Women typically bleed once every 28-35 days. If your cycle has become less predictable it’s usually a sign from your body that something needs attention. After all, your monthly bleed is often looked at like your monthly health report. Providing insight into whether your diet, lifestyle, and stress levels have positively or negatively contributed to your hormonal balance.
What is an irregular period?
So what actually constitutes an ‘irregular’ period? It’s understood that irregular period symptoms include:
- A change in the number of days between your bleeds
- The amount of blood you lose is more or less than usual
- The duration of your periods varies
The following is a list of factors that can cause an irregular period:
- Menarche (when first establishing a menstrual cycle)
- Approaching menopause (perimenopause)
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
- Intrauterine devices like the copper IUD or Mirena
- Ceasing or starting the oral contraceptive pill (OCP)
- Chronic or acute stress
- Under eating
- Antibiotic use
- International travel
- Thyroid disease
- Ovarian cysts (different from PCOS)
- Endometrial hyperplasia (thickened uterine lining)
- Uterine polyps
- Clotting disorders
- Pituitary dysfunction
How can you treat irregular periods?
This will of course depend on what is driving the irregularity. If you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, starting your period for the first time, or moving into menopause, then irregular menstrual cycles are completely normal. However, if you fall into some of the other categories, it may be that your oestrogen and progesterone are imbalanced.
Often our bleed becomes heavier, longer, or less frequent when the body is not regularly ovulating and producing enough progesterone from ovulation. This means we can normalise our cycle simply by providing the body with what it needs for healthy ovulation to occur. This is why Happy Healthy You offers period pain supplements to assist with natural period pain relief.
- A healthy stress response (try including something you love that relaxes you into your daily routine). If you need extra support, the herbs in Happy Calm are ideal.
- Adequate food intake: check out our free 8-week program, a helpful guide.
- Daily movement, but don’t overdo it - listen to your body. Exercise should make you feel good, not burnt out.
- Daily bowel motions and healthy liver function to ensure you’re properly eliminating old unwanted hormones (that may otherwise be reabsorbed into the bloodstream, wreaking havoc). This is where Happy Greens and Happy Liver are a game changer!
- Reduce exposure to environmental oestrogens (ie. xenoestrogens) as this can contribute to oestrogen-progesterone imbalance. Avoid microwaving plastic or drinking from plastic water bottles.
If you’re transitioning off the OCP or you’ve had the Mirena removed, you may need some extra help re-establishing your cycle again. Without the support of herbal medicine, the body can take up to an entire year before it naturally initiates monthly ovulation again.