Heavy menstrual bleeding occurs when you must change a sanitary pad or tampon every hour for two or more hours during your period. According to the Centers For Disease Control, one in five women suffer from heavy menstrual bleeding with it becoming more common when they reach their 30s or 40s. While there are various medications available to help relieve heavy menstrual bleeding, there are also vitamins and foods, like fruit, that can help return your bleeding to more normal levels. If heavy bleeding is something new, you should consult with your physician to rule out any underlying medical conditions.
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Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays a role in maintaining healthy skin, tissue, mucus membranes, teeth, vision, reproduction and breastfeeding. A report published in the “South African Medical Journal,” states vitamin A deficiency has been linked as a cause of menorrhagia, or heavy menstrual bleeding. Researchers found a statistically significant difference in the vitamin A levels of patients who suffered with menorrhagia and those who did not. The return of proper vitamin A status saw a return of normal bleeding in 92 percent of participants.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that works as an anti-oxidant and protects the body from free radical damage to the cells, tissues and organs in your body. Vitamin E helps to keep the immune system strong and functioning properly. It helps your body to use vitamin K in the formation of red blood cells and clots. A 1983 study published in the “International Journal of Fertility” looked at the treatment of menorrhagia after an intrauterine contraceptive device had been inserted. They discovered that treatment with 100 milligrams per day of vitamin E treated the heavy menstrual bleeding and returned bleeding amounts to normal limits.
Vitamin K is known as the blood clotting vitamin and is essential in making your blood clot. Low levels of vitamin K in your body can increase your risk of bleeding and bruising. Eating foods high in vitamin K during your period can increase your blood clotting properties and reduce your blood flow amount. Foods high in vitamin K include green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, turnip greens, romaine, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. Smaller amounts of vitamin K can also be found in fish, liver, meat and eggs.
Many fruits are naturally full of vitamins A, E and K, and eating a diet full of these fruits during your period can help reduce bleeding. Fruits high in vitamin A include apples, apricots, bananas, berries, fruit cocktail, pink or red grapefruits and juice, grapes, mangos, honeydew and cantaloupe melons, nectarines, oranges, papayas, peaches, peppers, plums, mandarin oranges and tomatoes. Vitamin K can be found in small quantities in berries, fruit cocktail, grapes, honeydew and cantaloupe, nectarines, papayas, pears, peppers and plums.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- Centers For Disease Control: Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
- National Institutes of Health: MedlinePlus: Menstruation
- South African Medical Journal: Vitamin A in the Treatment of Menorrhagia
- International Journal of Fertility: Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol) in the Management of Menorrhagia Associated with the Use of Intrauterine Contraceptive Devices
- MedlinePlus: Vitamin E
- MedlinePlus: Vitamin K
- MedlinePlus: Vitamin A