In this article:
- Irregular periods - what's going on?!
- Home remedies and supplements to help regulate your period
Many women don't realize what's normal and healthy during menstruation. How much cramping is considered “normal”? How long can I go without a period before I officially hit menopause? How long should my period last? Every woman's body is different, and this specific information regarding women's health and wellness is rarely taught. If you don't know the answers, don't sweat it! You don't have to accept "bad periods" as a common occurrence in your life. Here are some guidelines to help you identify what's normal in your menstrual cycle and what warrants a conversation with a gynecologist or healthcare provider.
The menstrual cycle begins with the first day of a period. The average length of a cycle is 28 days, however cycles lasting anywhere from 24-38 days are normal. There are four stages of the menstrual cycle and each one is influenced by fluctuations in hormone levels. Both the ovaries and the pituitary gland in the brain release these hormones throughout the menstrual cycle, which causes the reproductive tract to react in certain ways. The four stages are:
Food cravings, bloating, tender breasts, acne, cramps in the abdomen and back, trouble sleeping, and volatile mood are all common PMS symptoms (premenstrual syndrome). Now that we've made it through the whole "normal" cycle as detailed above, here are some complications that are out of the ordinary.
In any case, if you have a question or concern about your body and period, big or small, it never hurts to consult an OB-GYN.
Irregular periods can be caused by a number of things from diet to hormonal imbalances. The latter of which can lead to conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or endometriosis. Endometriosis is linked to excess estrogen and PCOS is linked to excess androgens. Both of these conditions can lead to heavy bleeding and infertility if efforts to balance hormones and manage inflammation are not taken. You can find more information about identifying the symptoms of both endometriosis and PCOS here.
While making small lifestyle changes may help to regulate your period, if the underlying cause is a hormonal imbalance (like in the cause of PCOS and endometriosis) you will likely benefit from:
Irregular periods are not regular, and they're not something you have to grin and bear! With a couple of simple lifestyle changes and natural supplements, you may be able to help your periods be smoother and pain-free. Before you begin adding them to your diet, be sure to consult your OBGYN to share your concerns and get the green light.
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