London: Heavy menstrual bleeding – referred to as menorrhagia (pronounced men-or-ray-jah) by the medical profession – affects a significant proportion of women. Menorrhagia can have several potential causes including fibroids (non-cancerous growths in the womb muscle) and hormonal imbalance.
Any woman suffering from menorrhagia should see their doctor so that appropriate investigations can be done. As your case demonstrates, however, often no specific reason can be found for a woman¿s heavy menstrual bleeding. Treatment options for menorrhagia revolve around hormonal medications (e.g. the Pill) or hysterectomy. However, natural alternatives do exist.
Treatment for hormone imbalance
Frequent and/or heavy periods can be related to an imbalance in the female sex hormones such as estrogen and progesterone. The herb Agnus castus seems to have a hormone-regulating effect and might be helpful in terms of balancing your menstrual cycle.
Take 40 drops of tincture in water each morning. This treatment may take time to have its effect, so I would advise you to use Agnus castus for at least three months before you decide whether it is helping you or not.
Another herb that may help you is Alchemilla Vulgaris. This herb has a long history of use as what is known as a ‘uterine astringent’. This basically means that it reduces bleeding from the womb. Take 1 tsp, three times a day. You can get Agnus Castus and Alchemilla Vulgaris from Advanced Herbals on 02920 219853.
In addition to these herbs, certain nutrients may help to control your menstrual symptoms. One nutrient that seems to be very effective in treating menorrhagia is vitamin A. One study showed that 25,000 IU of vitamin A taken twice a day for 15 days brought about a significant reduction of menstrual flow in more than 90 percent of women.
I would advise you to take this amount of vitamin A and follow this with a maintenance dose of 10,000 IU per day. Please note that vitamin A in doses of more than 10,000 IU per day should not be used in women who are pregnant or are planning pregnancy.
Another useful nutrient in treating menorrhagia is the mineral iron. It is well known that iron deficiency is a common consequence of menorrhagia. However, what is less well known is that iron can also be used to treat menorrhagia. Iron appears to help blood vessels contract, which is important if the body is to bring an end to the bleeding from the womb.
The best way to have the level of iron in your body checked is to with a blood test called ‘ferritin’. If this is low, iron therapy may well help reduce the weight of your periods. Take 100 – 200 mg of iron a day, until your ferritin level returns to normal. (dailymail)