why is my period so heavy
Reading time 3 mins.

11 Ways to Manage Heavy Periods

As leaders in the menstrual care and equity sphere for over 20 years, we’ve learned a lot about managing heavy periods. Heavy menstrual bleeding can interrupt your ability to work, socialize, and engage in day-to-day activities.  

In this article /

    why is my period so heavy
    If you’re looking for the best ways to deal with a heavy period, here’s what we’ve discovered. And if your periods inhibit your ability to function or come with pain that is often debilitating, check in with your healthcare provider. It could be the result of a hormone imbalance or underlying condition.

    1. Use menstrual products with a higher absorbency

    Nowadays, this can include pads or tampons with a higher absorbency level, but also leakproof period underwear or menstrual cups or discs with a larger capacity. Both the DIVA Cup and Disc hold over 30ml (or 1.01 oz) of fluid and can be worn for up to 12 hours continuously.

    2. Change your menstrual products frequently

    Even with higher capacity menstrual cups and discs, it's important to change them often to keep up with blood flow, prevent leaks and maintain good hygiene.  

    3. Take over-the-counter pain medication

    Ibuprofen and naproxen can help reduce cramps and inflammation, which can be especially helpful during heavy periods.

    4. Stay hydrated

    Drinking plenty of water can help reduce bloating by flushing out excess fluid.

    5. Use heat therapy

    Applying heat to your lower abdomen or lower back can help relieve cramps and discomfort.

    6. Get plenty of rest

    Getting enough sleep and rest can help reduce fatigue and may help improve mood during heavy menstrual periods. Heavy bleeding disorders can cause iron deficiency anemia leading to extreme fatigue. Support heavy periods with plenty of iron rich foods!

    7. Consider birth control

    Hormonal birth control pills can help regulate periods and reduce heavy bleeding in some cases. Alternatively, sometimes intrauterine devices (IUDs) may have caused an increase in menstrual bleeding. Talk to your healthcare provider about the best options for you.

    8. Diet

    Eating a balanced diet that is rich in iron and other nutrients can help support a healthy menstrual cycle. Iron-rich foods include leafy greens, red meat, beans, and lentils. It's also important to limit caffeine and alcohol consumption, which can exacerbate heavy bleeding.

    9. Exercise

    Regular exercise can help regulate hormones and reduce stress, which can improve menstrual cycle regularity and reduce heavy bleeding.

    10. Stress reduction techniques

    Stress can exacerbate heavy bleeding, so finding ways to reduce stress can be helpful. Techniques such as meditation, yoga, deep breathing, and acupuncture may be effective in reducing stress, promoting relaxation and assisting with heavy periods.

    11. Vitamins and supplements

    Certain vitamins and supplements may help support a healthy menstrual cycle, such as vitamin B6, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids. However, it's important to speak with a healthcare provider before starting any supplements to ensure they are safe and effective for you.

    It's important to note that not all remedies will be effective for everyone. It never hurts to seek medical treatment if your period is preventing you from your day-to-day responsibilities. If you experience unusually heavy or painful periods, it's also important that you speak with your healthcare provider to rule out any underlying health conditions.


    • CDC. “Heavy Menstrual Bleeding.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 28 Aug. 2015, www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/blooddisorders/women/menorrhagia.html.
    • “How to Stop Heavy Period Flow – Causes and Treatments.” HealthPartners Blog, 10 Oct. 2019, www.healthpartners.com/blog/what-causes-heavy-periods-and-how-to-stop-them/.
    • “How to Stop Heavy Periods.” Healthline, 12 Mar. 2020, www.healthline.com/health/how-to-stop-heavy-periods.
    • Mayo Clinic. “Menorrhagia (Heavy Menstrual Bleeding) - Diagnosis and Treatment - Mayo Clinic.” Mayoclinic.org, 2017, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/menorrhagia/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20352834.