Irregular periods are caused by stress, unbalanced hormones, certain foods, and even the environment. Some things – like the environment – can’t be changed. If you’re worried about irregular periods, you can learn how to take control and make certain changes in your life.
It’s time to stop worrying about your period and start exploring different ways to deal with irregular periods. If you’ve already tried all the tips here, then maybe it is time for you to start worrying about irregular periods. But wait, there’s good news!
Every woman’s menstrual cycle is different, but the good news is that we all benefit from getting our periods. Problems arise when our periods aren’t regular, or when we’re worried about menstrual irregularities such as clotting, thin flow, or periods that last for weeks.
One of the main causes of irregular periods is the interplay between stress, hormones, and diet. Stress causes your hormones to fluctuate dramatically – and so can the food you eat. Your hormones affect your mood, energy level, health, mental clarity, and menstrual cycle. Your hormones are also impacted by your other health issues (ranging from eczema to endometriosis, fibroids to faulty brain wiring).
Balancing your hormones is the key to regulating your periods. When your hormones are balanced, you feel great! You have lots of energy, you sleep well, and you’re interested in life. But when your hormones are out of whack, you feel tired, unhealthy, weak – and your periods won’t be regular. An irregular period is a sign that something is wrong in your body and life. An irregular menstrual cycle is your body’s way to telling you that something has to change.
How to Stop Worrying About Irregular Periods – and Start Taking Control!
The good news is that many hormonal imbalances – depending on the cause of the imbalance – can be fixed by eating the right foods, getting enough exercise, and sleeping soundly. The bad news is that some hormonal imbalances aren’t quickly or easily fixed. Why? Because they may be caused by more serious medical conditions, such as endometriosis, PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), or even a thyroid condition.
More good news: if you are diagnosed with a health issue such as fibroids, endometriosis or PCOS, then you can start healing. Knowing the problem is more than half the battle.
1. Remember that worry makes your periods worse
Again, I encourage you not to worry about your cycle and flow. Worry creates stress and tensions, which makes your period problems worse. Instead, be curious about your body. Get to know yourself inside and out. Learn the most common causes of menstrual problems, and what foods help you get regular periods. Find ways to get emotionally healthy, physically fit, and spiritually strong. The healthier and stronger you are, the less you’ll worry about your period — even if it never regulates itself.
How are you? What is going on in your life? Are your relationships fulfilling, your work satisfying, your relationship with God deep and rich? Who you are affects your cycle. If you’re worried about your irregular periods, you’re probably also worried about other things in your life. Don’t allow worry or anxiety to overcome your natural, happy, free state of mind. Know that irregular periods are part of most women’s lives — at least for a season — and your body will find a healthy balance.
2. Know when you should start worrying about your menstrual cycle
Your period will change over time, and it may even be different from month to month. Instead of worrying about your periods, find healthy ways to take care of your body, mind, and spirit.
You should consult a gynecologist or health practitioner if:
- Your period changes in significant ways for seemingly no reason.
- You feel unusual pain before or during your period.
- You have a feeling something isn’t right with your body.
I was worried when my periods were spotty, irregular, and sometimes even nonexistent. I booked an appointment with a gynecologist, who recommended a hysterectomy. I seriously considered it for awhile, but realized that my irregular periods were because I was premenopausal. I was only 45 or so, which is young to be going into menopause. But now I’ve been officially in menopause for about two years (I don’t get periods at all). So my irregular periods weren’t anything to worry about…but I wouldn’t have known that if I hadn’t gone to the gynecologist.
If your doctor is recommending surgery because of an irregular menstrual cycle, read 5 Questions to Ask Before You Get a Hysterectomy.
3. Learn about the most common types of irregular periods
The more you know and understand about your body — and a woman’s menstrual cycle — less worried you’ll be. Period irregularities are normal, especially when you’re a preteen or teen getting your first period. Or when you’re approaching menopause, like I was! The most common menstrual problems or disorders are amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, and premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
Amenorrhea is when you don’t get a period at all; it could be caused by stress, strenuous physical activity, binge dieting, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, or anatomical, hormonal, or chromosomal abnormalities. Prescription medication can also disrupt your cycle and cause your period to stop.
Dysmenorrhea (painful periods) is characterized by stomach and intestinal cramps in the lower abdomen, and sometimes the back and thighs. It is most common on day one of your period.
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) affects about 5 to 30% of all women, and is characterized by irritability, emotional upset, nervousness, headaches, breast tenderness, and weight gain due to fluid retention. These symptoms generally occur a week to ten days before your period, and usually disappear shortly after you begin bleeding.
4. Consider what women’s health practitioners recommend for irregular periods
Medical experts advice a three-tier treatment strategy:
- Make appropriate diet, lifestyle and stress-reduction changes.
- Talk to your doctor about hormonal pills or prescription-related procedures.
- Use natural herbs and remedies when extra support is needed.
Notice that “I’m worried about my irregular periods” isn’t in there? That’s because worry is useless. Worse, worry damages your emotional, cognitive, and physical health.
First, take good care of your health — and eat healthy — at least 75% of the time. You don’t have to have a “clean diet” or eat perfectly nutritious foods all the time; just make sure that at least 75% of the food you put in your mouth is healthy and delicious.
Second, talk to a gynecologist or healthcare provider – especially if your irregular periods aren’t normal for you. Don’t compare yourself to other women; we’re all different and what’s normal for me isn’t normal for you. Rather, pay attention to your body and that still small voice of intuition that will help you make the right decisions.
Third, learn what herbs and remedies help with irregular periods. But don’t do this alone! Talk to a healthcare practitioner, family doctor, or even a gynecologist. Don’t just take herbal remedies that are meant to fix irregular periods or fertility supplements that balance hormones. Herbs and supplements are powerful, and they can affect your body in negative ways — especially if you’re taking prescription medication for a different health issue.
What do you think? Feel free to share why you’re worried about your periods, what type of irregularities you’re dealing with, and what you’ve done so far.
I can’t give medical or health advice, but you may find it helpful to share your story. Sometimes just talking or writing about your experience helps you feel better and even find a solution.