Menstrual Woes: Part 1

Flooding.

A.K.A. Menorrhagia

It has happened to all of us. We wake up with blood-soaked underwear and our bed looks like a scene from The Godfather. Or, we stand up and then realise we have to change our pants. All women have at least one embarrassing story.

But some of us have this story over and over, to the point where we fear for our health.

Symptoms of Menorrhagia:

  • Heavy vaginal bleeding, resulting in the saturation of one or more sanitary pads or tampons every hour for several hours
  • Heavy bleeding requiring the use of double sanitary protection
  • Having to change pads or tampons in the middle of the night
  • Menstrual flow or bleeding lasting more than a week
  • Passage of blood clots that are the size of a quarter or larger
  • Inability to perform regular daily activities because of the bleeding
  • Signs and symptoms of anemia, including tiredness, fatigue, and shortness of breath
  • Constant lower abdominal and pelvic pain

 

Causes of Menorrhagia:

Hormone imbalance.

Dysfunction of the ovaries.

Uterine fibroids.

Polyps.

Intrauterine device (IUD).

Pregnancy complications.

Medications.

Perimenopause.

According to Our Bodies, Ourselves:

“At midlife, women transition from their reproductive years to the natural end of monthly menstrual cycles. This transition — called perimenopause — usually begins in the 40s and ends by the early 50s, although any age from the late 30s to 60 can be normal. It can be difficult to know whether you’ve entered perimenopause, because the hormonal fluctuations begin while menstrual periods are still regular.

Perimenopause can last anywhere from one to 10 years. During this time, the ovaries function erratically and hormonal fluctuations may bring about a range of changes, including hot flashes, night sweats, sleep disturbances, and heavy menstrual bleeding. Other signs of perimenopause can include memory changes, urinary changes, vaginal changes, and shifts in sexual desire and satisfaction.

Some women breeze through the transition. For many others, the hormonal changes create a range of mild discomforts. And for about 20 percent of women, the hormones fluctuate wildly and unpredictably, and spiking and falling estrogen and declining progesterone cause one or more years of nausea, migraines, weight gain, sore breasts, severe night sweats, and/or sleep trouble. For this group, perimenopause can be enormously disruptive both physically and emotionally.”

 

Prolonged and excessive menstrual bleeding, uterine bleeding and blood in urine, feces or vomit should always be investigated and examined by a professional health care provider.

Holistic Herbal Therapy
1: Restorative- using herbs to restore hormonal balance
2: Symptomatic- relieve chronic symptoms
3: Heroic- intense resolution of acute symptoms

Herbal recommendations:
Restorative: Tonic/hormone regulator-Chaste tree

Nutritive- Dandelion/Yellow dock for iron absorption

Cinnamon brings warmth to the uterus

Symptomatic: Astringent/analgesic-Lady’s mantle

Uterine relaxant- Raspberry leaf, Sage

Nervine- Lemon balm

Heroic: Astringent, styptic- Capsella bursa-pastoris (Shepherd’s purse)

Herbs are as varied an individual as humans, there is really no way to give an herbal therapy protocol that suits everyone. This protocol is a great place to start, then, after listening to what your body is telling you, you can make adjustments.

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