Menstruation embarks the start of the reproductive age in a girl and holds a very important stance in every girl’s life. While talking about periods is considered a taboo in a number of countries and places, it is important to understand that not talking about it can never create the awareness that needs to be spread amongst the masses. There are instances that the mere mention of irregular periods often victimises the girl, often looking down upon her. Should that even be the case? I think not. Rather, it is important to know the physiological problems causing the irregular periods and cure them with either home remedies or medicines, depending on the person’s preference.
What are Irregular Period?
A woman’s menstrual cycle isn’t always normal. While some may actually get their period on the 28 days mark, there are some women who don’t. Irregular periods are characterized by prolonged menstrual cycle or delayed menstrual cycle. There may be instances when a woman might have her period every month on the assigned date itself but the duration of the cycle lasts for more than 8 days. This is one instance of irregular periods. The other kind of when the individual doesn’t have a definitive monthly cycle and it may occur sparsely in between months or once every few months.
Whatever the case, irregular periods can happen due to a number of problems in one’s health and it is thus important to take it seriously and treat it accordingly before it results in other problems, or worse, infertility.
What are the Causes of Irregular Period?
Regular periods in a woman are a significant sign of a woman’s healthy hormone balance and reproductive functioning. Any kind of obstruction in the process causes irregular periods, otherwise known as amenorrhea, in medical terms. Even this is sub-categorised into two types – the primary amenorrhea and the secondary amenorrhea.
Primary amenorrhea is when an individual hasn’t even gotten their period during puberty. Secondary amenorrhea, on the other hand, is a condition where a woman misses her periods for a stretch of three months or more. Both of the cases insinuate either the spiked or lessened amount of hormonal secretion in the body which can be quite ghastly, if left untreated.
Moving on, let us first start by focusing on the primary causes of irregular periods:
1. Higher Levels of Stress
Stress is a very common contributing factor to the occurrence of irregular periods. If you are looking for ways to overcome irregular periods naturally, it is important to start right from the root cause of it. When your body is under stress, the first priority is always given to the stance of survival which is why the process of ovulation is abruptly stopped, causing an obstruction in the normal menstrual cycle.
The hyperactivity of the adrenal cortex hinders with the activity of the other hormones like the thyroid hormone, estrogen and even the luteinising hormone which arrests the menstrual cycle and results in irregular periods (R). When the body is under stress, the body prepares itself in case there is a “fight or flight” situation which is why the other pivotal physiological processes like menstruation etc. get hampered.
2. Unhealthy Diet
Poor choice of diet accounts for one of the worst kinds of reasons for irregular periods (R). Consumption of less nutritious and high on unsaturated fat diet always leaves behind a negative impact on the body. This kind of diet often alters the functioning of the thyroid glands and even restricts the smooth secretion of the sex hormones which regulate the cycle in woman.
If you have been living off of a diet that’s focused around high unsaturated fats and high in sugar content, it is most likely that your adrenal cortex is going to start to secrete more cortisol which affects the proper harmony of the hormones that is responsible for the process of menstruation.
3. Overdoing any Strenuous Activity
Exercise is very beneficial for health uptil the point that it is done in boundaries and not overdone. With the level set boundaries, the level of physical activity often crosses boundaries which are exactly what causes irregular periods (R). While there are definitely a number of irregular periods treatments, there are chances that the excess physical strain often increases the stress that the body is under.
The enhanced levels of stress mixed with heightened levels of cortisol in the blood hinder the entire activity of the other hormones in the body which results in irregular periods (R). In a world where the concept of “being thin” is overhyped, women indulge in rigorous physical activities, not even thinking about the consequences it can instill.
4. Alteration in Thyroid Functions
What if I told you that a pesky little butterfly shaped gland which is often known as the master gland can be one of the major reasons for the irregularity of the periods? (R) Does it sound a bit farfetched? We definitely hope not, given the fact that the lack of proper functioning of the thyroid gland often results in hormonal imbalances (R), especially the ones related to the reproductive health of a woman.
Both conditions – hypothyroidism, and hyperthyroidism affects the functioning of the body and the process of a regular menstrual cycle (R). Excess levels of cortisol often hinder the functioning of the thyroid gland and makes it resistant which is a condition that is hard to revive the body from.
Cumulatively, these are the irregular period reasons that we often either take for granted or not pay heed at all. In order to wipe out the possibilities of obstruction in the periods every month, it is very important to identify the symptoms and reach out to a professional without any further ado.
Home Remedies for Irregular Period
Home remedies to regularise periods are nothing even close to rocket science. These include some of the most common ingredients that we have lying around in our house. All you got to do is choose one and follow the process of consumption or administration religiously without any fail. Alternative approach of medicine is exactly what plays out its cards in the home treatment of irregular menstruation.
- Castor Oil
- Green Tea
- Amla Juice
- Unripe Papaya
- Sesame Seeds
- Coriander Seeds
- Cumin Seeds
- Fennel Seeds
- Carrot Juice
1. Aspirin for Irregular Periods
Aspirin is a natural blood thinner which is amazing for eradicating the problem attached with irregular periods (R). Even though the remedy with aspirin works, there are no valid reasons to back the claim up with facts as to how it actually contributes to the treatment of irregular periods.
How To Use:
- Crush two tablets of aspirin and mix it into half glass of water and stir till everything dissolves completely.
- Add one tablespoon of sugar and honey to the solution and mix it all together and drink it on regular intervals to induce periods.
2. Castor Oil for Irregular Periods
One of the primary reasons of irregular periods is lack of hormonal balance (R). Castor oil is believed to help with that extensively. The remedy with castor oil and hot press helps in drawing out the blood circulation around the abdominal region (R), thereby enriching the area with oxygenated and nutrient rich blood to the area. Not just that, even the warm press helps in breaking down the uterine walls thus inducing periods.
How To Use:
- Soak a cloth with castor oil and apply it on the stomach, covering the abdomen.
- Fill a water bag with warm water with a bearable temperature and place that over the cloth soaked in castor oil.
This is also a great remedy while you are having your periods because the warm water bag helps in providing with relief from the cramps and pain.
[Also Read: How Castor Oil Benefits for the Skin]
3. Cinnamon for Irregular Periods
Cinnamon has a warming effect on the body which is beneficial to cure irregular periods. It is an amazing remedy that helps deal with the “cold uterus” and helps lessen the painful cramps one faces with their periods (R). Not just that, cinnamon as increases the levels of progesterone secretion in the body which further helps with the situation of irregular periods. It even consists of a compound hydroxychalcone which is great for regulation of insulin levels in the body. So, if your periods are obstructed because of altering sugar levels, this remedy is the one to go for.
How To Use:
- Mix one teaspoon of cinnamon and one teaspoon of honey (read more benefits) and mix it in a glass of warm water.
- Drink it first thing in the morning.
This not just affects the cause of irregular periods but also contributes to a number of other health benefits.
4. Turmeric to Induce Periods
Turmeric is yet another natural remedy that helps in warming the body and helps with the causes of irregular periods. Its anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic properties help in stimulating the process of menstrual flow with ease and without any additional cramping or pain (R).
How To Use:
For the easiest and effective remedy
- Just mix half a tablespoon of turmeric into a glass of warm milk and mix it well.
- Drink it before bed at night.
This not just stimulates the hormones but also helps you get a good night’s sleep which helps keep the stress levels down, thereby aiding with the problem of irregular period.
5. Pineapple for Irregular Periods
Pineapple is an amazing fruit that is not just good to eat but has extraordinary health benefits as well, the primary one being that in treating the causes of irregular period. Often times, the periods are irregular because of the body’s inability to shed the uterine layer that washes away with the blood in the process of menstruation (R).
Pineapple is one such fruit that helps in the said process because of the presence of the enzyme bromelain in it. It also promotes the production of red and white blood cells which further helps in the instigation of menstruation (R).
How To Use:
- Snack on a bowl of pineapple in between meals or
- Drink pineapple juice with your breakfast.
This can initiate the menstrual cycle and without inflicting any kind of side effects.
6. Ginger to Regulate Periods
Yet another amazing natural remedy for irregular periods is to opt for ginger. This home remedy has shown impactful effects on one’s menstrual cycle by regulating it. The ingredient in ginger known as Gingerol, helps with the treatment of irregular periods (R). It has anti-inflammatory effects which is yet another reason how it helps in curing the issues with proper menstrual cycles.
Either opt for ginger supplements, or a sip of ginger tea throughout the day. It will even help in inducing warming properties to the body which further helps in regularizing the periods.
7. Garlic to treat Irregular Periods
Garlic is yet another amazing and beneficial natural ingredient that helps in treating the causes related to an irregularity in the menstrual cycle and periods (R). It is believed that it is the body warming property of garlic that helps in the process. There is no other valid explanation as to how it works.
How To Use:
- Take a clove of garlic and crush it into a paste and mix it with a teaspoon of honey
Consume it every day for a healthier body and overcome irregular periods naturally.
8. Green Tea Good for Irregular Periods
Green tea is one of the least processed teas which make the content of anti-oxidants in the tea one of the highest in comparison to black or other variants of tea. The higher level of anti-oxidants helps in the detoxification of the body which definitely contributes to the overall hormonal balance of the body. It keeps the estrogen and other hormonal levels in a check.
For the best results, drink green tea twice or thrice a day while the liquid is warm and not cold. The warm liquid also helps in the maintenance of the internal body temperature which definitely aids in the process of regularized menstrual bleeding.
9. Amla Juice (Indian Gooseberry) to Treat Irregular Periods
Amla Juice is an amazing natural remedy for curing the problems associated with irregular periods. The consumption of amla helps with the formation of red blood cells in the body which helps in combating the causes of irregular menstruation.
If fresh amla is not readily available for you, opt for the store bought amla juice or even the readily available amla powder that we get in the market. For the juice, mix three tablespoons of amla juice with two tablespoons of honey and consume that daily. Make sure that you are not eating anything for one hour after that.
10. Unripe Papaya Regulates Menstrual Flow
Unripe papaya is an amazing home treatment for irregular menstruation. It helps in contraction of the uterine walls which, in turn, helps in ensuring a smoother menstrual flow (R) if you have been experiencing irregular periods. Make sure to avoid eating raw papaya during menstruation.
Drink papaya juice straight for a month if you have been consistently witnessing issues with your periods. It will help in ensuring a regularized period cycle within a record time and without inflicting many side effects.
11. Sesame Seeds for Irregular Periods
It has been witnessed that the consumption of sesame seeds help in fighting the common causes related to irregular periods. They do so by regulating the hormonal levels in the body. Sesame seeds consist of a good concentration of lignans which is an amazing hormonal regulator. They are rich in essential fatty acids even which contribute to the overall hormonal balance in a person’s body.
How To Do:
- Mix one teaspoon of sesame seeds with a tablespoon of jaggery and mix it well and eat it.
- Wash it all down with some water and repeat this process every day.
12. Coriander Seeds
Coriander seeds are an amazing way to get regular periods naturally. Its amazing emmenagogue properties help in ensuring a regular menstrual cycle without any kind of hindrances. For anyone who isn’t aware, emmenagogue are the herbs which induce smooth and a faster blood flow to the pelvic region of the body.
For best results, boil one tablespoon of coriander seeds in two cups of water and reduce it down to half. Let the solution cool and then strain the seeds out of the solution with a strainer and drink the concoction thrice a day or so a few days before your menstrual cycle starts.
13. Cumin Seeds
Cumin is full of amazing benefits which extend onto the realm of female reproductive health as well. It is not just beneficial for digestion and weight loss but also helps in regularizing the periods in a woman too.
Soak two tablespoons of cumin seeds in one a glass of water and leave it overnight. Drink the water in the morning and continue with this until your period cycle becomes regular.
14. Fennel Seeds
Fennel seeds have amazing qualities in regulating menstrual cycle owing to their emmenagogue properties. Much like what we mentioned in the prior section under the coriander seeds, even this helps in regulating the blood flow to the pelvic region and lower part of the body which promotes the eradication of the irregular menstrual flow.
- Soak one or two tablespoons of fennel in a glass of water overnight and drink the water first thing in the morning in empty stomach.
- Continue this till your period gets regularized.
The significance of parsley in inducing menstruation in a female individual is uncanny. This method has been in practice for quite a long time and it is mainly because of the constituents of the herb. The compounds apiol and myristicin are the two commonly found compounds in parsley which induce contraction of the uterus which, in turn, ensures a proper monthly menstrual cycle.
You can either drink parsley tea twice a day regularly or opt for parsley leaf powder mixed into a glass of water.
Caution: Make sure that the intake of the powder doesn’t exceed the 6g mark per day.
Even celery, much like coriander and fennel seeds have emmenagogue properties which promotes the blood flow to the pelvis and the surrounding areas of the body. It is a remedy that is completely safe for the body and doesn’t induce any kind of side effects which is a definite added bonus.
Extract the juice of one celery stem and drink that every day in the morning. Continue doing so till your cycle becomes regular.
17. Carrot Juice
Carrot is a vegetable that is rich in iron. This is exactly the attribute that makes it one of the best remedies to regularise periods. If you have been bothered with your irregular period cycle all throughout the year, make it a habit to either eat a carrot or drink carrot juice daily till the symptoms related to the irregular menstrual cycles fizzles down.
Much on one whole carrot every day or drink the juice extracted from one whole carrot. Follow this process throughout the entire year till your periods start becoming regular again.
Saffron is an amazing remedial herb that helps in inducing menstruation. If you are suffering from irregular periods, this can definitely help a lot. The saffron supplements not just help with regulating your menstrual cycle but also ensures to aid with the associated cramps and pain that come along with menstruation.
Either mix a few strands of saffron in warm milk and drink it every night before sleeping or resort to saffron supplements for effective results.
Symptoms of Irregular Periods
In a healthy woman whose hormones are incorrect levels, the duration of the menstrual cycle commonly stretches around from 24-35 days, 28 days being the ideal. The week more or less is sometimes conditional and doesn’t insinuate any kind of seriousness but the moment the same exceeds or alters, that’s when we point it out as a problem and a defect.
The two most common symptoms of the irregular period include:
- Extension of the menstrual cycle more than the normal time from of 28-35 days
- Formation of blood clots with a diameter more than 2.5 cms
Side Effects of Irregular Period
Irregular period not just hampers a woman’s health but their well being too. Menstruation is a form of excretion of the unwanted toxins and waste from the body, which when obstructed, can definitely inflict a number of negative impacts on the body. There are a number of side effects that several women undergoing irregular menstruation face.
Some of these include:
- Weight gain
When to See a Doctor for Irregular Periods?
Irregular periods itself is more than enough of an alarm to drop everything and go see a doctor. But if the irregularity is just for a month and that too by a few days, it is mostly because of situational stress and the same can effectively be cured all by itself. It is when the days prolong regularly and on a continuous basis that you need to worry about the possible treatment of irregular periods.
If you are experiencing that your menstrual cycle is prolonging more than the 35 day mark and you are having your menstruation every two or three months, it is time to let go off all the thoughts and rush yourself to a gynecologist and get your vitals checked out to see if you have any lingering presence of Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome.
Food for Thought With Some FAQs
1. How Much Delay in the Period is Normal?
A: A delay of one week or even the preponed arrival of a period by one week is acceptable. When the same is altered, that’s when the problem arises and you need to opt for remedies for irregular periods.
2. Is it Normal to Have Irregular Periods?
A: The answer is a conundrum. If the irregularity is not sustained and happens for a month or two, it is most likely because of any kind of situational stress or even because of consumption of birth controls. If the problem of irregularity persists, it is time to get the problem checked out.
3. When is it Necessary to Take a Pregnancy Test?
A: This is definitely a tricky answer but under generalized terms, it is always suggested to take a pregnancy test either four weeks after the coitus or 36 days since the last menstrual cycle. It is said that this time frame is ideal to detect the levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormone which will rise if you are pregnant and will stay in normal levels if you are not.
4. Will Irregular Period Affect Pregnancy?
A: The answer is Yes. The lack of regularity in the menstrual cycle sure does affect the pregnancy or the possibility of it. Irregularity in the cycle clearly insinuates that there might be a problem with the process of ovulation which is one of the most important stages in the reproductive cycle of a woman. There is no possibility of pregnancy if the egg is not released from the ovary. This is exactly how it affects the fertility if the problem is not tended to right from an earlier stage.