Lifestyle Changes to Manage and Treat Menstrual Disorders

Lifestyle changes to manage and treat menorrhagia are:

Lifestyle changes to manage and treat amenorrhea are:

Menorrhagia (Heavy Bleeding)

Lifestyle changes for menorrhagia focus on putting off anemia. It can happen due to heavy bleeding.

Change Your Birth Control Method

If your heavy and irregular bleeding is because you use a copper intrauterine device (IUD) or take oral birth control pills, talk to your doctor about using some other method.

Increase or Maintain Healthful Levels of Dietary Iron

To lower your risk of getting iron-deficiency anemia, eat foods high in iron each day. Good sources are organ meat (such as liver), beef, pork, poultry, and seafood (such as clams and oysters).

Iron is also found in dried peas and beans, nuts, seeds, dried fruits, bread, cereals with iron, pasta, and dark green leafy veggies, such as spinach. This type is not absorbed as well in the body. You can help your body absorb it by raising your intake of vitamin C-rich foods, such as broccoli, cabbage, tomatoes, citrus fruits, melons, and strawberries.

Think About Taking Iron Supplements

Iron supplements are helpful but should only be a choice if changes to the foods you eat haven't worked. You should talk to your doctor before taking any iron supplement.

Common side effects of iron are:

Amenorrhea (Lack of Menstruation)

Lifestyle changes to handle amenorrhea depend on the cause. It may mean exercising less, a healthy food plan, gaining or losing weight, easing stress, getting treated for an eating disorder, and putting off bone loss. Amenorrhea may take over six months to undo.

Balance the Intensity of Your Workout Routine (if needed)

Intense exercise can make you stop having periods. Treating amenorrhea may be as simple as working out less. If you workout compulsively because you are afraid of gaining weight, then you may have an eating disorder like anorexia or bulimia nervosa. Some women with eating disorders exercise two to six hours a day. If you have an eating disorder, you need to see your doctor to get it treated and lower the compulsive nature of your workouts.

If you exercise intensely because you are an athlete, it may be hard for you to cut back. Amenorrhea puts you at risk for osteoporosis and infertility. You should talk to your doctor about getting more calcium, staying close to your ideal body weight, and making a sensible workout plan.

Stay at the Right Weight and Level of Body Fat

Amenorrhea is often linked to levels of body fat—too much or too little. Your doctor can help find out your ideal weight and body fat levels.

If you are overweight, your doctor or dietitian can help you make changes in your eating plan and activity levels. This can help you reach the right level of weight and body fat. Your problem may be that you lost too much weight or lost weight too quickly.

In this case, your doctor or a dietitian can help you make adjustments so that your eating plan is well-balanced and has the right amount of calories. If you have great fear of gaining weight or feel that your eating is compulsive and out of control, you should also be checked for eating disorders.

Get Help for an Eating Disorder (if diagnosed)

Eating disorders often cause amenorrhea. Eating disorders are serious changes in eating, such as extreme and unhealthy lowering of food intake or severe overeating. They often come with feelings of extreme worry about body shape or weight.

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder in which you have an obsession with dieting and working out. It leads to excessive weight loss.

Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder. You eat large amounts of food (called binging) and then use ways (vomiting, laxatives, water pills, excessive exercise) to rid your body of the food eaten (called purging). You eat compulsively and feel like you can't stop, then purge to put off gaining weight.

If you think you may have an eating disorder, get help from your doctor right away.

Lower Your Stress Levels

High levels of stress can cause changes in your periods. You should take steps to reducing your overall stress level. You should also get more rest and relaxation. You may also get help from relaxation methods, such as meditation, deep breathing, progressive relaxation, yoga, and biofeedback. These methods help you watch for tension in your body and let it go with exercises that help quiet your mind and relax your muscles. Activities that you enjoy can also help you ease stress.

Lower Your Risk of Osteoporosis

If you have amenorrhea for a long period of time, you have an higher risk of bone loss and osteoporosis.

To help protect your bones and lower your risk of osteoporosis:

  • Eat foods that are rich in calcium and vitamin D.
  • Do not smoke.
  • Avoid excessive alcohol and caffeine.
  • Workout often (but not to excess) with resistance and weight-bearing exercises.


Abnormal uterine bleeding. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.... Updated August 24, 2018. Accessed October 29, 2018.
Amenorrhea. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: Updated January 16, 2018. Accessed October 29, 2018.
Klein DA, Poth MA. Amenorrhea: an approach to diagnosis and management. Am Fam Physician. 2013 Jun 1;87(11):781-788.
Menstruation and the menstrual cycle fact sheet. Office on Women's Health website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated April 25, 2018. Accessed October 29, 2018.
Last reviewed September 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review BoardBeverly Siegal, MD, FACOG
Last Updated: 10/29/2018

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