A Guide To Making Your Periods More Regular
Whether you’ve been overly stressed for the past few months and realised that your period isn’t coming on time, you’ve been taking medication and that’s messed up your regularity, or you have an illness or condition that affects the consistency of your period, this article has got your back!
Missing your period, having it delayed, or having it show up unexpectedly (why does this always happen when you have your cutest pair of underwear on!), is stressful, confusing, and downright irritating.
However, there is some good news: you can actually do a few things to support the regularity of your menstrual cycle and promote your period to show up on time (or more on time) every month.
In this guide, we’re going to be sharing these tips with you whilst also helping you understand why your period may be light and letting you know when you should decide to see a medical professional if things aren’t seeming to improve.
So, buckle up and let’s get your period back on track!
First Things First: Figure Out Why Your Period Is Irregular
The very first thing you need to do is figure out why your period has been knocked out of its normal pattern. There are a few main reasons why periods might be irregular, so let’s take a look at them now, and hopefully, you’ll be able to decipher which issue you’re dealing with so that you can start tackling it!
Hormonal Contraceptives (especially if new)
Hormonal contraceptives can shift or change the hormone balance within your body and therefore lead to heavier, lighter, or more irregular periods. This is especially true if you have just started to use a new contraceptive method since your body may be adjusting to new levels of hormones rushing around your body.
Stress is incredibly impactful - the rise in cortisol levels that you experience when you’re stressed can impact your hormonal pathways and therefore cause changes to your menstrual cycle, either delaying your period or making you miss it entirely.
Extreme Weight Loss or Weight Gain
If you have lost or gained weight in a fast period of time, this could knock your normal cycle right out of whack - it could cause irregular periods, heavier periods, or stop you from having periods entirely. More specifically, if you are not restricting yourself or not consuming enough calories, the body may stop producing hormones needed for ovulation.
Certain medical conditions can cause periods to be irregular, with the most common being PCOS, endometriosis, thyroid conditions, uterine fibroids, and polyps on the uterine lining. These conditions can directly affect your cycle and cause irregular bleeding.
Although this might be an obvious one, it’s still important to mention. If you have engaged in any sexual activity and realise that your period is late, there may be a chance that you are pregnant. Taking a pregnancy test as soon as you can is the easiest way to determine whether or not you are pregnant as soon as you have missed your period.
During perimenopause, ovulation becomes more unpredictable and therefore this can create changes to your period - the length of time between each bleed may be longer or become more irregular and you may notice that your flow is much lighter than normal when it does arrive.
When Should You See A Doctor About Irregular Periods?
Whilst there may be certain things that alter your period that you can understand and work through - for example, if you know you’ve been incredibly stressed over the past month and can link that to an irregular period and move on - most of the time, it’s best to seek professional advice.
If you are in any way shape or form concerned about your irregular periods, or anything else to do with your menstrual cycle, please consult a medical professional, whether that’s your GP or a gynaecologist as soon as possible.
Whilst there are certain things you may be able to link your irregular periods to, it’s always best to seek professional medical advice if you are worried about the irregularity of your period so that you can feel more empowered and ready to tackle any issues that may arise.
8 Things You Can Do To Support Regular Periods
Now you know some of the most common reasons for irregular periods and what you should do if you want to seek further advice and support about your specific situation, it’s time to take a look at what you can do naturally to support your body to have more regular periods.
- Maintain A Consistent Exercise Regime
One of the main things doctors recommend in the treatment of PCOS, exercising regularly can certainly help to promote the body to have better regulated periods. Exercising consistently (in whatever way feels good for you) can help you support hormonal balance within the body, reduce stress levels, and promote the maintenance of a healthy weight, all of which can help regulate periods.
- Make Sure You’re Getting Your Vitamin D and Vitamin B
Low levels of vitamin D can increase the risk of irregular periods, especially for those that already suffer from conditions such as PCOS. Therefore, ensuring you’re keeping on top of your vitamin D consumption and supplementing with it if necessary can be incredibly helpful for those struggling with irregular bleeding.
Additionally, B vitamins can help to actively regulate the menstrual cycle and even reduce symptoms associated with PMS.
- Make Sure Your Diet Contains Enough Carbohydrates
Having a diet that’s low in carbohydrates is not a good idea if you’re struggling with irregular periods - not consuming enough carbohydrates can affect thyroid function and lower levels of leptin within the body which is a protein that helps to regulate hormones in the reproductive system. So, make sure you’re consuming enough carbs (carbs should make up around 45% - 65% of your diet).
- Add Pineapple and Papaya To Your Diet
Although there may not be a direct link between pineapple and papaya improving the regulating of periods, both of these fruits can help to support you to have more regulated periods indirectly. Pineapple contains bromelain which is an enzyme that supports blood flow and the production of both red and white blood cells. Papaya on the other hand contains high levels of carotene which supports estrogen levels and may even promote the uterus to contract.
- Try Acupuncture
Whilst not for everyone, studies have shown that acupuncture can help to restart menstruation in women that have stopped having periods for an extended amount of time and can also reduce painful bleeding and symptoms of PMS. So, why not take the plunge and finally get round to booking that acupuncture appointment you’ve been thinking about for so long?
- Make Active Efforts To Reduce Your Stress Levels
As mentioned above, stress can directly affect the regularity of periods - heightened cortisol levels affect hormones within the body and can cause irregularity of bleeding. Therefore, make sure you’re spending an adequate amount of time on a regular basis reducing your stress levels. Whether you incorporate a mindfulness practice into your daily routine or you have a luxurious bubble bath once a week that really helps you unwind, prioritise spending time on your self-care and wellbeing to diminish your stress levels and the effect they have on your body.
- Add Turmeric and Cinnamon To Your Diet
Herbs are incredibly powerful and two of the best herbal remedies that can help regulate periods are turmeric and cinnamon (bonus because they’re too yummy ones!). Turmeric contains a powerful anti-inflammatory bioactive substance called curcumin which not only reduces inflammation in the body and can even help with boosting mood (therefore decreasing PMS symptoms), but it can also help to affect the body in the way that estrogen does and therefore support the regulation of the menstrual cycle. The recommended dose of turmeric sits between 100mg - 500mg daily.
Cinnamon helps to regulate insulin levels which can directly impact and affect hormones that are associated with the menstrual cycle. Therefore, since cinnamon regulates these insulin levels, it supports the regulation of the menstrual cycle and can support more regular bleeding. This herb can also be incredibly impactful for those with PCOS since a major symptom of PCOS is high insulin levels.
- Practice Yoga
Not only does yoga help to calm the mind and body and therefore reduce stress levels, but there are also specific studies that show practising yoga on regular basis can support the regularity of the menstrual cycle and also reduce pain and other symptoms associated with PMS. Gentle forms of yoga are typically the most effective and useful, especially when you’re bleeding or in the “slower” phases of your cycle (link stages of cycle article once posted).
It’s Time To Support Your Menstrual Cycle In A Way That Works For You
Navigating the world of menstrual cycles and irregular bleeding is difficult, but with all of these tips about how to support your cycle and attempt to get your period back on track, you’re ready to make the effort to support your body and your natural cycle in the best way possible.