Managing Heavy periods
11 July 2022
Heavy flooding periods can occur in the life stage of Perimenopause - why?
During a regular menstrual cycle, oestrogen and progesterone rise and fall in a relatively consistent way. However, in perimenopause, that consistency changes - our hormones rebel and stop following the plan.
In perimenopause, the body tries to encourage the faltering ovaries into releasing follicles (containing an egg), oestrogen levels rise, causing the womb lining to thicken; but we ovulate less frequently, meaning the egg isn’t released from the follicle and as a result no progesterone is produced to balance out that stimulating oestrogen.
The result is an unusually thick womb lining and this excessive buildup of tissue means longer periods and more intense, heavy menstrual flow.
Interestingly, our teenage girls are not in a dissimilar situation. In these early cycles, the communication between the brain and ovaries is getting started, a bit like learning to drive, and the car bunny-hops down the road, rather than following a constant pattern. As such, cycles are frequently anovulatory, meaning no ovulation occurs during the cycle, causing heavier periods.
Here are some therapies to cope with extended perimenopause periods & lighten heavy periods in teens.
Remove all cow’s dairy. Why? Most cow’s dairy in the UK contains a protein (A1 casein) that when digested produces a peptide called BCM-7 that in many people activates mast cells. A mast cell is a resident cell of connective tissue that contains many granules rich in histamine and heparin. Histamine & heparin increases vascular permeability and local blood flow. Goat and sheep milk products are ok as they don’t have A1 casein.
Curcumin + omega 3. These work by reducing prostaglandins (inflammatory immune chemicals). During a period, prostaglandins trigger muscles in the uterus to contract. These contractions help expel the uterus lining. Higher levels of prostaglandins can cause more severe menstrual cramps.
Progesterone - in perimenopause only. Micronized Progesterone, during the final 2 weeks of the cycle lightens periods by thinning the uterine lining.
If your daughter has been offered the Oral Contraceptive Pill to help with heavy / painful periods, say a resounding NO THANK YOU! The benefits of oestrogen + progesterone other than for reproduction are far reaching to a woman's health, including regulating blood pressure, Improves mood & sleep, easing anxiety, promotes memory, helps the metabolism by contributing to the use of fat for energy. Assists in preventing plaque from forming on arterial walls, Essential for bone growth & more!
Shutting off the production of these (which the OCP does) in other words placing our young women into chemical menopause, withholding the benefits of these amazing hormones - is not the answer!