- With Mayo Clinic gynecologist and obstetrician
Mary M. Gallenberg, M.D.read biographyclose window
Mary M. Gallenberg, M.D.Mary M. Gallenberg, M.D.
Dr. Mary Gallenberg is board certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and by the American Board of Internal Medicine in internal medicine and medical oncology.
An Antigo, Wis., native, Dr. Gallenberg is a consultant in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., and an assistant professor at College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic.
Dr. Gallenberg has been with Mayo Clinic since 1990. She was on the Mayo Clinic Women's HealthSource editorial board and has been honored for excellence in teaching. She also won a Mayo Clinic Excellence Through Teamwork award.
- Blood clots during menstruation: A concern?
Treatments and drugs (1)
- Heavy periods: Can folic acid help?
Heavy periods: Can folic acid help?
I read somewhere that folic acid supplements are beneficial for women with heavy periods. How does folic acid help heavy periods?
from Mary M. Gallenberg, M.D.
Folic acid supplements won't relieve heavy periods. The problem with having heavy periods is that you can develop anemia — a condition in which you don't have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to your tissues.
Many types of anemia exist, including ones related to vitamin deficiencies. But the type that's most commonly associated with heavy periods is iron deficiency anemia. With iron deficiency anemia, heavy periods lead to blood loss over a long time, which depletes your body's iron stores.
If your doctor suspects that you have anemia as a result of heavy periods, your doctor may recommend:
- A blood test, to check your iron level and confirm that the cause of your anemia is iron deficiency.
- An iron supplement, to rebuild you body's iron stores. Your doctor may recommend also taking a daily vitamin containing folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin B-12 and other vitamins that help build red blood cells.
A number of conditions can cause heavy menstrual bleeding. Hormonal imbalance, uterine fibroids or certain types of intrauterine devices are just a few.
If you have heavy menstrual bleeding, talk with your doctor for more information and guidance.Next question
Blood clots during menstruation: A concern?
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- DeCherney AH, et al. Current Diagnosis & Treatment: Obstetrics & Gynecology. 11th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2013. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=788. Accessed May 20, 2013.
- Stewart EA (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 23, 2013.