A healthy menstrual cycle has an average gap of 28 days. But if only periods were regular for all women! It is common for some women to experience early periods or even a delayed menstrual cycle. But a woman’s periods are considered to be irregular if the gap between them is more than 35 days or less than 21 days. If you are worried about getting your periods late, you can try natural ways to induce period in case you are not expecting to be pregnant!
What causes irregular periods?
Irregular periods, also known as irregular menstrual cycles or menstrual irregularities, can occur due to various reasons, and they are not uncommon, says Dr Swetha M.P, Consultant – Obstetrician and Gynecologist, Motherhood Hospitals, HRBR Layout, Bengaluru.
Here are some common causes:
High levels of stress is no good for your body. When it comes to your menstrual cycle, it can disrupt the hormonal balance in the body, leading to irregular periods. The body may produce more cortisol (a stress hormone), affecting the regularity of menstrual cycles.
2. Weight changes
Significant weight loss or gain can affect hormone production and lead to irregular periods. Extremely low body weight (underweight) or obesity can disrupt the menstrual cycle, says the expert.
3. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
PCOS is a common hormonal disorder that can lead to irregular periods, among other symptoms. It is characterised by the presence of small cysts on the ovaries and an imbalance of sex hormones.
4. Thyroid disorders
Thyroid hormones play a crucial role in regulating the menstrual cycle. An underactive or overactive thyroid gland can impact your menstrual cycle.
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5. Excessive exercise
Working out has many benefits, but intense or excessive physical activity can disrupt hormonal balance and result in irregular periods.
6. Poor nutrition
Nutritional deficiencies can affect hormone production, so a diet lacking in essential nutrients can lead to irregular periods.
As women approach menopause, usually in their 40s, hormone levels naturally fluctuate, leading to irregular periods before menstruation stops altogether.
How to induce period naturally?
If you are worried about being late for your periods, try these methods to induce period or regulate the menstrual cycle.
1. Maintain a healthy weight
If you are too light or heavy, it’s time to work on your weight. Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise can help to regulate your menstrual cycle.
2. Manage stress
Practice stress-reduction techniques such as yoga, meditation, deep breathing or mindfulness to help in balancing hormones, suggests the Dr Swetha.
3. Dietary changes
Incorporate foods rich in iron, vitamins and minerals into your diet. Consider healthy foods like leafy greens, lean proteins and whole grains.
4. Herbal teas
Some herbal teas like ginger and chamomile that are known for being beneficial to health, may help to stimulate menstruation as well.
5. Exercise in moderation
Try moderate and regular physical activity, and avoid excessive exercise as it can disrupt your menstrual cycle, so it’s important to strike a balance.
6. Vitamin C
High doses of vitamin C can stimulate the production of estrogen, potentially regulating your menstrual cycle. You can get vitamin C from citrus fruits and supplements.
7. Healthy fats
Include healthy fats like those found in avocados, nuts and fatty fish in your diet, as they can support hormone production, says the expert.
8. Adequate sleep
Make sure you get enough restorative sleep, as disrupted sleep patterns can affect hormonal balance. So, stay away from your phone or screens before going to bed.
9. Warm compress
Applying a warm compress to your lower abdomen may be something you do to get rid of period cramps. Yes, it will help to relieve menstrual cramps and also encourage regular flow.
However, it’s important to note that these natural methods may not work for everyone, and their effectiveness can vary. If there’s a possibility of pregnancy, it’s crucial not to induce your period, as it could harm the pregnancy. Women with underlying medical conditions like endometriosis, fibroids or bleeding disorders should also consult a doctor before trying any natural methods to induce periods.