June 21st, 2012 by Hasham
Herbal Remedies for Prolonged Menses
The average menstrual period lasts four to seven days; periods that last longer or that are excessively heavy are classified as menorrhagia. Menorrhagia can have many causes, from fibroids to endometriosis to ovarian dysfunction. Although clinical studies have not proven most of the claims made for these herbs, most have a long history of traditional use by alternative practitioners. See your medical practitioner if you’re having prolonged periods before taking herbs, since there may be a medical cause that requires treatment.
The common household spice cinnamon has a history of use as an herbal supplement for menstrual problems in traditional Chinese medicine. To treat prolonged menstrual bleeding, take cinnamon tincture or tea; you can also take these in the second half of the menstrual cycle as a preventive for heavy bleeding. Do not take cinnamon oil, use just the bark, the Association of Women for the Advancement of Research and Education warns. Ask your doctor if supplementation with cinnamon would be beneficial for your condition.
Vitex, also known as chasteberry, may also help relieve prolonged menstrual bleeding. Proponents of the herb claim that it normalizes pituitary gland functions and improves progesterone functioning. Vitex acts slowly; you may need to take this herb for several months before noting any effects, according to HealthWise.com. Take vitex as a tincture or in an infusion. Talk to your doctor before using herbal remedies to treat any medical condition.
Take shepherd’s purse, considered to be an astringent, as a tincture mixed with yarrow starting a week before your period starts. Continue taking it if you’re having heavy bleeding. Astringents can help slow heavy bleeding by directing blood away from the pelvis, according to MotherNature.com. Check with your doctor before taking any herb to address prolonged menstrual bleeding.
Lady’s mantle also acts as an astringent and stops both external and internal bleeding, including excessive menstrual bleeding. Lady’s mantle is also thought to regulate menstrual cycles, relieve menstrual cramping and help heal fibroids and endometriosis, two causes of heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding. You can make an infusion from lady’s mantle and drink it like tea or use it as a tincture. Consult your doctor before trying to treat or cure your condition with lady’s mantle.
Other herbs known as astringents may also have benefits in stopping prolonged menstrual flow, according to HealthWise, including cranesbill, periwinkle and witch hazel. Check with your doctor before using any sort of supplement, though, to ensure safe and proper usage.
Prolonged and Continuous Menstrual Bleeding
The duration of menstrual periods vary from woman to woman. They happen anywhere from 23 to 35 days and can last from three to seven days, but what happens during the period is not always so regular. A woman can have spotting, light periods, prolonged and continuous menstrual bleeding and many other conditions. Prolonged or continuous bleeding can be normal but should be looked into with care.
What is prolonged and continuous menstrual bleeding?
A normal period will last for three to seven days, after that you might have prolonged and continuous bleeding. Continuous bleeding is normal but if it occurs for consecutive months it can be dangerous.
What causes prolonged and continuous menstrual bleeding?
Prolonged and continuous menstrual bleeding can be caused by a number of factors ranging from stress to birth control pills to more serious medical issues such as polyps. Hormonal imbalances are the most common cause of prolonged and continuous bleeding.
All of these conditions could result in prolonged and continuous bleeding:
• Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
• IUDs or intrauterine devices used for contraception
• Cervical cancer
• A hormonal imbalance
• Uterine fibroid tumors
• Endometrial polyps
• Endometrial cancer
• Cervical polyps
• Willebrand Disease (VWD)
There are several types of bleeding disorders including Willebrand Disease (VWD) which is the most common next to hormonal imbalances.
The most common cause of menorrhagia is hormonal imbalance, according to the Merck Manual. Hormonal imbalances that lead to menorrhagia occur most frequently in women older than age 45 and those younger than age 20. Bleeding related to hormonal imbalances is often called dysfunctional uterine bleeding, or DUB. DUB is an imbalance between two reproductive hormones: estrogen and progesterone. When estrogen levels are higher than normal, a thick uterine lining builds up, and the resulting menses may be very heavy and prolonged. If the ovaries are producing estrogen but no egg is being produced, or if ovulation isn’t occurring, the uterine lining will thicken excessively, and prolonged menstrual bleeding can result.
Tumors on the adrenal gland or thyroid disease cause hormonal imbalances that may result in menorrhagia. Polycystic ovary disease syndrome, or PCOS, is also a cause of hormonal imbalance that leads to DUB.
Uterine abnormalities are common causes of menorrhagia. Fibroids, benign growths of the uterus, affect as many as one in five women, Medline Plus, a service of the National Library of Medicine states. This can cause prolonged menstrual bleeding. Polyps, small fleshy growths that grow from the uterine lining, are common causes of menorrhagia in women of childbearing age. Adenomyosis, growth of the cells of the lining of the uterus into the muscular wall of the uterus, can cause longer than normal bleeding during periods, especially in middle-aged women who have had many children, Mayo Clinic says. Endometriosis, the growth of uterine tissue outside the uterus, is also responsible for some cases of prolonged menstrual bleeding. Cancer of the uterus, cervix or ovaries can lead to menorrhagia as well.
Many other problems can cause prolonged menstrual bleeding. Intrauterine devices (IUDs) used for contraception often cause menorrhagia, the Mayo Clinic states, and may need to be removed if blood loss leads to anemia. Disorders that interfere with the blood’s normal clotting ability, such as von Willibrand’s disease which causes a lack of certain clotting factors in the blood, cause menorrhagia. Taking blood thinners to prevent clotting or excessive use of anti inflammatory medication such as aspirin can also lead to prolonged menstrual periods.