What Is An Irregular Period?

An average menstrual cycle can range from 21-35 days. An irregular period may be shorter or longer. Additionally, irregular periods can also be very heavy or light in flow. Other signs of irregularity include pain, cramping, multiple missed periods, spotting between periods, and period flow that lasts more than 7 days. An irregular period can also be referred to as abnormal menstruation or abnormal uterine bleeding.

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Causes of irregular cycles

People develop irregular periods for a variety of reasons. One of the leading causes of an irregular period is a medical condition. People with endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), uterine fibroids, and pelvic inflammatory disease often have irregular periods. Hormonal birth control can also disrupt the menstrual cycle. Another contributing factor is stress. Sometimes, exercise, weight fluctuations, and travel will affect menstruation.

How do I regulate my cycle?

An irregular menstrual cycle can be regulated using a few different methods. One of the best ways is to find the root cause of abnormal menstruation. If this is due to a medical issue, then that issue must be corrected. Another way to regulate menstruation is through hormonal birth control. The progesterone hormone in birth control can help stabilize the menstrual cycle.

Natural approaches

Medication is not the only way to regulate the menstrual cycle. There are natural remedies available, and many are very easy to implement. When environmental factors like stress or lack of exercise are at play, a natural approach might work best to regulate the cycle.

1. Try Yoga

Yoga is a physical and meditative practice that increases strength, endurance, and calmness, among other things. There are many different types of yoga that use different physical poses to reduce stress and improve breathing. Practicing yoga for 30 minutes multiple times per week can improve health and may stabilize the menstrual cycle if stress is the cause of irregularity.

2. Take a vitamin D supplement

Studies have shown that vitamin D is essential to the function of reproductive organs like the ovaries and uterus. Low vitamin D levels can contribute to irregular menstrual cycles and ovarian issues related to PCOS. Vitamin D also aids in the biosynthesis of estrogen, a vital reproductive hormone. Getting the correct amount of this essential vitamin is important.

3. Chinese medicine

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese medicine that involves sticking thin needles into the body at specific points. Research shows that menstrual cycles can be regulated using acupuncture. By focusing on specific points, acupuncturists can trigger the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis, which affects the reproductive hormones.

4. Add more folate

Folic acid, also known as folate, is vital to red blood cell growth and function. This vitamin is essential for pregnant women, as folic acid has been shown to prevent neural tube defects (NTDs) from occurring. Folate can also increase the production of the progesterone hormone, which regulates the period. Folate is found in foods like kale, spinach, eggs, and beans. Folic acid can be found in most prenatal vitamins.

What should I try first?

Women struggling with irregular period symptoms should always consult a physician first. The doctor will be able to determine the underlying cause of the irregularity. The physician can also develop a comprehensive treatment plan for the patient, possibly including some of the natural remedies outlined above. With the right approach, the cycle can return to normal in no time.

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