Irregular periods or irregular cycle is abnormal variation in the length of the menstrual cycle. Menstrual cycle is index of the wellness of the female health. When period disturbs, it clearly means that something is not right somewhere. And this shows a lot of the problems with female health. Therefore it is not just a normal thing to happen, when you don’t have normal periods. Ayurveda emphasises more on the normal and natural periods. And Ayurveda has treatment for the condition of the irregular periods.
To understand irregular periods, let us first understand what regular periods are.
What are regular periods?
Most of the females get their first period between 10-15 years of age and continue until menopause at 45-55 years of age. The monthly menstrual cycle is the number of days from the first day of the period to the start of the next period. Menstruation is the part of the menstrual cycle when the endometrium lining of the uterus sheds. On average, the female menstrual cycle is of 28 days. The duration of the cycle may vary in length not only from female to female but even in the same female each month.
When a girl gets her first period, it is termed as menarche. After menarche, it may take two years for the menstrual cycle to regularize. After the initial two years, after menarche, most females get periods between 21-36 days. If the period is longer than 38 days or the duration varies, it is irregular periods. In addition, missed or early periods are signs of irregular periods.
Facts on Irregular Periods
- Count from the first day of the previous period and come to the first day of your next period. Repeat this counting for the three months in a row. If the number of days between the stopping and starting of the menstrual varies every month, you have an irregular cycle.
- Having a regular menstrual cycle is a signal that your body is working properly.
- Irregular menstrual cycle may be a natural change in your body and is common among females still it is better to check with your doctor, as it may be a sign of underlying health issue that needs proper treatment.
- About 30% of females across the world reports having irregular periods.
- In most of the cases, treatment of the underlying cause regularizes the periods.
Types of Irregular Periods
When it comes to define the irregular periods- there are different types of the condition. These all conditions are different but one thing remain common among all. And that is- irregular periods.
Oligomenorrhea – If females of childbearing age have infrequent menstruation, it is termed as oligomenorrhea. The menstrual cycle goes for more than 35 days without menstruation.
Polymenorrhea – It is a condition when the menstrual cycle is shorter than 21 days. It is a form of abnormal uterine bleeding.
Metrorrhagia – Metrorrhagia is bleeding in between the periods. It is challenging to distinguish metrorrhagia from the actual period. It usually lasts for two or less days.
Amenorrhoea – It is the complete absence of a menstrual period. Although it may be difficult to distinguish it from oligomenorrhea but if a female, miss more than three periods in a row it is amenorrhoea.
Symptoms of Irregular Period
Various symptoms that determine whether the period is regular or not are as follows:
1. Longer or shorter cycle – If the length of the cycle is more than 36 days or less than 21 days, it is irregular periods.
2. Irregular cycle – The length of your cycle is irregular every month; for example, one month, your period comes after 38 days, and the next month it does not come even after 45 days.
3. How heavy is the flow – The flow in irregular period is often abnormally light or heavy.
4. The length of the period – On average menstrual period lasts for 3 to 5 days. If the length of the period is more than seven days or less than two days, it is irregular.
5. Missed altogether – If you miss three cycles or approximately 84 days in a row without periods or if you have less than four periods in a year, it is irregular.
What Causes Irregular Periods
There are certain medical conditions, which are responsible for the irregular periods. Here are these conditions.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS
PCOS is one of the common causes of irregular periods. It is a lifestyle disorder that affects women’s ovaries. The ovulation does not happen at a time, and as an effect, your periods are affected. PCOS results in irregular and less frequent periods. You may also have heavy bleeding on getting period. PCOS also shows cause weight gain for obesity, male pattern baldness, excess body, and facial hair, and infertility.
Hypothyroidism or underactive thyroid causes heavier and longer periods with increased cramps. You may also experience sensitivity to cold, weight gain, and fatigue. In hyperthyroidism, with a high level of thyroid hormones, there is lighter and shorter periods. Other symptoms include heart palpitation, sudden weight loss, anxiety, and nervousness. Swelling at the base of the neck is a common thyroid disorder.
Study shows that stress interferes with the menstrual cycle as it interferes with the part of the brain that controls the production of hormones and regulates your cycle. With the decrease in the level of stress, your periods come back to normal.
Intense exercise interferes with the hormones that can regulate menstruation. Women athletes who participate in intense physical activities and training develop ammenorhea. Cutting back the training and increasing the calorie count, restore their periods.
Obesity affects the level of insulin and the production of hormones. This, in turn, interferes with the menstrual cycle and causes menstrual irregularity.
The prolactin hormone responsible for the production of breast milk suppresses reproductive hormones and results in light or no periods while you are breastfeeding.
Intrauterine devices that contain hormone or hormonal birth control pills cause irregular bleeding. Birth control pills may also cause spotting in between the periods. IUD may cause heavy bleeding.
Perimenopause is a transition phase that happens before entering menopause. It usually begins in the ’40s or earlier. The symptoms of perimenopause last for 4-8 years. Changes in the level of oestrogen hormone bring changes to the menstrual cycle. Eventually, the menstrual cycle gets longer or shorter. Other signs of perimenopause include night sweats, hot flashes, difficulty sleeping, mood changes, and vaginal dryness.
Certain medications – Certain medications such as antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, thyroid medication, and anti-anxiety medications may cause irregular periods.
Hormonal imbalance due to any of the above causes results in irregular periods. A high level of oestrogen causes a shorter cycle and heavy bleeding. On the other hand, a high level of progesterone causes longer cycle lighter periods.
Ayurveda About Irregular Periods
Ayurveda understands the importance of the regularity of the menstrual periods. This is because, Ayurveda works on the concept of “cycles”. Every dosha works in a cyclic manner. These doshas decide the circadian system- biological clock.
These doshas keep on altering. When these doshas behave normally, everything goes normal. But moment something disturbs the harmony of these doshas- normal becomes abnormal. Physiology turns to pathology and health disturbs to diseases.
Therefore we all need to understand the value of the cyclic activities of the body. And for you as a female the most important is your menstruation.
Most of the women keeps on overlooking the irregular periods. Girls specially never share the problem with the periods with anybody, in countries like India. And they keep on trying this and that from Google. But with time the condition becomes chronic and disease complicates. So as a physician, I request everybody to not to avoid any irregularities with your periods.Dr. Neetu Sharma M.D. (Ayurveda) on Irregular Periods
Thyroid and PCOD like conditions keep on complicating the condition of overall health. But irregular periods are the first and only symptoms of these problems. And when it comes to Female Infertility– irregular periods are the first things to address.
When it comes to the treatment of female infertility, the best way to handle your case is to manage your periods. Ayurveda treatment for irregular periods not only addresses the irregularity of periods…
Ayurveda Treatment for Irregular Periods
Body dances on the rhythm of the doshas. When these doshas are working normally things behave normally.
There are many causes which disturbs the behaviour of the doshas. But many things which impact the doshas are-
- Dietary habits
- Mental Status and
When you look at the list of causes behind the irregular periods above- you will find that every disease we are talking about relates to these four things only.
Because most of the things here relates to hormones. And as per Ayurveda this is Vata, which represents the activities of the hormones. The same Vata dosha is responsible for the periods.
The subtype of the Vata – apana vayu is responsible for the flow of the periods. And this subtype is the most important subtype of Vata. Because, this subtype is the most influential subtype of the Vata.
This is the reason we need to work on all the four points right from diet to behaviour.
Treatment beyond home remedies
This is the most common problem with females, they just google and start following everything to “treat” themselves. But you should never do this. This thing proves fatal in long run.
To manage the health it is important to balance the physiology. When you miss period once- these remedies can work. But when you have certain pathological disturbance behind the problem- these so called fixes only complicate the problem. Because you toss a lot of time to balance the things.
The best way for any treatment is the diagnosis. Because only your doctor can tell you- what mistake you are making.
For this you can consult Vaidya Dr. Neetu Sharma through Video Consultation- very easily. After the comprehensive discussion with Dr. Neetu- she will guide you accordingly.
The simple home remedies when come from a learned person, work more than a medicine.