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Cupcake's avatar

Ladies: any suggestions for dealing with a heavy flow?

Asked by Cupcake (11933 points ) October 4th, 2010

Trying to not get too personal here.

I’m temporarily on blood thinners and my menstrual flow is unimaginable. I wasn’t able to leave the house last month and it looks like I’ll be missing some work this month.

Any coping strategies???

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38 Answers

Seaofclouds's avatar

It depends a little bit on what you are currently doing for it. Do you use pads, tampons, or something else? If it’s heavy enough that you can’t leave your house, you should be talking to your doctor about it.

llewis's avatar

I agree – your doc needs to know this.

That said, when I had that problem I used the super-duper overnight pads. I usually would miss a day of work, too, when even that wasn’t enough. Thank goodness I’m past that age now!

Cupcake's avatar

I have talked to my doctor. I am not looking for medical advice here… just to clarify. This is a known potential side effect of the medication, and I will only be on the medication for 6 more weeks.

I’m just looking for strategies for getting through the day without changing my clothes 10 times and missing a week worth of work.

I’ve used tampons in combination with pads (overnight with wings) and a cup in combination with pads. But every time I move or stand up it’s like Niagara Falls down there.

Seaofclouds's avatar

If you are already using the highest absorpancy tampons in combination with a pad, perhaps changing them more often would help. Are you actually leaking beyond the pad or is it more of a fear that you are going to?

I hope you find a way to deal with it. I couldn’t imagine being stuck home because of that.

jca's avatar

i would say rest, lay in bed, on a towel or pad, and try to take it easy. the less you move the less you may bleed. that’s rough, i could imagine, because we all have lives to live. good luck!!

faye's avatar

Try the adult diapers for the worst days- would that help?

Cupcake's avatar

@Seaofclouds It’s not just a fear… nothing I have tried has been enough to prevent (many times a day) leaks. And I change them every 1–3 hours.

@faye That’s what my mom told me to do… but I would definitely not go to work in a diaper. She suggested wearing 2 pads… but I just can’t figure that one out.

I just keep telling myself that it’s temporary. This month and next and I should get back to “normal”.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Forget pads and tampons – buy the Diva Cup @ lunapads.com – it holds up to 30 ml of blood at a time and it’s god’s gift to me, because of my own very heavy flow. I have to change 80% less than I would with tampons.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@Cupcake That really sucks! I hope these next 6 weeks go by quickly for you. I wish I had some better ideas for you.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

If you’re worried about leakage, I would suggest wearing a heavy pad in your panties then wearing depends over your panties for the really bad days. To hide the extra padding from the Depends, wear loose fitting pants. At night, you can also lay some towels on your bed. Otherwise honey, take some midol and eat some chocolate. I feel for you, I really do. I’ve been there.

faye's avatar

You probably should be resting with that kind of bllod loss so wear the diaper on the couch with a cup of chai tea and a movie.

Cupcake's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I tried the instead cup last month and it wasn’t that great. I’ll try the diva cup and see if that works better for me. Now I have to find out where to buy one…

nikipedia's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir beat me to it… I use a moon cup and it is amazing. Between that and some ibuprofen I can completely forget I’m even having my period.

Could you temporarily go on the pill (or the ring etc) to put your period off until you’re done with the blood thinners?

Cupcake's avatar

I long for ibuprofen… but that will have to wait until the blood thinner days are gone

@nikipedia It looks like the moon cup is not available for delivery in the US (according to that link). Any ideas how to get one??

nikipedia's avatar

I got mine off Amazon.com.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Cupcake I gave you the link in the comment, hope it helps a little..

ducky_dnl's avatar

Okay. Not to jump to conclusions, but it sounds like you could have menorrhagia. If your period is causing you to miss work or even stop your daily routine, you need to be taking medicine (which you are). All I can say is get rest and let your body relax, keep record of all the tampons and pads you’re using..that could help your doctor understand better, change your tampons as soon as possible depending on how heavy your flow is on each day (don’t want to risk TSS), and avoid aspirin. Aspirin interferes with blood-clotting. Any nonsterodial anti-inflammatory medicines are fine. (ie: Advil, Motrin, etc, etc). Aleve is also effective in relieving menstrual discomfort. Has your doctor said anything to you about menorrhagia? If not, you should bring it up.

Cupcake's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I’m on it now. I haven’t looked into how long it takes to ship… but I’m totally annoyed that the closest retailer is 60 miles away.

@ducky_dnl I just talked to her about it a week ago. She didn’t mention menorrhagia. I am possibly allergic to aleve, so I avoid it… and was told all I can take is tylenol (which has never really done much for me). Good advice – thanks!

Cupcake's avatar

Thanks so much everyone! It feels like a sleepover party up in here!

fundevogel's avatar

There’s definitely a learning curve with menstrual cups, but using them is as near as I’ve ever come to feeling like one of those women diving through waterfalls on Tampax ads during a cycle.

Plus you don’t have to worry about the dog munching on your monthly trash. Ugh.

wilma's avatar

I sometimes used two super duper tampons and an overnight pad just to be able to leave the bathroom for a little while. I like the tampons that open up like a flower (Playtex) not get longer (Tampax). Insert one and then try to get the second one in beside it. It can be tricky but it can be done. I know this is a temporary situation and good luck.

Cupcake's avatar

@fundevogel LOL! I loved the first hour with the cup last month… but then, instead of diving through waterfalls, I had a waterfall in my pants. Great point about the dog, though. I paid my 13 year old son $5 for having retrieved a used pad from the dog’s mouth.

@ducky_dnl I just read an article about menorrhagia. I am on a blood thinner because of blood clots in my lungs (for which I was in the hospital for a week in August) and, thus, can never be on estrogen. It’s frustratingly interesting that the suggested treatment for menorrhagia (oral hormones) is the cause for my blood clots, which lead to the blood thinners, the result of which is a very heavy period.

nikipedia's avatar

@Cupcake: If you can’t wait for something to get shipped to you, the ol’ internet tells me you might be able to find a menstrual cup at Whole Foods.

Cupcake's avatar

@nikipedia What I would give for a nearby Whole Foods… I’ll have to settle for next-day shipping.

liminal's avatar

Until you get the menstrual cup you might want to consider using adult diapers, like depends, in a desperate situation. I know it sounds unconventional, but before I found out about the menstrual cup it was the only way I could make it through the night and spare my bed.

jca's avatar

another idea – just put an old washcloth in your underwear to (might be cheaper than adult diapers) and then just relax at home.

fundevogel's avatar

@Cupcake I generally use the cup with a pantyliner, should my cup runneth over. This keeps me covered, though you’d have to experiment to see what works for you.

Kardamom's avatar

In addition to everything the gals have said, for night time, you might want to get a “hospital pad” for your bed. It’s basically a an absorbent liner with plastic on one side (the absorbent side goes toward your backside and the plastic side goes down onto your sheets). I wouldn’t be too embarassed about using adult diapers, they will help and if you are wearing a looser fitting skirt or trousers, they shouldn’t be noticeable. If that’s just not possible, talk to your HR person at work, explain the situation and try to get some temporary medical leave during your period.

Cupcake's avatar

Thanks @Kardamom. I have a waterproof mattress pad that can be washed in the washing machine… so my mattress is safe. I talked to my HR person last month and my doctor last week, so if I don’t feel like I can go to work tomorrow I’ll get a note from my doctor and take a few days of disability.

I guess I’ll at least look at the diapers… until I can get my hands on a different kind of cup.

llewis's avatar

@Cupcake – Well, bless your heart! You’ll be in my prayers, if you don’t mind that. I wish you a speedy recovery from all of this!

hobbitsubculture's avatar

As much as I love my Ladycup, I can’t recommend it to you as it’s one of the smaller cups out there. But check out these menstrual cup sizing charts from the highly informative menstrual cups community on livejournal. One of the charts is for capacity.

Serevaetse's avatar

As uncomfortable as this sounds… maybe try Depends?

Good luck and props to you for putting up with that!

Cupcake's avatar

I got the Diva cup in the mail today. It’s working great so far…

fundevogel's avatar

good to hear :)

noname50's avatar

I had really bad fibroids and dealt with a really heavy flow for waaaay too long. I had to take action when I realized I was leaking thru a “super” tampon in less than an hour. Of course I was standing in line for coffee, during a weekend get away with WHITE pants on!! You know, you get that feeling and all I could think was, “it can’t be!! I JUST put this thing on!!!” The cup suggestions seem good, they were not all that popular back then, but as I did, a nuisance but necessary, just changed tampons every 59 minutes….not 70 or even 60 minutes, cause by then it was too late. :-) Gotta maintain that humor, those were some dark days!! lolol Good Luck.

bobbinhood's avatar

@Cupcake It’s been a couple months. Did the cup work out for you? I certainly love mine.

Cupcake's avatar

@bobbinhood The Diva cup saved me. Seriously. I’ve told everyone about that thing.

bobbinhood's avatar

@Cupcake Yay!!! :) I’m a walking billboard for them, too. Who needs an advertising budget when your product is good enough to prompt word-of-mouth?

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