How to survive a heavy Period

by Jackie Bolen


Do any of the following sound familiar to you?

  • You have to change even a jumbo tampon every couple of hours
  • You never, ever, ever wear white, or light colored pants during your period
  • You wear a nighttime pad, not only at night, but all the time
  • You can’t remember the last time you slept through an entire night during your period
  • You feel like you spend a ridiculous amount of money on disposable feminine hygiene products every single month.


If these things represent your life, then chances are you have what is considered a “heavy period.” You have my sympathy! It’s a tough situation and not one to be envied. However, there are a few things you can to do to survive a heavy period in style. Or, perhaps just make it a little less terrible? Onwards to the tips!

Tip #1: Consult a Medical Professional

There are some medical reasons why your flow might be heavier than normal. Check with your trusted medical professional to see if this might be the case for you.

How to survive a heavy Period

Tip #2: Use a Menstrual Cup

The average tampon holds around 5 ml of fluid, while a jumbo tampon holds about 10 ml. Let’s compare this to a menstrual cup. The average menstrual cup like the Diva Cup, Lena Cup, or MoonCup hold around 30 ml. There are even some high capacity cups such as the Anigan EvaCup, Super Jennie and the Meluna Cup with capacities of 37-42 ml. 3-4 times more capacity means 3-4 times less hassle when you have a heavy flow! Instead of having to find a bathroom to change your tampon every couple of hours, you may have five or six. It really does make a difference.


Beyond the convenience of a menstrual cup vs. a tampon, there is another huge advantage for someone with a heavy period-you’ll save money! The average menstrual cup costs around $35, while a box of tampons is $5. If you use an entire box of tampons each month (or maybe even more if your flow is particularly heavy), you’ll have recouped your costs in around 6-7 months. And the good news is that most menstrual cups last for at least two years, and possibly a lot more with proper care and cleaning.

Tip #3: Consider Taking an Iron Supplement

People with a heavy period often have smaller iron stores in their blood as compared to those with a normal flow. This could especially be the case if you are vegetarian or vegan. Symptoms of being low in iron include fatigue, weakness, pale skin, cold feet and hands, among other things. It’s possible that you might need to take an iron supplement. Consult with your doctor and get a blood test to check your levels. If you are low on iron, taking a supplement should make you feel a lot better.

Tip #4: Use a Reusable Cloth Pad

Disposable pads are expensive, especially if you wear the nighttime ones all the time because your period is so heavy. And you might need 1-2 boxes of them every single month. A way to save a lot of money is to use reusable cloth pads. You can buy them easily online (check out our top pick: Cozy Folk 12’ Heavy Flow Cloth Pad), or you can make your own. Search on Pinterest for some patterns and ideas. The average cloth pad costs $5 and if you do laundry pretty regularly, 5-8 of them should be enough to make it through your period. You’ll have your money back in a few months.

The other advantage to reusable menstrual pads is that they’re less irritating than disposable pads. The disposable pads, unless they’re organic contain pesticides from the cotton used in them, as well as chemicals and dyes from the manufacturing process. These things are certainly not good to have against your skin for up to a week each month!

Tip #5: Eat Healthy and Stay Hydrated

One of the best things you can do for your body during your period is to focus on eating healthy foods, for example lots of fruits and vegetables. There are also foods that should be avoided because they can induce mood swings. Also be sure that you’re staying hydrated and don’t forget to carry a water bottle with you when you’re on the go.


Your body will feel better if you do these things, no matter what else is going on with it at the time, like a very heavy period.

Let’s Sum This Heavy Period Survival Up

I hope that you found these tips for surviving a heavy period useful. There are immediate steps you can take to make it less terrible, such as using a menstrual cup and reusable cloth pads, as well as making sure that you’re eating healthy and staying hydrated. Other things are possible like taking an iron supplement, but you should consult a doctor before doing this. What may work for one person may not work for you.


Good luck and here’s to surviving a heavy period in style!

Jackie Bolen is the founder of the website Reusable Menstrual Cups. Her goal is to provide unbiased reviews of menstrual cups, reusable cloth pads, organic tampons, and organic pads. She hopes that one day a menstrual cup will be found in the bathroom of every single person who has a period, because they have the potential to change the world for the better.

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