Heavy menstrual bleeding, menorrhagia, negatively affects the lives of many women, causing frustration and, sometimes, embarrassment. Several treatment options exist, but most of them cause side effects. Natural remedies like fruit extracts may offer you an alternative approach. It's important to speak with your doctor before diagnosing yourself or taking supplements.
Menorrhagia Affects Millions
Heavy menstrual bleeding affects from 9 to 52 percent of the female population, according to a 2018 paper from the Cochrane Library. A November 2017 report in Family Practice stated that many women with menorrhagia don't seek medical attention. Failure to treat heavy menstrual bleeding places you at risk for anemia, according to a November 2014 paper in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and can also greatly lower your quality of life.
Read more: What Are the Dangers of Being Anemic?
Causes of Menorrhagia
The causes of heavy menstrual bleeding remain unknown. Researchers, however, have made significant progress. A January 2016 article in Women's Health briefly reviewed the many possible causes of menorrhagia. The authors listed fibroids, tumors and polyps as potential mechanisms. Unfortunately, diseases like cancer may also play a role. So please speak with your doctor if your period changes.
Read more: Ovarian Cancer Warning Signs and Symptoms
Take Shepherd's Purse
Asian manufacturers use Capsella bursa-pastoris, shepherd's purse, in cosmetic products and packaged foods. They also turn extracts of this fruit into nutritional supplements. A report published in the July 2018 Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine tested the health benefits of this Asian fruit.
Women with heavy menstrual bleeding took 500 milligrams of shepherd's purse twice a day during their periods. They repeated this protocol for two consecutive cycles. Compared to placebo, shepherd's purse significantly decreased menstrual bleeding.
Use Myrtle Syrup
Ancient physicians used myrtle extracts for fever and pain. Modern scientists have confirmed these effects. They have also found other benefits of this Mediterranean fruit. For example, a June 2014 article in DARU Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences described the positive effects of myrtle fruit in women with heavy menstrual bleeding.
Participants drank 5 milliliters of myrtle syrup three times a day, completing this routine each day of their period for three cycles. Compared to controls, women given myrtle had significantly shorter periods. The women also reported improved quality of life.
Eat Pomegranate Extract
Ayurvedic healers have used pomegranate flowers to heal ailments for millennia. Because extracts of this fruit act as a blood coagulant, researchers have looked at its ability to help in menorrhagia. The authors of an April 2015 report in the Medical Journal of the Islamic Republic of Iran tested women with heavy menstrual bleeding.
The researchers gave the participants 500 milligrams of pomegranate extract for the first five days of their period. The researchers continued testing the women for three straight cycles. Participants used a unique chart to track their blood loss. Results indicated that pomegranate extracts dramatically decreased blood loss when testing ended. The women also showed improved quality of life scores at that time.
Read more: Causes of Constant Menstrual Bleeding
- National Institute for Health and Care Excellence: Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
- Family Practice: Incidence and Treatment of Heavy Menstrual Bleeding in General Practice
- Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Nonsurgical Interventions for Treating Heavy Menstrual Bleeding (Menorrhagia) in Women With Bleeding Disorders
- Women's Health: Pathophysiology of Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
- Healthfully: Shepherd's Purse Tea Side Effects
- Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine: Effect of Hydroalcoholic Extracts of Capsella Bursa-Pastoris on Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
- Medicines: Antioxidant Activity of Myrtus Communis L. and Myrtus Nivellei Batt. & Trab.
- DARU Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences: Effect of Myrtle Fruit Syrup on Abnormal Uterine Bleeding
- Healthfully: Effect of Pomegranate Juice on Blood Clots
- Medical Journal of the Islamic Republic of Iran: Anti-hemorrhagic Activity of Punica Granatum L. Flower (Persian Golnar) Against Heavy Menstrual Bleeding of Endometrial Origin
- Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Interventions for the Treatment of Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
- MedlinePlus: Vitamin A