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Treating Heavy Periods with Vitamin K

Updated on July 18, 2009

Menorrhagia, excessively heavy or long-lasting periods, is a common problem among women and girls. It is commonly treated with the use of birth control pills, and in severe cases, sometimes even hysterectomy.

Heavy menstrual bleeding can be a sign of serious underlying conditions, including uterine fibroids or cancer, so it is important to get checked out by a doctor if your periods are, or suddenly become, too heavy or too long.

However, if ultrasounds and other test have not revealed any abnormalities and you are unable or unwilling to go on the Pill, modern medicine may offer limited help.

One well-documented but little-known cause of menorrhagia is a deficiency of Vitamin K.

Functions of Vitamin K

Vitamin K helps the body maintain healthy blood clotting. Insufficient clotting is one possible cause for excessive menstrual flow. If you have unusually long or heavy periods but do not experience much clotting, there is a good chance your menorrhagia is caused by a deficiency of vitamin K. If you do experience heavy clotting, your menorrhagia probably has another cause, such as excessively high estrogen levels.

Other signs of vitamin K deficiency might include easy bruising and excessive bleeding from small cuts or scrapes.

Vitamin K also has other benefits for women's health. It contains anti-inflammatory agents that reduce the risk of osteoporosis and acts as an antioxidant in some forms, reducing damage to the body by free radicals.

Romaine lettuce, by Clearly Ambiguous
Romaine lettuce, by Clearly Ambiguous

Sources of Vitamin K

The best sources of vitamin K are leafy green vegetables, such as Romaine lettuce, and fermented soy products such as miso.

Cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, and kale have also large amounts of vitamin K, but contain other agents that may inhibit its full absorption.

Healthy acidophilus bacteria, which is found in yogurt, kefir, and similar fermented dairy products containing live cultures, manufactures Vitamin K in the body. This is the easiest type of Vitamin K for the body to absorb.

High intake of Vitamin E and calcium (such as by supplementation) can inhibit Vitamin K absorption, as does aspirin, mineral oils, X-rays, and other radiation. Freezing destroys it. Antibiotics kill healthy intestinal bacteria such as acidophilus and reduce the body's production of vitamin K.

Consult a doctor before increasing your intake of vitamin K if you have any history of blood clots, stroke, pulmonary embolism, or similar problems, or if you are taking blood thinning medications.

Because excessive intake of vitamin K also has adverse health effects, it is best to get vitamin K from dietary sources, rather than pills or other supplements. In particular, excessive levels of vitamin K can lead to excessive blood clotting, which is another possible cause for menorrhagia. (Frustrating, I know. If I've learned one thing through all my research on the connection between menstrual health and diet, it's the importance of balance!) If your periods tend to have heavy clotting, or if they get heavier or more painful after increasing dietary vitamin K, your menorrhagia may be caused instead by excessive levels of estrogen.

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    • erorantes profile image

      Ana Maria Orantes 

      5 years ago from Miami Florida

      Thanks for the information Ms. Kerrya.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 

      6 years ago from Germany

      Thanks for the great information. Voted up and useful.

    • BPC0303 profile image

      BPC0303 

      7 years ago from The Sunshine State!

      I was looking exactly for this. Great hub... I had my son 5 months ago, and everything was normal. Then all of a sudden not so much... as an addition, my hair was literally falling out. Started taking a multivitamin, and it all straightened out within 2-3 days... probably what it was... Thanks!

    • profile image

      Ana 

      7 years ago

      I'm taking massive doses of Vit K in the form of nattokinasse (fibrovan)wich is recommended for period pain, endo and fibroids. My menstrual pain accompanied by blood clots has decreased greatly. So I guess is different for every person? I have to add that my overall health improved after taking my current dose of Vit K2

    • ceholmes profile image

      ceholmes 

      8 years ago from Chicago

      I will save this and share this with others -- great great info!

    • cindycare profile image

      cindycare 

      9 years ago from usa

      this is very useful

    • Netters profile image

      Netters 

      9 years ago from Land of Enchantment - NM

      Great information. Very helpful. Thank you.

    • allshookup profile image

      allshookup 

      9 years ago from The South, United States

      Excellent point!! I think this hub can help many women. Good job!

    • kerryg profile imageAUTHOR

      kerryg 

      9 years ago from USA

      Thanks for the information and warning, allshookup. That is partly why I recommend getting vitamin K from dietary sources, rather than pills: it's much harder to overdo it! I'm added some stronger language to the hub to make this clearer.

    • allshookup profile image

      allshookup 

      9 years ago from The South, United States

      I am a woman with a 2 foot blood clot. I am on blood thinner (high dosages of it) so I completely understand the problems you talk about in this hub. But I would like to give a word of warning, that although Viatmin K does slow blood by thickening it, it also thickens it and if you have a clot forming, it could cause stroke or heart attack if too much Vitamin K is injested. Here is a hub I did on Vitamin K, maybe it might be useful to you. Thanks for the hub.

      https://hubpages.com/health/What-is-vitamin-K-What...

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