Periods, although not very pleasant experience, should come at its regular time every month. Delayed or irregular period becomes a matter of concern especially when you want to avoid a pregnancy. Though sometimes missing periods is sign of happiness if you are trying to conceive!!
Menstrual Cycles or irregular periods is an abnormal variation in the length of menstrual cycle. Women normally have 11 to 13 periods in a year. Periods is said to be irregular if it occurs at intervals of greater than 35 days, with only 5 to 6 periods in a year.
When can we say that a female is suffering from irregular periods? If the following symptoms are seen:
- Variation in time duration between two cycles.
- Variation in number of day that menstrual bleeding last
- Abnormal blood loss (may be increase or decrease blood loss during period).
- Slight irregularity in periods once in awhile should not be a cause of concern.
Why do some women experience irregular periods?
As we all know that there are many causes based on our lifestyle that can affect your menstrual cycle. Exercising, smoking, drinking, travelling or taking any kind of hormonal medication can be the reason for the same. Even regular medications like blood pressure drugs, chemotherapy, anti depressants etc can adversely affect a woman’s menstrual cycle.
Following are the major factors that can affect the menstrual cycle in women
Eating disorder: Eating disorder like bulimia and Anorexia nervosa may be the reasons for irregular periods in women.
- Weight loss or gain: Sudden weight loss or excessive weight gain may cause inconsistency in periods.
- Anemia: When hemoglobin level is low then also there are chances of irregular periods. Around 50 % of indian women are anemic due to deficiency of iron. Along with Iron supplements a healthy diet can help to reduce anemia.
- Menopause: When menopause strikes, irregular periods are common. Menopause is the stopping of menstrual cycle which usually occur around 50 years (+/- 5 years) . So if you are nearing your menopause, u can always consider that it may be possible reason for irregular periods.
- Thyroid disorder : When thyroid hormone level goes up or down, it may lead to irregular periods. So it is advisable to visit your gynecologist and take her opinion.
- Stress: Stress and emotional disturbances in itself is big hurdle to normal menstrual cycle.
- Miscarriage: If you suddenly experience a miscarriage then your body needs time to regulate the monthly cycle.
- IUD and Birth control pills: Regularity of menstruation is highly affected by contraceptives.
Menstrual cycle is natural process in the female which is not really in our control. However some factors such as reducing stress and anxiety, taking vitamin C supplements and following home remedies can help the body to begin menstruating normally.
10 Home Remedies for irregular Periods
#1. Raw Papaya
Pregnant women have traditionally avoided raw papaya as it causes contraction of uterine muscles, which can lead to miscarriage. Raw papaya contains lot of heat that help in production of estrogen. Estrogen is one of the most important hormones that regulates periods and the contraction of uterine muscles.
Raw papaya is also very healthy as it contains nutrients like iron, carotene, iron, calcium and vitamins A & C. You can eat it raw in a Salad or make it into a yummy smoothie or juice.
Important: Raw papaya should not be consumed during periods as it will generate lot of heat. You can use this home remedy before your periods begin.
You can consume ginger which can helps regularizing periods by causing contractions of the uterus. It is rich in anti oxidants. Easiest way of taking ginger is in form of Tea. Ginger tea can be taken with lemon, basil or parsley.
Tumeric or Haldi is one of the most commonly found spice in Indian kitchens. If you are experiencing irregular periods, you can use turmeric as it stimulates production of estrogen. This again serves as a natural aid in regularizing menses.
Turmeric can be taken regularly with hot milk or hot water and jaggery on non period days. Saffron and basil leaves can also be added to turmeric milk to enhance the effect and taste. It can be taken as long as you like because it has almost no side effects. It is known for its extraordinary health benefits which includes anti inflammatory and anti spasmodic property.
#4. Fennel seeds
Fennel seeds or saunf is an aromatic and flavorful spice. Emmenagogue properties of fennel seeds promote and regulate menstrual flow. It also has estrogenic properties that may benefit women with hormonal imbalance. It contains vitamin C, potassium, manganese, iron, folate, and fiber and is rich in phytonutrients.
Apart from menstrual benefits, fennel is traditionally used to promote lactation in nursing mothers. It can be chewed after meals or taken after soaking it overnight in water. Another way is to grind one teaspoon of fennel seeds to make a fine powder. Add this to one cup boiling water and boil it for five minutes. Then you can strain this mixture and drink it.
Also Read: Tips To Deal With Period Pains
#5. Sesame Seeds and Jaggery
Sesame seeds or Til and Jaggery are known to relieve the problems of irregular periods as it contain lignans which helps to bind excess hormones. You can make tasty sesame seeds (roasted) and jaggery ladoos as well. You can also try to add ginger to this. Alternately, You can make it a habit of having one tablespoon powdered sesame seeds and cumin seed with honey on a regular basis in the morning.
#6. Aloe vera
Aloe vera was popularly known as GhritKumari as it is known to solve health problems in females. Aloe vera helps in regularizing irregular periods by regulating hormones. Aloe vera is rich in amino acids, salicylic acid, folic acid, Vitamin B12, Vitamin A, Vitamin E and Vitamin C. Fresh aloe vera juice (30 ml) daily helps in relieving irregular periods. Have this along with honey to improve the taste.
#7. Vitamin C
Vitamin C increases the production of estrogen that promotes the growth of uterine lining, causing periods to happen. It also decreases the progesterone level in the uterus which helps in periods to occurs regularly. You can get your daily requirement of vitamin C easily from fruits and vegetable like lemons, oranges, tomatoes etc.
Lemon juice also cleanses the body. Indian gooseberry or amla is again an excellent source of vitamin C. Make a yummy fruit chat or salad that includes many citrus fruits as well. Vitamin C is also known to increase iron absorption, which helps in reducing anemia in women.
Cinnamon or Dal chini is a warm spice, which helps to improve menstrual flow, balances the hormones and regularizes periods. It relieves pain and cramps as well during bleeding. Drinking a glass of milk with cinnamon powder on daily basis can give good results. You can also try adding cinnamon to your daily cup of tea. Or you could just sprinkle cinnamon to any juice and smoothie.
#9. Fruits and Fruit Juices
Fruit and Fruit juices especially carrots, aloe vera, sugar cane, and grape are known home remedies for irregular periods.Juices help in balancing female sex hormones and boosts hormone production.
Carrot juice is a very rich source of iron. It also contains a good amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium and magnesium which helps in regularizing periods. Be sure you include seasonal fruit juices in your diet in the form of mixed fruit juices or mocktails.
Coriander has emmenagogue properties which help in improving and normalizing menstrual cycle. Emmenagogue is a substance that stimulates menstrual flow. Both coriander seeds and fresh coriander leaves are equally effective in relieving the problem of irregular periods.
You can consume by boiling coriander seed in water till it becomes half the quantity then strain it and drink the coriander water twice or thrice daily. It also has anti-inflammatory properties.
Certain Do’s and Don’t s to follow along with home remedies:
- Exercise regularly: Exercising regularly 4 to 5 day a week will definitely help you.
- Distressing technique: Practice yoga, relaxation technique, and meditation for de-stressing yourself.
- Keep a check on body weight: You should track your body weight.
- Take multi-vitamins supplements: Multi-vitamins are a good choice if you feel your diet is not adequate to provide sufficient amount of required vitamin and minerals.
- Take a healthy and nutritious diet: It is highly recommended to include whole grains, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products. Please avoid skipping meals and try to increase vegetables and fruit in your diet.
- Water intake: Always keep yourself well hydrated.
- Stress management: Learn meditation and yoga to calm down yourself. Sometimes take out time for yourself and love doing what you like. Pamper yourself with a spa day. Or join online support groups are a good option. You will be surprised to see the other women too in the same boat.
- Take adequate and peaceful sleep. So it is very important to maintain and adopt healthy lifestyle which includes sleeping well.
- Ayurvedic tonics like Hempushpa are also considered healthy for regular periods.
- Avoid strenuous physical activities
- Avoid smoking
- Avoid aerated drinks, alcohol and other beverages containing caffeine
- Don’t overdose birth control pills.
- Avoid junk and processed food.
The fear or pain of periods should never stop a woman from stepping out! Period panties can go a long way in reducing stains and helping you to travel freely, even when you have irregular periods or a heavy flow.
We hope you found these home remedies for irregular periods useful. Do you suffer from irregular periods? What home remedies have worked for you? Share in comments below!