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Menopause Heavy Bleeding and Menstrual Irregularities

Menopause heavy bleeding is one of the many symptoms in perimenopause, or premenopause, as are other changes in your menstrual cycle.  This can be anything from changes in the length of your period, or the length between periods to changes in the amount of flow.

When you reach your forties, you don't ovulate every month.  Without ovulation, progesterone is not produced.  Without progesterone, your uterine lining continues to grow. When it comes time to shed the lining (your period), there is more of it, therefore more blood to release.  According to Dr. Christiane Northrup in her book, The Wisdom of Menopause, emotional stress can make this problem worse.

After I had my son my periods changed.  I thought it was due to post pregnancy issues at the time, but I was 42, so it was more likely pre menopause.  My periods became shorter (from 5 days to 3) and heavier.

When to Call Your Doctor

While it may be comforting to know that menopause heavy bleeding is natural, there are many other potential causes of heavy bleeding.  While heavy bleeding is not unusual during perimenopause, it may be caused by endometriosis (see endometriosis and menopause), fibroids, and sometimes, cancer.

According to Medline Plus, if you have any of these symptoms along with menopause heavy bleeding, you should call your doctor:

  • soaking through a pad or tampon every hour for 2 - 3 hours
  • a period that lasts longer than seven days
  • severe pain, during your period or especially when you are not bleeding
  • periods that are longer than normal or heavier than normal (normal for you) for three or more cycles
  • bleeding or spotting in between your periods
  • a fever
  • an abnormal discharge, especially with an odor
  • nipple discharge
  • excessive hair growth
  • deepening voice
  • unintentional weight gain or loss
  • new acne
  • Or, you are pregnant or could be pregnant
  • You have bleeding or spotting after menopause (menopause is the point at which you have not had a period for one year)

Natural Ways to Stop or Slow Heavy Bleeding

If you are losing a lot of blood, you may need extra iron.  With iron deficiency, you will feel very tired.  Blackstrap molasses is a good food source of iron.

Shepherd's Purse is an herb that can slow or stop bleeding.  The plant got its common name because the seed pods are heart-shaped, resembling a shepherd's purse.  It has been used by herbalists and midwives around the world for centuries to control bleeding.

Shepherd's Purse, (botanical name:  Capsella bursa-pastoris) can be used to stop bleeding (make sure you know nothing serious is wrong, first).  According to Susun Weed in The New Menopausal Years, if you take 30 drops of tincture every 15 minutes or so, you should see results within minutes or hours.  If you don't notice any difference 24 hours, it's not going to work.

Amanda McQuade Crawford, in The Herbal Menopause Book, suggests taking a bath every night for week with 5 drops of all or any of these essential oils:  clary sage, lavender and chamomile.  Make sure the water is not too hot.

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