eliminate your most disruptive symptoms for good.
Buy the book & claim your bonuses today! >>