Menstrual periods are very annoying for most women, especially when they flow heavily each month. If you are dealing with a heavy period, this could be caused by a hormonal imbalance, polyps, fibroids, or severe illnesses.
Keep reading if you want to know more about how to lighten your period and make it more tolerable.
The good news is that your heavy periods can easily be managed if you do little things like make changes to your diet, exercise regularly, and try hormonal birth control methods.
How to Lighten Your Period
Doing moderate exercises regularly can help to regulate and lighten your period.
When exercising on a regular basis, your weight will remain steady and your body healthy, which means you are less likely to have problems with fluctuations in body fat that leads to heavy and irregular periods.
Changes in body fats affects functioning of hormones. But if you exercise on regular basis, your weight will remain steady and you’re less likely to have irregular periods.
Light exercises, such as jogging, swimming, and power walks, have proven to be effective at making periods shorter and lighter. 
A diet based on fruits and vegetables, fish, lean meat, and whole grains can help you have monthly periods with lighter blood flow. This diet has low amounts of sodium, processed carbs, and saturated fat.
Your diet should also include lots of olive oil, beans, and various other legumes. Dairy products, meat, and eggs must be eaten in moderation.
Potassium-rich foods should be consumed in large quantities during your cycle, as well as in the three weeks before your period.
These include foods such as lentils, bananas, yogurt, sweet potatoes, raisins, and salmon.  You should bake, steam, or eat these foods raw if possible to get the maximum benefits.
It is also important to not only increase your intake of the other essential nutrients, but maintain it as well. Foods rich in magnesium, calcium, essential fatty acids, zinc, and vitamins E, C, and B are all good for menstrual health.
Here are some foods to avoid:
White flour, processed foods, and sugar will apparently aggravate PMS symptoms and cause you to have difficult periods. There is not much to prove that avoiding carbs and sugar can shorten your periods, but this will help reduce cramps and bloating, as well as lighten periods. Like most women, you might crave potato chips and ice cream when on your period, but you should really try to avoid them.
Other foods to avoid include crackers, white bread, cookies, pasta, pretzels, cake, chips, and other sugary confections and pastries. These can be substituted with fruits and natural sweeteners such as honey or agave.
For the best results in trying to manage your period, you need to avoid these food items all month long. If you really have to eat a few scoops of ice cream to overcome your PMS, you can still enjoy the benefits of healthy eating during the weeks leading up to your period.
Try Birth Control Methods
Birth control pills can help to lighten and shorten periods. They contain estrogen and progesterone hormones which regulate menstrual cycles as well as determine the heaviness of period flow each month. 
You can talk to your doctor about this method as it could be the right one for you if your monthly period is very heavy and you are ready to use medication to manage it.
You can also consider other methods of hormonal birth control if you need help regulating your period. The following options will offer the same benefits as the regular birth control pill and would be good alternatives if you do not want to use a pill daily:
- Birth control ring
- Birth control patch
- Hormonal intrauterine device or IUD
Consider AromatherapyIf you have no problems with trying aromatherapy treatment, it might help and probably work in conjunction with the other methods to ease heavy periods and the stress associated with them. You can blend two drops each of clary sage, Roman chamomile, and rose attar essential oils with two tablespoons of olive or sweet almond and four drops of sweet marjoram oil. After that, you can rub the mixture over the stomach area during menstruation every night to get the relief that you want.
You can also order pre-made PMS relief essential oil blends, like this one made by Edens Garden.
When To Consult a Doctor
If all the above fails, then you should see your doctor to figure out whether or not your period is linked to an underlying cause. This is a must if your periods are extremely heavy, as in some cases women who have this experience are suffering from a medical condition that is affecting their flow.
You should not hesitate to consult with your doctor if: you are having periods which last for more than a week; passing big blood clots; soaking through your tampon or pad every hour; experiencing shortness of breath; and/or feeling weak.