Why Is My Period So Irregular?
Written by Cinestie Olson
Periods usually last around 3-7 days, however, it doesn’t always run like clockwork. As menstruators, we can be left guessing when our period will come, how heavy the flow will be, and how long they last. Continue reading to learn more about irregular periods and how to regulate them!
What Is An Irregular Period?
Menstrual cycles are anywhere from 21 to 35 days, with the average being 28. If your period comes anywhere before or after the typical range, your period is considered irregular. Here are some other examples of when your period is considered irregular:
- Missing 3 or more periods in a row
- Your flow is much heavier or lighter than usual
- Your period lasts longer than 7 days
- Your period brings on intense abdominal pain, nausea, and severe cramping
- Bleeding between periods
- Bleeding through period products in less than two hours at a time
If your period comes a couple days late, don’t consider it irregular just yet! It’s super normal to have variations in your menstruation length or flow. However, consistent irregularities should be questioned.
What Can Cause Irregular Periods?
There are many reasons why periods can be or become irregular. Some reasons may need a medical diagnosis, while others are non-medical related.
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or PCOS, is a metabolic and hormonal disorder. When a menstruator has too much androgen, a hormone that prevents ovulation (which then causes irregular periods)
- Thyroid Disorders can cause irregular periods as well. If your thyroid produces too much or too little of thyroid hormones, you may notice irregular bleeding. Fourty-four percent of study participants with irregular periods also had thyroid problems.
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease is the inflammation of the female reproductive system.
- Stress and Anxiety - We all know it! Stress and anxiety can actually alter the body’s hormones.
- Perimenopause is the transition to menopause. This transition can cause your periods to be more irregular.
- Extreme exercise, extreme dieting, and weight loss can throw off the timing of your menstrual cycle.
- Birth control can have the same effect and cause irregular bleeding.
How To Make Periods Regular
So, what can you do to regulate your periods? While everybody is different, here are a few holistic and medical ways that can help regulate your periods.
- Eating Healthy Fats can help regulate hormones and your menstrual cycle. Irregular periods can be a sign that your body isn’t getting enough healthy fats! Some healthy fats include avocado, coconuts, nuts, olive oil, and nut butters.
- Reducing Your Sugar Intake can increase your insulin resistance. Eating foods that are high in sugar can lead to period problems. Sugars are often hidden in processed foods!
- Inositol is a nutrient that supports insulin, which impacts ovarian health. Vitamins like B8 can help regulate your period!
- Hormonal Birth Control can help regulate irregular periods and period flow. Birth control can stop the process of ovulation altogether and make your periods more predictable.
Please consult with a healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns about irregular periods or birth control.