From the horrible premenstrual syndrome (PMS) giving you mood swings, headaches, and excruciating stomach cramps to dealing with the discomfort down there, those five days of your period is surely a tough period, you know.
If Aunt Flo decides to disappear for two months or reappear twice in a month instead of making her presence felt once after the completion of your 28-day menstrual cycle, it can be quite cumbersome.
While shorter intervals between your periods can lead to weakness from the excessive blood flow, an unusually long cycle can give you a pelvic pain, weaker bones, uterus complications, and even lead to infertility.
These irregularities can be a side-effect of your birth-control methods or simply your poor lifestyle making your hormones go out of whack and giving you polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). However, it can be controlled through these science-backed practices for sure:
1. Move your butt, girl
If you live a rather sedentary lifestyle involving hours of desk work followed by crashing on the bed, binge-watching Netflix–you really don’t have to look any further to find the cause of your misery. The lack of physical activity is probably what’s causing a hormonal imbalance in your body and making your menstrual cycle irregular.
The way out? Well, no points for guessing, you’ve got to move off that couch and start exercising. According to a study published in the Journal of Education and Health Promotion, exercising regularly can help prevent obesity, keep your hormones in control, and lead to regular periods as well. So, dance, join an aerobics class, take the gym membership or simply head out for a refreshing stroll in the park; but make sure that you exercise for at least 30-45 minutes a day.
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2. Deep sleep, peeps
Waking up late or simply too early after spending the night working your butt of for a work presentation or simply partying your guts out; if your sleep cycle is regular, it can hit your menstrual cycle, or so, says a study published in the journal PLOS One.
Needless to say, you’ve got to sleep on time—on most days of the week, at least. And hit the 8-9-hour-sleep-mark in order to regulate your menstrual cycle and for the sake of your overall health as well.
3. Eat, but don’t cheat
Obesity and the resulting hormonal imbalance is strongly linked to your menstrual cycle. And the primary undisputed cause of obesity is the unhealthy eating we all succumb to. Meal skipping, junk binging, nutritional deficiencies, and overeating together can throw your hormones off balance resulting in irregular periods, according to a study published in the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care.
Hence, you’ve got to eat at regular intervals and make sure you’re consuming a balanced diet full of green, leafy veggies, fresh fruits, nuts, and whole grains. Follow this rule and you’ll see your cycle getting back on track within a few months.
4. Don’t let the stress create a mess
You know, when you’re stressed out because of work or a personal-life disturbance, your body produces a hormone called cortisol, which can single-handedly disturb the female reproductive hormone, oestrogen, that plays a major role in menstruation. Thus stress can mess with your menstrual cycle without a doubt.
To tackle this issue, you can always meditate or practice yoga because according to a study published in Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, doing so at least 5 days a week, can balance your hormones and make your periods regular, apart from uplifting your mood and helping you cope with stress, of course.
Also, Read: Have your periods gone MIA, but you’re not pregnant? Here are 7 possible reasons why
5. Up your vitamin intake
A study conducted in 2011 established the link between the deficiency of vitamin B and irregular periods citing their effect on other micro-nutrients in the body such as aluminum, arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury and nickel—that work together to keep your hormones balanced and make your body function normally.
Another study conducted in 2015 found that a deficiency of vitamin D in a woman’s body can also lead to irregular periods due to a similar reason.
Now, obviously, if you want regular periods, you’ve got to ensure adequate consumption of these essential vitamins by eating foods that are rich in them and if need be, resorting to supplements after consulting with your doctor.
6. Trust the power of superfoods
While superfoods such as ginger can help reduce the blood loss in case of a heavy menstrual flow (according to a study conducted in 2014), adding spices such as cinnamon in the form of toppings on the curd/using it along with your green tea, too can help you beat menstrual irregularities according to a study published in the Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal.
In fact, a 2013-study showed that drinking 15 ml of apple cider vinegar diluted in water every day could help restore menstruation in women. So, this can help in case you’ve not got your period for a long time.
Additionally, a study published in the Indian Journal of Community Medicine found fruits, specially pineapples to be quite effective in battling PMS as well as regulating the menstrual cycle—thanks to the presence of an enzyme called bromelain, that can bring hormones under control.
Word of caution
Ladies, your irregular periods could also be a result of a severe PCOS, thyroid problem, or some damage in the uterus. So, it is best to consult with a gynaecologist and take the necessary steps so as to get back your life and your menstrual cycle on track, we say.