A healthy menstrual cycle has an average break of 28 days. But if only menstruation were regular for all women! It is common for some women to experience early menstruation or even a delayed menstrual cycle. But a woman’s periods are considered irregular if the period between them is more than 35 days or less than 21 days. If you’re worried about your period being late, you can try natural ways to induce your period, just in case you’re not expecting to get pregnant!
What causes irregular periods?
Irregular periods, also called irregular menstrual cycles or menstrual irregularities, can have a variety of causes and are not uncommon, says Dr Swetha MP, Consultant – Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Maternity Hospitals, HRBR Layout, Bengaluru.
Here are some common causes:
High levels of stress are not good for your body. When it comes to your menstrual cycle, this can disrupt the hormonal balance in the body, leading to irregular periods. The body can produce more cortisol (a stress hormone), which affects the regularity of the menstrual cycle.
2. Weight changes
Significant weight loss or weight gain can affect hormone production and lead to irregular periods. Extremely low body weight (underweight) or excess weight can disrupt the menstrual cycle, says the expert.
3. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
PCOS is a common hormonal disorder that can lead to, among other things, irregular periods. It is characterized by the presence of small cysts on the ovaries and an imbalance of sex hormones.
4. Thyroid disorders
Thyroid hormones play a crucial role in regulating the menstrual cycle. An underactive or overactive thyroid can affect your menstrual cycle.
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5. Excessive exercise
Exercise has many benefits, but intense or excessive physical activity can disrupt hormonal balance and result in irregular periods.
6. Poor nutrition
Nutritional deficiencies can affect hormone production, so a diet deficient in essential nutrients can lead to irregular periods.
As women approach menopause, usually around age 40, hormone levels naturally fluctuate, leading to irregular periods before periods stop altogether.
How to get your period naturally?
If you’re worried about being late for your period, try these methods to induce periods or regulate the menstrual cycle.
1. Maintain a healthy weight
If you are underweight or overweight, it’s time to work on your weight. Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise can help regulate your menstrual cycle.
2. Manage stress
Practice stress-reducing techniques such as yoga, meditation, deep breathing or mindfulness to help balance hormones, suggests Dr. Swetha.
3. Dietary changes
Add foods rich in iron, vitamins and minerals to your diet. Consider healthy foods such as leafy greens, lean proteins and whole grains.
4. Herbal teas
Some herbal teas, such as ginger and chamomile, which are known to be beneficial to health, can also help stimulate menstruation.
5. Exercise in moderation
Try moderate and regular physical activity and avoid excessive exercise as it can disrupt your menstrual cycle. So it is important to find a balance.
6. Vitamin C
High doses of vitamin C can stimulate estrogen production, potentially regulating your menstrual cycle. You can get vitamin C from citrus fruits and supplements.
7. Healthy fats
Include healthy fats like those found in avocados, nuts and oily fish in your diet, as they can support hormone production, the expert says.
8. Enough sleep
Make sure you get enough restorative sleep, as disrupted sleep patterns can affect hormonal balance. So stay away from your phone or screens before going to bed.
9. Warm compress
Applying a warm compress to your lower abdomen may be something you do to get rid of menstrual cramps. Yes, it will help relieve menstrual cramps and also promote regular bleeding.
However, it is important to note that these natural methods may not work for everyone and their effectiveness may vary. If there is a chance of pregnancy, it is crucial that you do not induce your period as this can harm the pregnancy. Women with underlying medical conditions such as endometriosis, fibroids, or bleeding disorders should also consult a doctor before trying natural methods to induce menstruation.