Pain is not synonymous with being female.
Your heavy & painful periods are BOTH treatable.
Hi. 🙂 Your periods do not have to be painful, they do not have to be heavy, and you do not need to take hormonal birth control to manage those symptoms.
You have other options—and we are here to help you find them.
The cause of heavy periods with pain before, after, or during bleeding is often undiagnosed endometriosis. 1 out of 10 women in the world suffer from endometriosis, and on average it takes over 10 years for women to get a diagnosis since it’s not routinely seen on imaging or with labs.
If you don’t know about endometriosis, you can read more about it here.
Women are often told that having painful periods is normal and common. Take some Advil, change up your birth control—just deal with it, pretty much.
Well, it’s already inconvenient enough to have a bleeding uterus—that much is clear to everyone with a period—but there’s a difference between a nuisance you have to tend to every 4-6 hours for 3-5 days, and a mac truck that completely takes you out.
Pain before, during, and after your period can originate for a few different reasons. Among the contributors: endometriosis, estrogen dominance, progesterone deficiency (aka luteal phase defect), cigarette smoking, lack of quality sleep, and an inflammatory diet.
Our job is to help you identify and treat the reasons for your heavy periods. This often includes hormone testing (including blood work we can order through your insurance), a pelvic ultrasound, and talking in detail about all of your symptoms. We are all unique individuals, and there are so many factors that can contribute to heavy & painful periods—that’s probably why you haven’t been able to figure out a solution on your own.
When heavy periods occur without pain, the reason is usually because of estrogen dominance, adenomyosis, or from uterine fibroids. Uterine fibroids can be diagnosed via a pelvic ultrasound that we can order for you. For estrogen dominance we can assess this via your symptoms, serum (blood) labs we can run through your insurance, or salivary hormone testing using a company like DUTCH testing. Adenomyosis, or a thickening of the uterine lining, can be diagnosed via an MRI about 50% of the time.
Regardless of how we come to the answer for your heavy periods, the solutions for treatment range from evidence-based supplements and herbs to pharmaceuticals. Most women come to us not wanting to be on pharmaceuticals, so this is definitely something we can offer for you as well.
We’ve both been there and had painful and heavy periods ourselves. Natural medicine works, and you are in the right place!
Naturopathic Treatment for Heavy Painful Periods
You need a doctor who can unravel the puzzle of your heavy period using science, intent listening skills, and the degree and experience to back up the treatment options put forth for you.
If you are open to and need some form of birth control, then we can prescribe that alongside additional treatments that support your overall well-being.
But if you don’t do well on birth control, well then this is where what we do is dramatically different from what your gynecologist knows about. We’ll talk with you about your diet, your sleep, what your labs and imaging reveal, and we’ll come up with a plan involving use of evidence-based herbal preparations (in pill or liquid form) and natural supplements that will get you real solutions that can benefit you for a lifetime.
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Dr. Sara Norris is a Naturopathic Doctor serving California & Wisconsin residents (see our FAQs page for a list of all states we can see patients in) specializing in women’s health, hormones, skin, digestive health, and pediatrics. Dr. Norris offers in person visits at her Wisconsin based practice, and telemedicine for residents of other states.