Here’s the first thing you should know: there is no such thing as a “normal monthly period”! Unpredictable menstrual cycles are frustrating, annoying, and sometimes even anxiety-inducing – but they are normal. So, you are not alone if you’re searching for tips on how to get a normal period every month. Here’s a recent question from one of my readers:
“I am 19 years old and I have had irregular periods ever since I first got my period at the age of 12,” says D. on Tips for Regulating Your Menstrual Cycle. “There are some months where I get it too early and some months where I don’t get any at all. How do I get a normal monthly period?”
Ladies, learning about your body’s monthly menstrual cycle is key to figuring out if you’ll ever get a normal monthly period, or if you need to resign yourself to fluctuating, unpredictable periods (a pain in the patootie!). The first thing I always tell women is to go to a doctor, naturopathic physician, or gynecologist. This is the second thing you need to know about getting a normal monthly period: you can’t rely on the internet for specific, personal health advice. The ‘net is great for basic facts and information, but personal medical advice needs to come from a doctor.
Here’s another question from a reader:
“I haven’t had a normal monthly period for three months,” says Alice on 4 Most Common Types of Menstrual Problems for Women. “In fact, I haven’t had a period at all. I went to a doctor to check my ovaries but she said there was nothing wrong with them. She said that it was normal and that even people who get their period only once a year is also considered normal…The doctor did not give me any medication; she said I don’t need to add a lot of chemicals to my body. So, just to get a second opinion, what do you think I should do?”
One of the most typical menstrual problems is when women just stop getting their period altogether, or don’t even get their periods in the first place. This is called amenorrhea and can be caused by any number of routine and harmless factors, such as pregnancy or breast-feeding. But, years of not getting your period can be harmful to your body and overall health.
Getting a second opinion from a different gynecologist, medical doctor, naturopathic physician is often helpful. Have you only seen a family doctor or general practitioner? Talk to a gynecologist, who specializes in women’s reproductive health.
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Tips on How to Get a Normal Monthly Period
In all my research on normalizing monthly cycles for women, I’ve learned three main things:
- Every woman is different, so what works for one (eg, yoga for a normal period) may not work for another.
- Hormonal imbalances are usually the cause of abnormal periods.
- The only way to determine why you aren’t menstruating normally is to get tested in person by a gynecological health specialist.
And, I also learned the importance of knowing your body. These tips will help you learn more about your body, which will help normalize your periods.
1. Keep track of your monthly cycle
“Secondary amenorrhea occurs when a woman of reproductive age simply stops menstruating,” write Elissa Stein and Susan Kim in Flow: The Cultural Story of Menstruation. The exact causes are still somewhat up in the air, although it seems to be triggered by hormonal imbalances, as well as by loss of weight and body fat. Amenorrhea can be brought on by rigorous athletic training or extreme dieting and, as a result, frequently affects athletes, models, belly dancers, and women with eating disorders. Years of not menstruating can lead to significant bone loss and bone mineral density loss, especially in the lower spine.”
Primary amenorrhea happens when an adolescent female still hasn’t started to menstruate, long after her peers have started. It’s caused by an underlying developmental problem brought on by severe stress or malnutrition. This type of “no monthly period” can be triggered by not only extreme weight loss caused by anorexia or bulimia, but morbid obesity, as well.Primary amenorrhea can also be caused by an underlying physiological condition, such as malfunctioning ovaries, the lack of a uterus, or some other genetic abnormality.
2. Remember that unpredictable periods are normal
“[Besides pregnancy], a possible cause for a missed period is anovulation, which simply means you did not ovulate that month. It’s possible that your next period may be heavier or longer if you have skipped a period in between,” says Dr Oz in Is Your Period Normal? “For most women, incidental anovulation is normal and not a cause for worry. Some women simply have a more sensitive endocrine feedback system so that changes in stress, weight, and other factors cause shifts in their menstrual cycle.”
So, missing your period every so often is normal. So are late periods, light periods, and some cramping. Not getting regular monthly periods is annoying, it doesn’t necessarily need to be treated. That’s why D.’s doctor didn’t prescribe anything to make her menstrual cycle more regular.
3. Research herbs and natural remedies for monthly periods
D. asked if there are pills or medications that regulate hormones, other than the birth control pill. This is a great question! The more regular your hormones are, the higher the chances you’ll get a normal monthly period. Many women love the pill because it makes their periods like clockwork. Remember that there are many different types of birth control pills, many dosages, many levels of estrogen. The trick is finding the best one for you.
If you search the internet, you’ll find TONS of information about herbal supplements that regulate hormones and help women get normal monthly periods.
For example: “Vitex berry (chaste tree berry)…stimulates the pituitary gland, which is the master gland that regulates sex hormone production and helps to normalize progesterone levels. Vitex is an herb of choice when needing to regulate an erratic menstrual cycle. It can help both menorrhagia (excessive bleeding) and polymenorrhea (periods that occur too frequently), as well as amenorrhea and spotting between cycles. It can also help women establish more regular cycles after they stop taking birth control pills.”
This sounds perfect, but where does it come from? A website called AIM at Discount. Their aim is to sell supplements, so of course they’ll tell you want you want to hear! Do not trust websites whose sole goal is to sell products. Don’t rush out and buy chaste tree berry to regulate your periods until you check into it in more depth.
Herbal supplements can be as potent as prescription medications, and can have significant effects on your health and hormones – especially if they’re combined with prescription meds. Further, natural herbs aren’t regulated or well-researched, so you don’t know exactly what you’re getting. The bottom line? Talk to a doctor in person before you take herbs or supplements to get normal monthly periods.
4. Change your lifestyle, exercise, and diet habits
How do you feel after you eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks? Not only does food affect your mood and energy levels, it also changes your hormones. Certain foods can disrupt your hormones and affect your menstrual cycle. Avoid white sugar, refined foods, simple carbs, and a high-fat diet. Try to avoid foods from packages, such as Kraft Dinner, ramen noodles, or even canned soups. Eat foods that are as close to their original state as possible: fresh fruits and veggies, whole grain breads, brown rice, etc.
Other lifestyle factors that change your monthly cycle include stress, sleep disruptions, being overweight or underweight, and not getting enough exercise. Balancing your hormones isn’t about what pills or medications you can take, it’s about being as healthy as possible in all aspects of your life.
5. Talk to a naturopathic physician or gynecologist – in person
The best way to learn how to regulate your monthly period with natural herbal supplements is to talk to a certified naturopathic physician or practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Get one-on-one health advice from someone who is trained, who will take your medical history, and who will give you advice based on your body.
An appointment with a naturopath can cost $50 to $100 an hour, but it’s worth it. It’s an investment that can change your life for the better! But, do your research first. Try to get recommendations from people you know, and ask for a free initial consultation.
One last tip on how to get a normal monthly period…
Get health information from websites such as the MayoClinic, WebMD, and government health organizations. Sites like mine are good for fact-based information and opinion, but they’re not the best way to get personal medical information.
I welcome your experience and struggles with normal menstruation, but I can’t offer advice or feedback on your cycle. I’m not a doctor, just a writer! But you may find that sharing your story is helpful. Sometimes just talking about what’s going on can be helpful – and it feels liberating to be honest and real about what’s going on with your body.
If you have a love/hate relationship with the menstrual cycle, read 8 Surprising Benefits of Getting Your Period.
Help Getting a “Normal Monthly Period”
In The Woman’s Yoga Book: Asana and Pranayama for All Phases of the Menstrual Cycle, senior Iyengar Yoga teacher Bobby Clennell offers a comprehensive program of asana (yoga poses) and pranayama (breathing techniques) designed to help women get normal periods every month.
These yoga poses support menstrual health from menarche to menopause, and Clennell offers nutritional and lifestyle information for those times off the yoga mat. With over 30 years of teaching experience, she encourages women to draw on the strength that comes from practicing women’s yoga. A former professional animator, Bobby Clennell has used her skill in rendering 735 illustrations that teach yoga poses right alongside her text.
Yogi Teas Woman’s Moon Cycle Organic Tea contains herbs to help soothe the minor tensions and discomfort of your monthly cycle. If you’re not struggling with amenorrhea (no periods) and if you’re prone to premenstrual syndrome (PMS), you might enjoy this warm brew because it addresses the most common menstrual discomforts.
This natural tea contains Organic Fennel Seed, Organic Ginger Root, Organic Cinnamon Bark, Organic Chamomile Flower, Organic Raspberry Leaf, Organic Anise Seed, Dong Quai Root Extract, Chaste Tree Berry Extract, Juniper Berry Extract, and Organic Parsley Leaf. The added fragrant chamomile has been used for centuries to help relax and soothe the mind and body, and it’s naturally caffeine free. Another tip on how to regulate your period naturally is to drink nettle leaf tea and green tea.