Irregular menstrual cycle or Irregular periods are an abnormal variation in length of menstrual cycles. A female usually experiences cycle length variations of up to eight days between the shortest and longest cycle lengths. Lengths ranging between 8 and 20 days are considered moderately irregular. While some women get their periods right on schedule every 28 days, other women’s cycles aren’t predictable. A normal menstrual cycle lasts 28 days, plus or minus seven days. Menstrual bleeding is considered irregular if it occurs more frequently than every 21 days or lasts longer than 8 days.
When a young woman stops getting her period – called “Amenorrhea” – it’s a solid indication that something isn’t right. Primary amenorrhea is when a young woman never got her period to begin with during puberty, while secondary amenorrhea is when a woman has had her period in the past but stops getting her monthly period for three or more months.
The uterine system is the seat of Vata and influenced by the other humors of the body, namely Pitta and Kapha.
Ayurveda divides the entire monthly cycle into three distinct phases.
- Ritu Kala:This is when the ovaries develop follicles that mature, thickening the lining of the uterus in preparation for ovulation (or possible pregnancy). This phase lasts for 12-16 days and is ruled by Kapha dosha, the kapha is responsible for growth and regeneration.
- Ritu Vyateeta Kala:After ovulation, Pitta dosha takes over the secretory phase when blood supply along with various hormones and nutrients to the uterine lining increases. This is so that the conceptus (embryo) is nourished if one were to get pregnant. The Pitta phase, where all the body’s secretion activities occur, lasts from 9-13 days.
- Rajasrava Kala:This is the actual phase of menstruation where the blood along with the lining (endometrium) is shed in case no egg is fertilized and implanted. This phase is of 3-5 days in duration and is governed by Vata dosha (and the Apana Vayu), which is in control of all the movement in the body.
Sometimes an irregular period may be due to subtler hormone imbalances. The following factors can trigger irregular or missed periods:
- Eating disorders
- Excessive weight gain or weight loss; extreme thinness and obesity both cause your menstrual cycle to become irregular or even to disappear
- Stress or emotional problems
- Hormonal problems
- Problems with the pelvic organs
- Drugs like birth-control pills can affect the frequency and / or intensity of menstruation
- Gynecological problems- problem with the womb and ovaries, unsuspected pregnancy, early miscarriage
- Excessive Alcohol
- Problem with reproductive organs
- Painful cramping
- Abnormal duration of bleeding
- Bloods clots
- Breast tenderness
- Fluid retention
- Missed periods
- Nausea and vomiting
- Discomfort in the bladder or rectum
- Amounts of days bleeding lasts noticeably altered
Step1: Diet and lifestyle changes
According to Ayurveda, the time of menstruation is like being wounded. During your menses have light and easy to digest foods just like you would if you were recovering from a wound.
- Skip meat, junk foods, pickles and heavy sweets.
- Include healthy foods such as pineapple, carrot and papaya in your diet.
- Avoid excessive sleep.
- Sleep on a mat or on a hard surface to provide support to the back.
- Stay home as far as possible (especially true for working women); as during this time the vaginal canal opens up further and that could make you highly susceptible to infections.
Step2: Yogasana and Pranayama
Yoga and pranayama is very effective in managing irregular periods:
- Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
- The Shoulder Stand (Sarvangasana)
- The Half Wheel (Ardha Chakrasana)
- Sheetali Pranayama
- Take a piece of fresh ginger (adrak), boil in a cup of water.
Dosage: The infusion needs to be taken thrice daily after meals along with sugar.
- Boil 1 teaspoon saffron (kesar) in ½ cup water. Let it reduce to become 1 tablespoon.
Dosage: Divide this decoction into three portions and take with equal quantities of water, thrice daily for a couple of days.
- Hibiscus: Boil Hibiscus flower in 1 cup of water and prepare tea which is beneficial as an Ayurvedic tonic for irregular periods.
Dosage: Take the tea daily.
- Aloe Vera(Ghrit kumari): Do not use this remedy during your periods. 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.
Dosage: Consume it daily before having your breakfast.
- Ginger: Boil 1 tbsp of fresh ginger for 5 minutes and add little sugar. Ginger is highly recommended for regulating menstrual cycles and getting rid of irregular periods.
Dosage: Drink the mixture three times a day after meal.
- Cumin: Cumin is loaded with a number of health benefits. Soaked cumin can be used in the treatment of irregular period. Take 2 spoons of cumin seeds and soak in water over night. You need to drink this water every day to get your periods regularized.
Dosage: Drink the soaked cumin seed water in morning.
- Turmeric: Being a warming herb, turmeric is also considered helpful in regulating menstruation and balancing hormones. Consume one-quarter teaspoon of turmeric with milk, honey or jaggery.
Dosage: Take it daily for several weeks or until you see improvement.
- Hing: Asafetida stimulates the production of the female hormone progesterone that increases blood flow to the uterus and regularizes periods. It also works as an excellent digestive aid. Fry a pinch of hing in ghee and consume with your meals.
Dosage: Take this remedy with your meal daily with buttermilk.
- Take ½ teaspoons finely ground cinnamon (dalchini) every night along with 1 cup milk.
- Powder 1 teaspoon dried mint (pudina) leaves and take with 1 teaspoon honey, thrice daily.
- Grind some Bel leaves into a fine paste.
Dosage: Take 1 teaspoon with warm water and drink some cold water as well.
- Boil 1 teaspoon coriander (dhania) seeds in 2 cups water till it is reduced to 1 cup.
Dosage: Add sugar to taste and drink when lukewarm. Repeat twice or thrice a day.
- Ashokarishta: It is extensively used in Ayurvedic treatment of heavy menstrual bleeding and other gynecological complaints.
Dosage: 5 – 10 ml, once or twice a day, after food
- Sundari sakhi: Relieves the problem of irregular menses, weakness, backache, pain, fatigue etc.
Dosage: 15 ml twice a day with water along with free tablets inside the pack (1 tablet twice a day with water).
- Dashmoolarishta: Effective tonic for women after delivery, puerperal complains general debility, general weakness, and irregular periods.
Dosage: 15 to 30 ml after meals with equal quantity of water.
- Chandanasava: Dabur Chandanasava is used for bleeding disorder, improving strength, increasing immunity of body, and improving digestion problem.
Dosage: 12 – 24 ml usually after food. It can be mixed with equal quantity of water, if the taste is not tolerated by the patient.
It is time to get rid of monthly problems with ayurvedic ways. Treat this early the natural way; else it could lead to embarrassment and uncomfortable situation and you feel very helplessness. Hope you don’t have to face that ever.
Do try these effective remedies and share your experience with us in the comment box.