An irregular period, medically known as oligomenorrhea, is a common problem among women. It usually refers to infrequent periods with intervals of more than 35 days.
A normal menstrual cycle ranges from 21 to 35 days. Menstrual bleeding generally lasts for two to seven days. Women normally have 11 to 13 periods in a year, but those with oligomenorrhea may have fewer than six or seven periods.
Irregular periods are characterized by variations in the time between each of your periods, the number of days that your periods last, and abnormal blood loss (whether less or more than usual) during a period.
A number of factors can cause this problem, such as eating disorders, significant weight loss or gain, anemia, menopause, thyroid disorders, hormonal imbalance, liver disease, tuberculosis, irritable bowel syndrome, diabetes, recent birth or miscarriage, polycystic ovarian syndrome, uterine abnormalities, and other health conditions.
Lifestyle triggers like increased exercise, smoking, alcohol abuse, caffeine, travel, stress, and certain medications and birth control pills can also contribute to this problem. Furthermore, a 2005 European study indicates that asthma and hay fever may also be linked to irregular periods.
Menstrual cycles tend to be irregular during the first few years after menstruation starts and also at the end of a woman’s menstrual years, when she is approaching menopause.
In addition, as different women are likely to have different menstrual patterns, slight irregularities once in a while should not be a cause for concern.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for irregular periods.
Ginger is highly beneficial in regulating menstrual cycles and also relieving menstrual pain. It promotes menstruation and hence is good when dealing with delayed or scanty periods.
- Boil one-half teaspoon of freshly ground ginger in a cup of water for five to seven minutes.
- Add a little sugar.
- Drink this three times a day after meals.
- Do this for about one month or more.
Cinnamon is considered useful for regulating menstrual cycles and reducing menstrual cramps. According to traditional Chinese medicine, it is believed to have a warming effect on the body.
Also, it contains hydroxychalcone that helps regulate insulin levels and is suspected to have an effect on menstrual regularity. A study analyzing the effects of cinnamon extract on menstrual cycles in women with polycystic ovary syndrome is currently underway.
- Simply add one-half teaspoon of cinnamon powder to a glass of milk. Drink this daily for several weeks.
- You can also drink cinnamon tea, sprinkle cinnamon on your foods, or chew cinnamon sticks regularly.
3. Sesame Seeds and Jaggery
Sesame seeds are useful in regulating menstrual cycles as they help balance your hormones. They are loaded with lignans that help bind excess hormones. Plus, they contain essential fatty acids that promote optimal hormone production. Jaggery, too, helps regulate menstrual cycles due to its warming effects.
- Dry roast a handful of sesame seeds.
- Grind them along with one teaspoon of jaggery into a fine powder.
- Take one teaspoon of this powder daily on an empty stomach in the luteal phase, or second half of your menstrual cycle (two weeks before your period starts), for a few months.
Simply eating a piece of jaggery, also known as gur, will also help regulate menstruation.
Note: Do not use this remedy during your periods.
4. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera helps treat menstrual irregularities naturally by regulating your hormones.
- Extract fresh aloe vera gel from an aloe leaf.
- Mix in one teaspoon of honey.
- Consume it daily before having your breakfast.
- Follow this remedy for about three months.
Note: Do not use this remedy during your periods.
5. Unripe Papaya
Green, unripe papaya works as a potent emmenagogue. It is considered useful in regulating menstrual flow as it helps contract muscle fibers in the uterus.
It is particularly useful for irregular periods associated with menopause and stress. Consume unripe papaya juice regularly for a few months. Do not drink it during your periods.
Being a warming herb, turmeric is also considered helpful in regulating menstruation and balancing hormones. Its emmenagogue properties help stimulate menstrual flow. Moreover, its antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties relieve menstrual pain.
- Consume one-quarter teaspoon of turmeric with milk, honey or jaggery. Take it daily for several weeks or until you see improvement.
- You can also take turmeric in supplement form; consult your doctor for proper dosage.
7. Coriander Seeds
Due to its emmenagogue properties, coriander helps promote menstruation.
- Boil one teaspoon of coriander seeds in two cups of water until the quantity of water reduces to one cup. Strain the seeds from the liquid. Drink this three times daily for a few days prior to your period. Do this for a few months.
- You can also drink coriander juice daily for a few months.
Fennel is a great herb for treating irregular menstrual periods. Being a potent emmenagogue, it promotes menstruation and also relieves cramping associated with premenstrual syndrome due to its antispasmodic properties. Moreover, it helps rebalance female sex hormones.
- Soak two tablespoons of fennel seeds in a glass of water overnight.
- In the morning, strain the solution and drink it.
- Do this daily for about a month or until your menses become regular.
A combination of dried mint and honey serves as a good Ayurvedic remedy for irregular menstrual periods. It also helps ease menstrual cramps.
- Simply consume one teaspoon of dried mint powder mixed with one teaspoon of honey.
- Repeat three times a day for several weeks.
10. Carrot Juice
Being a good source of iron, carrot juice is another simple home remedy for irregular menstrual periods. Raw carrots also boost proper hormone functioning. Drink a glass of carrot juice regularly for three months. You can combine it with other vegetable juices as well.
In addition to carrot juice, include corn, lettuce, beets, drumsticks, and pumpkin seeds in your diet. It is believed that drinking sugarcane juice for a week or two prior to your expected periods helps with regulation.
In addition to these remedies, try to relax and maintain an emotional and physical balance. If you typically have had regular periods and your menstrual pattern is changing, consult your doctor for proper evaluation as well as treatment, especially if you are over age 40.