A menstrual cycle is counted from the first day of a period to the first day of the next. The average menstrual cycle is 28 days, but this can vary from woman to woman and month to month.
Your periods are still considered regular if they come every 24 to 38 days. Your periods are considered irregular if the time between periods keeps changing and your periods come earlier or later.
Treatment depends on finding out what’s causing your irregular periods, but there are remedies you can try at home to get your cycle back on track. Read on to discover 8 science-backed home remedies for irregular periods.
Yoga has been shown to be an effective treatment for different menstrual issues. A 2013 study with 126 participants found that 35 to 40 minutes of yoga, 5 days a week for 6 months lowered hormone levels related to irregular menstruation.
Yoga has also been shown to reduce menstrual pain and emotional symptoms associated with menstruation, such as depression and anxiety, and improve quality of life in women with primary dysmenorrhea. Women with primary dysmenorrhea experience extreme pain before and during their menstrual periods.
If you’re new to yoga, look for a studio that offers beginner or level 1 yoga. Once you’ve learned how to properly do several moves, you can continue going to classes, or you can practice yoga from home using videos or routines you find online.
2. Maintain a healthy weight
Changes in your weight can affect your periods. If you’re overweight or obese, losing weight could help regulate your periods.
Alternatively, extreme weight loss or being underweight can cause irregular menstruation. That’s why it’s important to maintain a healthy weight.
Women who are overweight are also more likely to have irregular periods and experience heavier bleeding and pain than women who are at a healthy weight. This is due to the impact that fat cells have on hormones and insulin.
If you suspect your weight may be affecting your menstrual periods, talk to your doctor. They can help you identify a healthy target weight, and come up with a weight loss or gain strategy.
3. Exercise regularly
Exercise has many health benefits that can help your periods. It can help you reach or maintain a healthy weight and is commonly recommended as part of a treatment plan for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). PCOS can cause menstrual irregularity.
Results from a recent clinical trial showed that exercise can effectively treat primary dysmenorrhea. Seventy college students with primary dysmenorrhea participated in the trial. The intervention group performed 30 minutes of aerobic exercise, 3 times a week, for 8 weeks. At the end of the trial, the women who performed the exercises reported less pain associated with their menstrual periods.
More research is needed to understand how exercise affects menstruation, and what direct effects if any, it can have on regulating your period.
4. Spice things up with ginger
Ginger is used as a home remedy for treating irregular periods, but there isn’t any scientific evidence to show that it works. Ginger does seem to have other benefits related to menstruation.
Results from one study of 92 women with heavy menstrual bleeding showed that daily ginger supplements may help reduce the amount of blood lost during menstruation. This was a small study that only looked at high-school-aged girls, so more research is needed.
Taking 750 to 2,000 mg of ginger powder during the first 3 or 4 days of your period has been shown to be an effective treatment for painful periods.
Another study found taking ginger for seven days before a period relieved mood, physical, and behavioral symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
Cinnamon appears to be beneficial for a variety of menstrual issues.
A 2014 study found it helped regulate menstrual cycles and was an effective treatment option for women with PCOS, though the study was limited by a small number of participants (13).
It has also been shown to significantly reduce menstrual pain and bleeding, and relieve nausea and vomiting associated with primary dysmenorrhea (14Trusted Source).
Another study also found it effective in treating menstrual irregularity in women with PCOS (16Trusted Source).
Vitamin D also has other health benefits, including lowering the risk of certain diseases, aiding weight loss, and reducing depression (17Trusted Source, 18Trusted Source, 19Trusted Source, 20Trusted Source, 21Trusted Source, 22Trusted Source, 23Trusted Source).
Vitamin D is often added to some foods, including milk and other dairy products, and cereal. You can also get vitamin D from sun exposure or through supplementation.
When using a supplement, follow the instructions on the packaging, and only buy supplements from reputable sources.
The results of a study published in 2013 showed that drinking 0.53 oz (15 ml) of apple cider vinegar daily may restore ovulatory menstruation in women with PCOS. More research is needed to validate these results, as this particular study involved only seven participants (28Trusted Source).
Apple cider vinegar may also help you lose weight, and lower blood sugar and insulin levels.
Apple cider has a bitter taste, which may be difficult for some people to consume. If you want to try taking it but have a hard time with the flavor, you can try diluting it with water and adding a tablespoon of honey.
Pineapple is a popular home remedy for menstrual issues. It contains bromelain, an enzyme that is claimed to soften the lining of the uterus and regulate your periods, though this hasn’t been proven.
Bromelain may have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, although there is no real evidence to support its effectiveness for alleviating menstrual cramps and headaches. (31, 32Trusted Source).
Eating pineapple can help you to get your recommended daily servings of fruit. One cup (80 grams) of pineapple may be counted as one serving of fruit. The general recommendation is to eat a minimum of 5, 1-cup (80-gram) servings of fruit a day (33Trusted Source).
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