In theory, a “normal” menstrual cycle is supposed to last for 28 years. The actual menstrual bleeding lasts – again, in theory, from 3 to 5 days in a healthy woman. With the caveat that not all “normal” people are the same and that it is perfectly fine for a little bit of deviation as long as there are otherwise no health concerns, a menstrual cycle that occurs either too frequently (sooner than every 21 days) or too late (later than every 35 days) and/or when menstrual bleeding lasts for too short a duration (less than 3 days) or for too long (more than 8 days) could be a cause for concern.
When you have sudden irregular periods that is when you should pay close attention. Again, if it is a one-off case, or if you are dealing with irregular periods after pregnancy, then it is likely to be anything serious. The frequency is the key here. If it happens to often than it might be time to see your doctor. On a related note, it is certainly possible to get pregnant with irregular periods, so there is no concern in that regard if you are dealing with an irregular period.
Here is an overview of what this article will be before we dive in deep into other details about irregular period:
There could be several reasons for an irregular period. Let us have a look at some of the more common ones:
If your body does not get the essential nutrients it needs then it could mess up your bodily functions, leading to irregular periods.
Binge drinking, smoking, drugs and the like can all potentially lead to irregular periods.
Stress levels are inversely related to estrogen levels. Estrogen is essential for a normal period, therefore high stress levels could have a negative impact and cause irregular periods by destroying your hormonal balance.
Certain types of medication can cause irregular periods. If you have started experiencing irregular periods soon after starting a new course of medication, then chances are that the medication is the culprit.
Age is a factor when it comes to irregular periods. Sometimes it takes time for young teens before their periods regularize. Periods also tend to become irregular for older women nearing menopause.
A low BMI could mean lower levels of estrogen and therefore cause irregular periods.
The thyroid is essential in performing some of the vital functions of the human body. Thyroid disorders can lead to changes in cortisol and estrogen levels, thereby causing irregular periods.
As we discussed earlier, the most common signs that you have irregular periods is when they last more than 8 days or less than 3 days and/or occur sooner than every 21 days or later than every 35 days. Apart from this, hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism may also signal trouble.
Aside from the reasons and symptoms already discussed, in rare cases something more serious could also be a factor. You might experience bleeding outside of your menstrual cycles and/or after sex. You will need to consult a doctor right away if this happens as this indicates an infection of the female reproductive system.
5 home remedies to treat irregular periods
While irregular periods can undoubtedly wreak havoc with your mental peace, in most cases the reason behind them is benign. Let us discuss 5 home remedies that you can use to try and sort out irregularities in your period.
Take 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger. Boil it for a few minutes and drink this mixture. Do this after breakfast, lunch and dinner. Ginger is one of the most helpful household tools to combat irregular periods.
Given that high cortisol levels/stress is one of the primary reasons behind irregular periods, it is imperative that you practice yoga to relax your mind and body. It will alleviate your stress levels and set right the hormonal balance of the body.
The next time you have a glass of milk, add a pinch of turmeric powder to it. You can continue taking this as often as you want till you see significant improvement. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties which are key in alleviating menstrual pain.
Consuming unripe papaya is known to have beneficial effects on your period. It works by ensuring that the muscle fibers in the uterus contract to allow proper menstrual flow. The caveat here is that you should not consume unripe papaya during your periods.
Being a good source of iron, carrot juice helps regularize your periods by boosting the function of your hormones. You can drink a glass of it regularly for a couple of months before you start to see results.
There you have it, that should be adequate to cover your bases with respect to irregular periods.More often than not, they are not a cause for serious concern as the reasons behind them tend to be benign. Therefore, in addition to the home remedies listed here, you should incorporate some lifestyle changes. Stop binge drinking, give up smoking and drugs and any such habit that you might have that could be adversely impact your periods. Make sure you eat a balanced diet and incorporate plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. Keep stress at bay by practising deep breathing/meditation and yoga. Get adequate exercise (although make sure you do not overdo it as that could also cause your irregular periods!) and ensure that your body weight is ideal.
Most importantly, do not be shy to talk about it and confide in your loved ones. Make sure that you seek professional help where necessary. Home remedies do work for some people, but it is impossible to come up with a remedy that works for everyone. And in some (admittedly rare) cases, the underlying cause could be something as serious as cancer. Another advantage of seeking professional help early is that you nip the problem in the bud. For example, a few sexually transmitted diseases(STDs) may be causing your irregular periods. Seeking help early in such a case would help in early detection and much higher chances of recovery.