This was originally posted by Just D in the gynecological forum. This is an excellent post, full of good info. I'm reposting it here (Thanks, Just D)
Below is some information relating to abnormally heavy periods and clotting, along with some links. I am posting this because I began having these symptoms past six months or so and have experienced a huge difference after only two weeks of oil pulling *see oil swishing forum*. I was curious as to why, what about the pulling helped this so started reading up a bit on female disorders. My last period was normal, five days long with absolutely no pain and normal blood flow. I also had no PMS symptoms, which at the time I attributed to the detox factor with the oil pulling. I am cutting and pasting a small amount of text from each article and its link if you would like to read more.
What I discovered was the oil pulling helps get the bile flow up in the liver along with firing up the circulatory system which in turn helps rid the body of excess estrogen (a large cause of women's diseases and disorders). That this happened so quickly with myself is surprising, but it made me want to pass along the information immediately to others. The first link I am posting explains the relationship of estrogen dominance to women's disorders/diseases. The second and third are an explanation of heavy menstrual flow/clotting.
This is a great site, recommend reading through it entirely, some great info on it:
"Estrogen dominance, womens' problems, amenorrhea, and menopause
Excessive estrogens and stagnation of blood circulation are the major cause of most women's problems including breast, uterine and ovarian cancers. According to Dr. John R. Lee in his book "What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause: the Breakthrough Book on Natural Progesterone" (Warner Books, 1996), estrogen dominance is the cause of most women's chronic health problems. We are living in a polluted world where estrogens are present in almost every type of food that we eat. Since the liver is the organ that removes estrogens, a weak liver that fails to remove estrogens efficiently may lead to their accumulation (for liver cleansing and strengthening, see liver cleanse). When excessive estrogens become trapped in the uterus, ovary, or breast due to stagnation, they overstimulate cell division and lead to abnormal growth such as fibroids, cysts or cancer in these organs. Estrogens may also be accumulated in the brain or liver because they both have estrogen receptors...
A common woman's problem, PMS, is usually caused by high estrogen to progesterone ratio; the estrogen level may not be high in absolute value but is high relative to progesterone. The common symptoms of PMS such as mood swings, depression and bloating are all signs of estrogen dominance. Evening Primrose oil, which contains estrogenic activity, is a popular supplement for PMS sufferers. It offers quick relief for PMS symptoms but long term use may aggrevate the problems. Most people don't realize this. A PMS sufferer who had been taking evening primrose oil for 4 years came to see me. Her thighs were swollen with water retention due to excessive estrogens. After I told her to stop taking evening primrose oil, her swollen thighs became normal in about a month's time.
Conventional medicine tries to convince women that menopause is an estrogen deficient disease and estrogen therapy is the answer to the major menopausal women's concerns such as hot flashes, heart attack and osteoporosis. However, I believe menopause is a natural physiological process because high estrogen levels are no longer needed after the child-bearing age. As a matter of fact, the major concern for postmenopausal women should be "estrogen dominance", not estrogen deficiency. The estrogen production does decline to some extent after menopause but progesterone production declines much more because the adrenals are the only producers of progesterone after menopause. Estrogens are produced by adrenals and fat cells. This results in estrogen being dominant and out of control because progesterone has balancing effects on estrogens. "Estrogen dominance" is probably the major cause of perimenopausal or postmenopausal women's cancers in the reproductive tract as well as Breast Cancer
. Use of estrogens is also known to be one of the risk factors for stroke according to the Canadian Medical Association's "Home Medical Encyclopedia" [editor: Peter Morgan, The Readers Digest Association (Canada) Ltd., Montreal, 1992]...
The following are quotes from the book Estrogen in the Environment (see Reference 1 at the end of this section): "Estrogens might contribute to heart attacks both by clotting abnormalities and by accelerating atherosclerosis via enhanced hepatic synthesis of plasma triglycerides and prebetalipoproteins". "The estrogen may change liver function including the synthesis of critical plasma proteins that influence the cardiovascular system". "An increased risk of cardiovascular disease is still observed in oral contraceptive users".
WHAT CAUSES HEAVY MENSTRUAL BLEEDING AND WHO IS AT RISK?
Almost all women, at some time in their reproductive life, experience heavy bleeding during a period. It should be noted, however, that while 30% of premenopausal women complain of heavy bleeding, only 10% experience blood loss severe enough to be defined as menorrhagia. Many women, in fact, complain of heavy menstrual bleeding but their bleeding is actually normal. (On the other hand, some women with a family history of bleeding disorders might have menorrhagia but think it is normal.) During normal menstruation women lose about 2 ounces
(60 mL) of blood or less.
Factors Associated with a Higher Risk for Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
Almost all women, at some time in their reproductive life, experience heavy bleeding during a period. In some cases the cause of heavy bleeding is unknown, but number of conditions can cause menorrhagia or contribute to the risk. Certain characteristics are associated with a higher risk for menorrhagia:
Being older. (Women who are approaching menopause may experience occasional menorrhagia.)
Having a higher number of pregnancies.
Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding
Dysfunctional uterine bleeding (DUB) is a general term for abnormal bleeding caused by hormonal abnormalities and is one of the primary causes of menorrhagia. In many cases, DUB occurs either when a girl just starting to menstruate or as women approach menopause, but it can occur at any time in during a woman's reproductive life.
Anovulatory DUB. About 90% of DUB events occur when ovulation is not occuring (anovulatory DUB). In such cases, women do not properly develop and release a mature egg. When this happens, the corpus luteum, which is a mound of tissue that produces progesterone, does not form. As a result, estrogen is produced continuously, causing an overgrowth of the uterus lining. The period is delayed in such cases, and when it occurs menstruation can be very heavy and prolonged. Sometimes anovulatory DUB is due to a delay in the full maturation of the reproductive system in teenagers. Usually, however, the mechanisms are unknown.
On theory involves angiogenesis, which is the process that involves production of new blood vessels. In a woman reproductive life, angiogenesis is important for the repair and growth of the uterine lining. Some research suggests that imbalances in certain immune factors and growth hormones can affect angiogenesis and may be responsible for some cases of menorrhagia.
Ovulatory DUB. The other 10% of cases occur in women who are ovulating, but progesterone secretion is prolonged because estrogen levels are low. This causes irregular shedding of the uterine lining and break-through bleeding. Some evidence has associated ovulatory DUB with more fragile blood vessels in the uterus.
Fibroids are the other important known causes of menstrual bleedings and are discussed in detail in a separate report. [For more information, see the Well-Connected Report #73 Fibroids: Uterine.]
Von Willebrand Disease and Other Bleeding disorders
Bleeding disorders that impair blood clotting can cause heavy menstrual bleeding and, according to different studies, have been associated with between 10% and 17% of menorrhagia cases. Von Willebrand's disease, a genetic condition, is the most common of these bleeding disorders and may be underdiagnosed in many women with unexplained menorrhagia. Most studies report this problem to be more common in African-American than Caucasian women.
Other rare disorders that impair blood platelets and clotting factors can also account for some cases of menorrhagia. Most bleeding disorders have a genetic basis and should be suspected in adolescent girls who experience heavy bleeding.
Abnormalities in the Uterus
Structural problems or other abnormalities in the uterus may cause bleeding. They include the following.
Miscarriage. An isolated instance of heavy bleeding usually after the period due date may be due to a miscarriage. If the bleeding occurs at the usual time of menstruation, however, miscarriage is less likely to be a cause.
Uterine polyps. (These are small benign growths in the uterus.)
Adenomyosis. This condition occurs when glands from the uterine lining become embedded in the uterine muscle. Its symptoms are nearly identical to fibroids (heavy bleeding and pain), and in one study fibroids were also present in 62% of cases. It is most likely to develop in middle-aged women who have had many children.
Endometriosis. (These are small implants of uterine tissue. They are more likely to cause pain than bleeding.)
Infections or inflammation in the vagina, service, or pelvic area.
Other Medical Conditions or Medications that Cause Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
Certain medical disorders and drugs increase the risk for heavy bleeding.
Medical conditions that may increase the risk for menorrhagia include thyroid problems, systemic lupus erythematosus, diabetes, and certain cancers and chemotherapies.
Certain drugs, including anticoagulants and anti-inflammatory medications, can cause heavy bleeding. Some contraceptives, including certain oral contraceptives or the Copper T intrauterine device (IUD), may also pose a risk for heavy bleeding. It should be noted, however, that some oral contraceptives and the progesterone-releasing IUD can be used to stop bleeding.
Menorrhagia (excessive menstrual bleeding)
Heavy menstrual bleeding and clotting (soaking through a pad or tampon an hour for several hours or more) or bleeding more than a week each month is a common condition called menorrhagia. It is the leading cause of hysterectomy and can be very troubling when it occurs. However, like most other menstrual irregularities, the root cause of heavy periods is usually a hormonal and/or nutritional imbalance caused by diet, lifestyle, and stress. This means that in many cases, heavy menstrual bleeding can be relieved without a hysterectomy.
Almost every woman experiences heavy bleeding and clotting at some point, and some women have very heavy flows. If your period repeats a regular pattern on a cyclical basis, it's considered normal. If you have some irregularity that dissipates the next month, it is nothing to worry about. If you experience excessive menstrual bleeding for two consecutive months, you should check in with your healthcare practitioner.
Other symptoms of menorrhagia are:
A menstrual period that lasts longer than seven days
Menstrual flow that includes large blood clots
Heavy periods that interfere with your regular lifestyle
Constant pain in your lower abdomen combined with heavy menstrual periods
Tiredness, fatigue or shortness of breath (symptoms of anemia)
Causes and treatment of menorrhagia
Causes of menorrhagia vary with the individual, but include low progesterone (which is common in perimenopause), PCOS (for more on this, start with our article on insulin resistance), or other hormonal imbalances. Occasionally parathyroidism or an IUD can cause excessive menstrual bleeding. Some practitioners test for a vitamin K deficiency, a vitamin necessary for maintaining blood-clotting platelets. At Women to Women, we are primarily concerned with anemia in our patients with menorrhagia. A complete blood count (CBC) tells us if we need to add more hormonal support in the form of synthetic progesterone, like Aygestin or Provera.
In our experience, most cases of heavy periods can be brought under control with diet and exercise modifications-- not surgery-- including a medical-grade nutritional supplement and topical progesterone cream. Once a woman's body gets the support it needs, it usually resumes its normal cycle.
I hope this helps some of you who are experiencing these types of problems. Do check out the oil swishing forum, this has been a real blessing to me and has made a huge difference in my health.