Heavy periods as a teenager can be really depressing, and can make you feel like you can’t live your life to the fullest anymore. Life doesn’t have to be this way! Always having to be worried about a potential leak or stain, and having to deal with agonising cramps can really get you down, and so this blog post will cover some great top tips on how to deal with heavy periods as a teenager.
Featured post by Maddie Wills
Always be prepared for your period
Make sure you always have sanitary products with you, and enough to last a full day. If you want to be really prepared, have an emergency pack in your bag, with spare pants and paracetamol to help you cope if you suddenly start a heavy period in the day.
Keep period products everywhere – you never know when you might be caught short, so keep them in your car, all of your bags, pockets!
Menstrual cups are also recommended for heavy periods, and they are significantly more environmentally friendly than regular sanitary products as they can be reused.
Medication for heavy periods
Medication can really help with heavy periods; obviously the core staples are paracetamol and ibuprofen, but if you’re finding those aren’t touching the sides, don’t suffer in silence. There is a lot of medication that can be prescribed to help mitigate the impact of heavy periods. I had pain so bad I couldn’t stand for more than 20 minutes – not entirely practical when you’re at school! I was prescribed mefenamic acid – a NSAID similar to ibuprofen, but much more effective – which I used on the first 2 days to take the edge off the pain so I could go about my normal day. (As a NSAID, mefenamic acid can have side-effects, so make sure to have it with some food).
I also took tranexamic acid on day 1 and 2 of my period, which works to slow down blood flow, and make periods slightly less heavy, and makes cramps more manageable.
Don’t be afraid to also talk to your doctor about methods that can make your period more regular, or stop it completely- there are contraceptives that you can be prescribed temporarily in order to stop or regulate your periods, making them more manageable. Parents, don’t worry that your young teenager will be on contraceptive pills for life – often a year or so is enough to get your daughter past the first few months of heavy periods, and she’ll find that in her later teens they are much more manageable without intervention.
Specific types of yoga can help to ease really painful period cramps. They can also help to tackle headaches, anxiety, and lots of other period related symptoms. There are lots of yoga positions that can really help, including the Bound Angle Pose, and the Child’s Pose. There is information all over the internet about period-specific yoga exercises, and even Youtube videos that you can follow along with.
Any type of exercise can really help with heavy periods, even if you’re not really feeling like it. Pushing past it even for a short burst of exercise can often make you feel better, so if yoga isn’t your thing, going on a quick run or fast walk can help reduce your symptoms.
Making sure you don’t spend all of your time wallowing in bed, sometimes seeing your friends, or going on a walk with your dog, can have massive mental health benefits and make you feel a lot better about your heavy period. Even if a heavy period feels unmanageable for teenagers, you can still have fun and enjoy life.
Heat packs/ice packs
Alternating heat packs and ice packs is a great home remedy for bad menstrual cramps; it can help to lessen the pain of a heavy period for teenagers, and make the time more manageable.
Know what to eat
There are several foods that might make a difference if you either increase or decrease consumption during your period. Coffee can make heavy periods worse, as can alcohol because it dehydrates you. In contrast, lots of teenagers with heavy periods are identified as having iron deficiencies, so up your intake of red meat and dark green vegetables. Dried apricots are also a grea source of iron and will give you a healthier sugar kick if you’re craving sweet things.
it is potentially worth trialling a couple of months on iron supplements, or Floradix, and seeing how your periods change as a result. Taking Vitamin C supplements can also help to manage a heavy period, as it helps the body to properly absorb iron. Remember, any change you make to control your periods will take at least a few months to kick in.
Make sure you stay hydrated throughout your period, as a heavy period can cause your body to lose a lot of water. Drinking water regularly will improve your overall health, as well as balance out the water loss over the course of your period.
Dressing comfortably can make a teenager with heavy periods feel significantly better; wear comfortable clothes like jogging bottoms and big jumpers, and try and wear dark colours if possible. This may not always be easy when you’re at school, but most uniforms have adjustable waists – just loosening your waistband might help you feel less bloated and more comfortable.
This post will also cover stain removal, but you can make life easier for yourself by not wearing white or light colours if you feel nervous about leaks.
It can make life easier if you double up on sanitary products; for example, if you were to wear a tampon and a pad, you know that you’re protected against any leaks, enhancing both your security and the likelihood that you will be able to get through the day without any disasters.
If you know your period is due, take wipes, spare underwear and tights in your school bag just in case of leaks on a heavy day.
If you can’t remove the bloodstain until it has dried, this is a great remedy. Hand wash the stain with cold water and shampoo, and then put it on the coldest washing machine cycle. Whatever you do, do NOT use hot water when trying to remove stains, as it cements blood in the fibres and makes the stain near-impossible to remove.
Get some rest
Now is not the time to party until late or undertake a hiking challenge! You need to get plenty of rest throughout a heavy period, to allow your body to recuperate and restore the blood that you lose during the day. Ensure you take time out of a busy schedule to rest, and you will feel less fatigued and more able to tackle the day ahead of you.
Keep a diary
Make a note of any changes to your period cycle; even if you are dealing well as a teenager with heavy periods, if something changes, it might be important. Apps like Clue are really effective with this, allowing you to note down your symptoms and flow every day. If you have a comprehensive understanding of what is normal for you and what isn’t, it will be easy to distinguish if you need to get help.
Get help if you need to
Heavy periods can sometimes be abnormal, so don’t feel afraid to seek help from a medical professional if things are becoming unmanageable. They can recommend more substantive courses of action, like medication to stop periods or reduce them, and if the heavy period is a symptom of a wider medical problem like endometriosis or fibroids, they can identify this and get you help.