Normal, healthy periods are not supposed to be painful, heavy, crampy, clotty, nor to be accompanied by bloating, diarrhea or moodiness. Sadly many women experience these things.
I suffered with awful periods for many years. Eventually when I took birth control pills, my periods became much worse, and I began to have all sorts of gynecological problems. I then learned about estrogen dominance AND having low progesterone in comparison to my estrogen levels. I used bio-identical progesterone cream, I had to use more than what many other women may usually be told to use, and I improved my periods a lot. I also changed my diet. I read research papers and read textbooks. I learned more and more about addressing my issues. My crazy periods/menstruation was telling me about my hormone health. Had my hormone health been balanced, I would have had painless, and non-heavy periods instead!
There are hormone-like chemicals known as prostaglandins. In layman’s terms, there are ‘good’ and ‘bad’ ones. In truth, nothing in the body is good or bad, but for the purposes of explanation, using good/bad is convenient. The bad ones promote swelling, pain and discomfort. The good ones do the opposite, they relieve inflammation and pain. What we eat determines which ones we have, to a large degree. Once I began to eat more oily fish, take fish oils, and made my diet better, my periods improved from this as well. Omega 3s help to promote good prostaglandins. Read this if you’d like more information:
The Omega-6/Omega-3 Connection to Painful Periods
I was also a vegetarian for over 20 years, and unlike the hype goes, the “balanced vegetarian diet” didn’t do me many favours. I was slowly becoming very deficient. The severe deficiencies created played a large role in me developing hypothyroidism. Once I began to eat offal/organ meats, meats that are usually consumed, veg and good fats, my health definitely began to improve too. Getting treatment for my hypothyroidism also made a huge impact on my periods.
I think it was epiphanous when I finally learned that painful periods, heavy periods, bloating, cramping etc. were NOT normal and that I most certainly could fix these issues. I’ve never taken another chemical birth control/contraceptive, I think they are toxic. I’ve learned so much, and met so many women who have become ill since using them. Some are a little ill, some are severely affected. Since using bio-identical progesterone cream, changing my diet, getting treatment for hypothyroidism, making sure ALL my vitamins and minerals were optimal so the levels were all at the UPPER END of the ranges given, and of course, making sure that my iron and ferritin were optimal, big changes occurred.
I wrote the steps I followed in this answer:
Bronwyn Miller's answer to What is the best treatment for heavy periods due to infertility?