While it might vary from woman to woman, the average period cycle is 28 days - with periods that occur every 24 to 28 days also being considered regular.
However, you’ve begun to notice that your period hasn’t stuck to the schedule, either coming earlier or later than expected. You might even experience that your periods are lasting even longer than usual.
While the treatment of period irregularity will depend on the root cause (these can range from hormonal imbalances, to medication that you take), here are 7 remedies you can consider trying to help regulate your period at home:
1. Keeping To A Healthy Weight
It is possible that changes in your weight could be the reason why you are experiencing irregular periods.
In a study done by the Dow University of Health Sciences, researchers found that women who were overweight or obese were more likely to experience irregular periods, bleed heavier and undergo more pain. Researchers linked these irregularities to the effect fat cells can have on insulin and hormonal levels.
Conversely, women who were underweight or have gone through extreme weight loss were also at risk of experiencing irregular menstruation.
If you suspect that your weight gain or loss could be the reason for the irregularities in your menstrual period, it is important to consult a doctor to identify what is your healthy target weight and develop a weight loss or gain strategy.
2. Exercising Regularly
As mentioned before, maintaining a healthy weight is key to regulating your menstrual cycle. Exercising regularly can not only help control your weight, but can also treat Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), a common cause of irregular periods.
Exercising regularly can also help lessen the pain experienced before and during your menstrual period.
3. Pick Up Yoga
Practising yoga has been found to be able to help treat several different menstrual issues such as irregular periods, period pains and emotional symptoms (like anxiety and depression).
In a study done by Chhatrapati Sahuji Maharaj Medical University, researchers found that participants who underwent 6 months of regular yoga practices had significantly lowered hormonal levels that were linked with irregular periods.
If you experience irregular periods, or want to alleviate pesky period pains, consider looking for a yoga studio that offers beginner yoga classes. Once you’ve learnt the basics, you can continue to practice yoga at home to help lessen premenstrual symptoms when they occur.
4. Consider Taking Vitamins and Supplements
Having a vitamin D deficiency could be the reason why you are experiencing irregular periods. Ensuring that your vitamin D levels are healthy can not only help treat menstrual irregularities, but can also help reduce the risk of certain health issues (like cardiovascular diseases or cancer), help with weight loss and even help reduce depression.
You can get your daily dose of vitamin D either through supplements or in foods (such as cereal or dairy products). Even being out in the sun can help boost your vitamin D levels.
You might also want to consider looking at B vitamins, which have the potential to help regulate your periods. B vitamins can also help reduce premenstrual symptoms.
5. Spice Up Your Life With Cinnamon and Ginger
Adding cinnamon to your diet can potentially help treat various menstrual issues. In a study published by the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, cinnamon was found to be an effective way for women suffering with PCOS to help treat their irregular menstrual cycles.
Cinnamon can also reduce period pains, excessive menstrual bleeding and help to alleviate vomiting and nausea that stems from dysmenorrhea.
While there isn’t much scientifically-backed evidence that ginger can successfully treat irregular periods, studies have shown that taking ginger supplements daily has the potential to reduce excessive blood loss during periods. Ginger supplements can also help alleviate symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.
6. Drink Apple Cider Vinegar Everyday
While there are some promising studies that suggest that after having drunk apple cider vinegar daily, some women suffering from PCOS were able to restore their regular menstruation cycles. However, more extensive scientific research is required to validate these findings.
Apple cider vinegar can still help treat menstrual issues as it can help with weight loss (as mentioned earlier, this is key to regulating periods) and help lower insulin and blood sugar levels.
Drinking apple cider vinegar straight might not be the appealing thing in the world, so consider diluting it down with water and adding sweeteners such as honey or agave syrup to help with the palatability.
A popular home remedy, pineapple has been touted to be an effective treatment to regulate periods as it contains bromelain, an enzyme that supposedly softens the uterine lining. However, further scientific research is required to confirm this claim.
That said, eating pineapple still has some benefits as bromelain has pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties that could potentially help alleviate some premenstrual symptoms like period pains and headaches.
It is likely that you might experience the odd case of period irregularity at some point in your life. You should not be alarmed and won’t always need to seek medical assistance for this symptom.
However, should you suddenly experience either short or long period cycles, or that your period has become excessively heavy and painful, it is advisable that you consult a doctor. Here at Zoey, our doctors are best equipped with the knowledge to help ascertain the root cause of your period irregularity. They will be able to advise you on the best treatment suited for you, and can also prescribe you the right medication should you need it.
Kort DH, Lobo RA. Preliminary evidence that cinnamon improves menstrual cyclicity in women with polycystic ovary syndrome: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2014;211:487.e1-6. (Link)
Mustaqeem, M et al. “Obesity with irregular menstrual cycle in young girls.” Mymensingh medical journal : MMJ vol. 24,1 (2015): 161-7. (Link)
Rani, Monika et al. “Impact of Yoga Nidra on menstrual abnormalities in females of reproductive age.” Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.) vol. 19,12 (2013): 925-9. doi:10.1089/acm.2010.0676 (Link)