Even with modern science, that time of the month can still be a pain, especially if you're prone to particularly heavy periods. But there's good news: Getting treatment is actually pretty easy, according to a new study published in the British Journal of General Practice. Heavy periods impact the quality of life for 25 percent of us, but for the study, researchers in the UK followed over 500 women with this issue for five years and they found that most of them (80 percent) got things under control with help from their regular doc. Here are five ways you can keep a heavy period from screwing with your life.
Think about birth control
Getting on the right form of birth control can do wonders. Women in the study were put on either a hormonal IUD like Mirena or a commonly used version of the Pill. After the five-year duration of the study, both groups had reported significant improvements in the heaviness of their period and its impact on their life. Definitely worth talking to your gyno to see which method is right for you. (Related: Is an IUD the Best Birth Control Option for You?)
Pop some ibproufen
It's a little old school, but research suggests that popping an anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen can help reduce blood flow. One study published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology found that mefenamic acid (which is an anti-inflammatory drug similar to ibuprofen) can reduce your flow by up to 20-30 percent. You can also talk to your doc about getting a prescription for mefenamic tablets.
Drink tomato juice
When you have a heavy period, you're losing a good amount of blood, which can be a recipe for dizziness and fainting. Getting lots of fluids and salt is the best remedy, according to the Centre for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research (CEMCOR). Drink a couple of glasses of salty tomato juice, especially if you're about to hit the gym.
Get lots of iron
Losing a lot of blood can also deplete your iron levels, according to CEMCOR. Work lots of iron-rich foods into your diet, like red meat, beans, and these 10 iron-rich foods for active women.
Wear the right undies
Having a heavy flow usually means bulky pads or changing your tampon every five minutes. Skip the constant worry about leakage by wearing period-proof panties like Thinx, which will give you up to two tampons' worth of backup. For your mid-period yoga classes, Dear Kate's can give you the same peace of mind. Go flow in peace.