How are you managing your heavy menstrual bleeding?

One of the symptoms of uterine fibroids is very heavy bleeding. A recent visitor wondered about managing the heavy days:

susie Q: i wondered if folks have any ‘tricks of the trade’ around managing the bleeding and heavy days. i feel shy to ask about this part of it all, but wonder if folks have ideas i might not have thought about – beyond towel rags, pads etc… anyway, if folks have inventions or ideas…. 🙂

Another visitor suggested the great idea of a separate thread on this topic. Thanks Pam!

I struggled with the “floods” and huge clots for years. I wore dark clothing, packed a ton of sanitary supplies to leave my house (when I could still leave the house), and ALWAYS had to know the location of a bathroom. I feel for every woman dealing with this. It’s not easy but please realize that you aren’t alone.

If you have thoughts on managing it or just want to talk about heavy menstrual bleeding in general, leave a comment.

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Related Posts:
Uterine fibroid symptoms (not my idea of fun)
Uterine fibroid tumors and anemia?
Anyone using birth control pills to control bleeding from fibroids?
What makes you mad, sad, or glad when you think about your fibroids?

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277 Responses to “How are you managing your heavy menstrual bleeding?”

  1. augusta Says:

    Hope you are feeling better. Take good care.

  2. Laura Says:

    Sometime in my 30’s, after my kids were born, I started having very heavy periods that entailed bleeding through Super+ tampons w/overnight pads – – through to my bed when sleeping, and a disaster/mess while at work (having to go to the ladies room every half hour to deal with it) or anywhere else I had to go on days 2-5. My periods would also last at least 7 days. I always had pretty heavy periods as a teenager, but never like this. I discovered about that I had fibroids. My OBGYN recommended a hysterectomy (!) which seemed pretty severe. For some reason, the OBGYN’s are quick to recommend this – – I had heard somewhere that this is how they make their money, though I’m not sure exactly how. I did some research trying to find alternatives to hysterectomies and came across the procedure called Uterine Fibroid Embolization. I asked my OBGYN about it (as she had not mentioned it) and found that some of her patients had tried it and some had success with it. Five years ago, at age 43, I finally had the procedure done and it was GREAT. In and out the same day (outpatient), rest for a day or two, and that was that. Over the course of a few months, my period went from lasting 7+ days to about 4 and the flow was light to normal. I would highly recommend this to procedure. Unfortunately, for me, I have developed new fibroids and so now I’m pretty much back to where I started except that my periods only last about 4 days (with the second and third day being the worst). But all-in-all I got some great relief from the procedure and it lasted for me about 4 years. Just recently I seriously considered having the procedure done again, but I am now 48 and starting to see the signs of menopause. My family history shows I should be done with my periods by age 50, so I have decided to just tough it out until my periods stop. Meanwhile, I have found some great tips that have helped me tremendously, and so I wanted to share them:
    1. The type of tampon you use DOES matter. I was using (cheaper) Kotex brand and I switched to Playtex Super + and it makes a huge difference. I think the cheaper brand didn’t fit me as well and the Playtex fits/works better. It also takes longer for the Super+ to fill up. I also am back to wearing a pad in addition to the tampon and of course I use the heavy duty overnight brands (extra long works good too).
    2. Another thing I have learned to do is to take a baby aspirin in the morning and then another at night when I have my period. The aspirin works as a blood thinner and it has almost completely eliminated the disgusting blobs of blood that I was dealing with. Sometimes I get a little now, or “shards” of blood as I call them, but nothing like it was where I would be cleaning up the floor sometimes. You can also use regular aspirin, but it has to be aspirin (not Tylenol or Advil, etc). Garlic is a natural blood thinner, so you could eat lots of garlic when you have your period also.
    3. MIDOL. I never used Midol before but my girls use it, so I tried it and it really does help. It eliminates that bloated feeling and other symptoms (cramps etc) and so I’ll take it now for a few days.
    4. Of course I also put a towel down when I go to sleep incase there is any bleeding through at night. I am back to having to get up once in the night and change everything too.

    For me, the hot flashes have started and I’m also spotting in the middle of month which I never had in my life, so I know I am on my way to menopause. How sad is that? I am excited about menopause! Hope some of this information is helpful to some of you out there and seriously consider the Uterine Fibroid Embolization. It really did change my life.

    • Marcie Says:

      I found your post when looking to find out if aspirin would make the clotting better or worse. I never, ever had menstrual problems until heavy periods and long periods evolved over the past couple yrs (I’m 47). Dr put me on BCPs which have cut periods from 60 day to 13. I do have an ablation scheduled in two months to deal with this. Good news is that multiple test indicate this is hormonal in cause and not due to anything worse or severe fibroids.
      However, this weekend I started the worst period of my life. I have literally had to mop my bathroom floor and can not leave the house. I’ve been going through a tampon (super+) and flooding an overnight pad every 15-30 mintues. I feel fine oddly. My dr apparently doesn’t think it’s bad enough to call me back after leaving a message. Trying to figure out how I’m going to handle a critical high profile work assignment this week……
      I will try the aspirin but was worried it would make the bleeding heavier. I also have used the Instead cup, with a tampon and pad…however, the clots have been heavy enough to dislodge it….thanks for your info.

      • nini Says:

        Laura/Marcie – i remember some ladies on this site (not sure which discussion thread) said that black strap molasses helped with heavy bleeding. At the least, it is chock full of iron which I am sure you may need after all the bleeding episodes. Isn’t it crazy what us ladies need to deal with. I find tampax pearl & always overnight pads to be effective to the most part. A friend of mine with fibroids swears by OB tampons, have yet to try though. Good luck and all the best to you.

      • augusta Says:

        Hi Marcie! I know what it feels like! I am 50 and started having the worst periods this year. Pleased to say that natural progresterone cream has helped me a lot. It reduces the flow if you apply it on your skin hourly during the period and twice a day on other days. Take care!

    • Abbi Says:

      Thank you sooooooooo much. Very helpful.

  3. Nicole Anetra Lewis Says:

    I am currently using the Diva Cup. Since it holds 25ml, about double even of the Ultra Tampax tampon, it has been okay. This is my first cycle using it. On my flooding day it held for an average of 5 hours at a time before bleedthrough. I did wear a pad back up, but this was better than the once and hour routine with the Ultra’s I usually go through on this day. Warning though, taking it out requires a bathroom with running water and technique to avoid major mess. I’m also on my first cycle trying Lysteda, we’ll see how it goes!

  4. Caroline Says:

    Just ran across your blog looking for info on heavy bleeding and uterine ablation. I had hideous periods in my teens, they evened out in my 20’s through 30ish. Now I’m almost 41 and seriously anemic from heavy flows. I had 3 babies within 3 years (age 27-30), which left me unable to really use a tampon. Stuck with doubling up on overnite pads for days 2-4 and getting up 3 times a nite during that time. Period used to last 7 days but am down to 4 or 5 because I really don’t think I have that much blood left in me. ; ) Heard of diva cup but think I’d bleed through after an hour. Thanks for letting me know that our bed & bath isn’t the only that looks like a murder scene come morning.

  5. sian Says:

    So I’m 17 and I have had heavy periods from the start. i think they are starting to get better, but no matter what pad I wear it’s uncomfortable. What I do is just go through toilet paper. I fold it up and use it with my pad and it just feels better. Like you have more protection, at least at night. I don’t like to were tampons at night because I tend to sleep more then 8 hours. Plus, it fills up after about four or five. I just stick to lots of loo roll! Might be strange, but I can get a good nights sleep with zero leeks all night. =]

  6. nurseplummer Says:

    Sian: I just came across your post and have some suggestions that you will hopefully find helpful. First though, I will introduce myself: My name is Elaine and I am the Always and Tampax Community Manager and a Registered Nurse.

    To start, I recommend that you schedule a visit with your health care provider. While, it sounds like your normal is to be a heavy bleeder, there may be an underlying cause that you may not know about. Most women lose about 6-9 tbsp of menstrual fluid during their period, but only about 3 tbsp. of it is blood. If you think you are bleeding a lot more than that amount, your health care provider would want to know.

    Next, I suggest you visit the Always website. I have included a link below to information about Always Infinity. The Infinity pad is very thin and flexible. Despite its thin appearance, it provides great protection. Along with that, the Infinity allows women the ability to move easily and it absorbs great. After trying it, you may be able to skip the using the toilet paper, which can’t be very comfortable.

    Below is a link to a page that will show you more about the features and benefits of this pad. Note the free sample offer on the page too. Take care and I would love to know what you think after using the Always Infinity.

    http://www.always.com/infinity/always_infinity.jsp#/home?utm_source=wordpress&utm_medium=NursePlummer&utm_content=link20110322&utm_campaign=comm_mgr

  7. supertyper Says:

    Playtex makes an Ultra level as well. Helped me put off the ablation for about three years. I had an ablation about 2.5 months ago and it has been pretty awesome. I do seem to have some brain fog/amnesia thing and am seeing a neurologist tomorrow. My regular MD thought it may have been the general anesthesia. No brain, but no bleeding either!

  8. Samir Says:

    thanks a lot for this great info

  9. Susan Says:

    It’s been a long time since anyone commented on this blog – wasn’t even sure it was even still up.
    I had horrible bleeding due to a fibroid – about three years of absolute hell. My OB/GYN had me on BC to at least regulate the bleeding, but it was brutal when I had a “period” – and my iron levels were nearly non-existent. Last fall, when I was about to turn 50, we decided to take me off the BC pills and see what happened, since I was approaching menopause age. Well, it’s been like a new lease on life. I had a couple of incidents with some heavy bleeding, but it has now slowed to nearly nothing. So I just want to give some support to those of you who are approaching “that” age and let know that it will get better. I wasn’t able to have a hysterectomy (or any surgical procedure) because of insurance constrictions, so I had to just wait it out and suffer. But there was a light at the end of the tunnel and i’m feeling 100% better. Good luck to all.

  10. ensatina Says:

    NOTE this site is abandoned and broken! It is a great site, but you need to fix many of the links to go to the correct pages!!

    HERE IS THE TRICK TO SEE THE CORRECT LINKS:
    Click on a link, check the address bar, if it doesn’t include “wordpress” you need to add it and click again and you will get through. Apparently I can’t place a link in here to show you, but just add “wordpress” without the quotation marks and make sure you add a period – one is needed on either side of .wordpress.

    Good luck!

  11. Tara Says:

    Ughhh, I have been going through this for over a year now. I have found that the safest bet is wearing the top of the line women’s diapers with baggy jeans…


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