Hi, I'm hoping someone can help me out. This may get a little TMI, so be forewarned--don't read on if you're squeamish.
I missed three periods (due to major stress, as far as I know--I took about 6 hpts and they were all negative; I also went to the dr and my IUD is still in/tested negative in Sept), August-October. Last week my period started, and it started out brown, then the next three days it was bright red and gushing/flooding (I have a Paragard, so I'm pretty used to heavy bleeding by now), then tapered off to spotting. That in itself was odd, as I expected it to be one of those massive clotty periods with lots of old brown/dark red blood,esp after not having a period for three months!
So, anyway, to the point--I was cramping pretty painfully and I made myself a red raspberry leaf infusion, which I'd read could help ease cramps. No such luck--immediately after I drank it (I let it infuse for 5 minutes so it would still be hot), I had a series of major cramps in my uterus, which felt almost like contractions. I didn't pass any clots or anything and once I lay down for a little while I felt fine.
Has anyone else gotten cramping from RRL when they *weren't* pregnant? I don't have PCOS, polyps, endo or fibroids. Usually I take ibprofen for cramps, but the RRL is just sitting there, going stale, and I want to use it up so I don't feel bad about buying more :) TIA!!
I was a doula, childbirth educator, and midwifery assistant for 3 years. I am also a mother of 3 and have been an herbalist for almost 20 years, since I first got pregnant with my oldest child...
Red raspberry is known to be a uterine tonic.. We often recommend it during pregnancy to strengthen and tone the uterus. I have never heard of it causing any sort of cramp/contraction, but it can make your uterus more efficient when cramps/contractions happen!
If you are having pain and cramping along with unusual bleeding after a lack thereof, the first step of course is to be checked by your practitioner because you have the IUD. As it is non-hormonal there should be less complications, but it pays always to have it looked at.
Seems reasonable that you could have heavier cramps after missing time with your normal period like that, but again, the rasp might not be your best ally. Valerian powder, encapsulated or as capsules pre made are excellent muscle relaxants and help with normal menstrual cramps. If you live somewhere where medical marijuana is possible, that is also very very helpful. Nettle leaf tea is very nourishing to the reproductive system, and would be a good general tea for you to take until you normalize.
If you eat/drink a lot of soy products, that can throw off your hormone balance. Same for non organic dairy and excessive amounts of non organic meats... Clear out your diet for a while and see if you return to center. As for stress, it is part of life, sorry to hear that. If you can get some care or peace for yourself that will also undoubtely help you!
I hope you feel better! ~laura