So your period has been acting up lately. It could be late this month or weirdly heavy last month. Whatever the case, irregular periods can be frustrating and stressful. Here we discuss the Ayurvedic Treatment for irregular periods
Before you rush off to the doctor for a prescription, consider an alternative approach that’s been around for thousands of years: Ayurveda. This ancient Indian system of medicine has a lot to say about women’s health and getting your cycle back on track.
The good news is that you can try some simple Ayurvedic remedies right at home to help regulate your period and support overall health and wellness. Read on to learn how Ayurveda views the menstrual cycle, common causes of irregularity, and natural solutions to get you back in the flow.
What are irregular periods?
Irregular periods, also known as oligomenorrhea, are menstrual cycles longer than 35 days or shorter than 21 days. An irregular cycle means your period comes early or late, or sometimes not at all. Hormonal imbalances, stress, thyroid issues, or other medical conditions can cause this.
If your period has always been irregular, it may be normal for your body. However, consult your doctor if your cycle has recently become irregular and is accompanied by symptoms like heavy bleeding, severe cramps, or spotting between periods. They can check for any underlying issues and may recommend lifestyle changes, birth control pills, or other treatments to help regulate your cycle.
If your cycle is off, several signs may point to irregular periods. Pay attention to the following:
- Changes in menstrual flow: Bleeding heavier or lighter than usual can indicate a hormonal imbalance
- Spotting between periods: Light bleeding at random times could mean your hormones fluctuate.
- Missed periods: Going more than 35 days without menstruating can signify anovulation or lack of ovulation.
- Painful cramps: Severe menstrual cramps that disrupt daily activities may point to conditions like endometriosis or fibroids. But not always!
- Bloating and mood changes: Feeling bloated, irritable, or sad before your period starts could indicate premenstrual syndrome or PMS.
- Fatigue: Feeling very tired can always be a symptom of conditions causing irregular menstruation like hypothyroidism or anemia.
Irregular periods can be caused by several factors, many of which are within your control.
Fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone levels often disrupt the menstrual cycle. Stress, poor diet, lack of exercise, and environmental toxins can throw your hormones out of whack.
An unhealthy lifestyle, including lack of sleep, excessive alcohol or caffeine intake, smoking, and recreational drug use, can contribute to menstrual irregularities. Making positive lifestyle changes may help regulate your cycle.
Certain medical issues like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), thyroid disease, diabetes or other issues may cause irregular periods. See your doctor for an accurate diagnosis and treatment.
Excessive Weight Gain or Loss
Gaining or losing a significant amount of weight quickly can impact your menstrual cycle. Focus on maintaining a stable, healthy weight through a balanced diet and exercise.
Intrauterine Device (IUD)
Hormonal or copper IUDs may cause irregular bleeding or missed periods. Talk to your doctor about possibly changing or removing the device.
Getting to the root cause of your irregular menstruation, making appropriate lifestyle changes, or getting necessary medical treatment can help regulate your cycle and support overall health and wellness. An Ayurvedic practitioner can provide customized guidance based on your unique situation.
- Endometrial hyperplasia/Endometrial cancer
- Insulin resistance/Diabetes mellitus type 2
- High blood pressure
- Cardiovascular disease
- Depression or anxiety
- Cardiovascular diseases
Fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone levels often cause menstrual irregularities. High stress, poor diet, lack of exercise, and being overweight or underweight can contribute to hormonal imbalances.
An overactive or underactive thyroid gland impacts your body’s hormone levels and menstrual cycle. Hyperthyroidism causes lighter, less frequent periods, while hypothyroidism leads to heavier, more frequent bleeding.
Polycystic ovary syndrome is a common endocrine disorder where cysts form in the ovaries, causing irregular periods, excess hair growth, and weight gain. Losing weight, eating an anti-inflammatory diet, and exercising regularly can help manage PCOS and regulate your cycle.
Non-cancerous tumors in the uterus, called fibroids, often cause heavy, prolonged, or irregular bleeding. Fibroids are usually treated with medication or minimally invasive procedures like uterine artery embolization to shrink the fibroids and reduce symptoms.
Premature Ovarian Failure
In premature ovarian failure, the ovaries stop functioning before age 40, ceasing menstruation and fertility. While the cause is unknown, autoimmune disease, genetics, chemotherapy, and pelvic surgery increase risks. Hormone therapy can relieve symptoms like hot flashes but will not restore fertility.
In summary, according to Ayurvedic medicine, hormonal imbalances, thyroid disease, PCOS, uterine fibroids, and premature ovarian failure are common risk factors for irregular menstruation. Diagnosing and treating underlying issues can help regulate your cycle and support overall health and wellness.
Ayurvedic Diagnosis of Irregular Periods
According to Ayurveda, irregular periods can be caused by an imbalance in the doshas, especially vata dosha, which governs movement in the body. An excess of vata can lead to irregular menstrual cycles.
Diagnosing the Imbalance
An Ayurvedic practitioner will diagnose the underlying dosha imbalance based on a woman’s medical history, symptoms, and Prakriti (natural constitution). Questions about diet, lifestyle, stress levels, and menstrual health can help determine if Vata has become aggravated. The practitioner may also check the woman’s pulse to detect any irregularities.
Common signs of excess vata include:
- Light or missed periods
- Variable cycle lengths
Ayurvedic Treatment for Irregular Periods
Ayurvedic treatment aims to balance the deranged digestive fire, thereby balancing hormonal levels. Correcting Vata imbalance also helps achieve desired results. In adverse cases, Panchakarma therapies like virechana (purgation), snehapana (oil or ghee intake), and Uttara basti help enhance the results.
Ayurveda recommends several herbal remedies to regulate your menstrual cycle. Some of the most effective include:
Ashoka: The bark of the Ashoka tree has uterine tonic properties. It helps reduce inflammation in the reproductive tract and regulates menstrual flow. You can take Ashoka powder in capsules or as a decoction.
Shatavari: Shatavari is a rejuvenating herb that helps balance female hormones. It reduces uterine spasms, relieves menstrual cramps, and promotes regularity. Shatavari comes in powder, tablet or liquid extract form.
Aloe Vera: The gel from the aloe vera plant has a soothing, anti-inflammatory effect. It helps relieve congestion in the pelvic area, reducing pain and cramping. You can consume aloe vera juice or apply the gel directly to your lower abdomen.
In addition to herbal remedies, Ayurveda recommends yoga, meditation and lifestyle changes to relieve stress and balance hormones. Applying a warm castor oil pack to your lower abdomen can also help relax the muscles and tissues in the pelvic area, promoting regularity. Making simple Ayurvedic remedies and practices part of your daily routine can help get your menstrual cycle back on track gently and naturally.
Ayurvedic Diet and Lifestyle for Menstrual Health
An Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle can help keep your menstrual cycle on track. Some key things to focus on:
Eat Warming Foods
Focus on cooked foods, especially in the fall and winter. Raw foods can be cooling for the body.
Include spices like ginger, cinnamon, turmeric and black pepper. They improve circulation and digestion.
Drink 6-8 glasses of warm or room temperature water daily to keep your body hydrated. Herbal teas like chamomile, liquorice root and fenugreek tea are especially helpful for menstrual health.
Do some light exercise like walking, yoga or Tai Chi for at least 30 minutes a day, 3-4 times a week.
Exercise improves circulation and hormonal balance.
Try meditation, deep breathing, journaling or gentle yoga. Too much stress can disrupt your menstrual cycle.
Get Enough Rest
Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Lack of sleep also disrupts your hormones and menstrual cycle.
Practicing pranayama, surya namaskar, and herbal medicines can help combat this disorder.
- Forget about those fried, spicy, junk foods, sugary and carbonated drinks.
- Limit excess sugar intake.
- Avoid processed and packaged foods.
- Avoid polished grains; instead, go for whole non-GMO grains.
Following these Ayurvedic recommendations can help regulate your cycle gently and naturally. Be patient and consistent, as it can take 3-6 months of practice to see significant changes. But you’ll establish habits for lifelong health and wellness.
Paying attention to your cycle and overall health is important. Don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor if needed – they can determine if your irregular periods are normal or require further evaluation and treatment.
Natural Tips for Irregular Periods
Eat an anti-inflammatory diet.
An anti-inflammatory diet full of whole foods like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, especially sesame seeds and horse gram, legumes, and healthy fats can help regulate your cycle. Focus on omega-3 fatty acids from fish and flax seeds which reduce inflammation. Limit red meat, sugar, and processed carbs.
Seed cycling is a natural form of the dietary treatment plan, which includes consuming specific seeds rich in omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients for hormonal regulation.
The recommended regimen has two phases:
Phase 1: one tablespoon each of ground pumpkin seeds and flax seeds from day one of your period until the day before you ovulate.
Phase 2: one tablespoon each of ground sunflower seeds and sesame seeds per day from the day of ovulation until the day before the first day of your period.
This will help regulate your menstrual cycle.
Use herbal remedies
Herbs like turmeric, licorice, Shatavari, and ashwagandha have anti-inflammatory and hormone-balancing effects. You can take them in supplement form or use the powder to make tea. Always check with your doctor first, especially if you are on medications.
The key is making sustainable lifestyle changes by reducing stress, eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and maintaining a healthy weight. While the remedies may take time, stick with them and be patient. Your body and mind will thank you. Remember, every woman’s body is different, so find what works for you. If problems persist, do see your doctor. But for now, try going natural – you have nothing to lose and your period to gain! Stay positive, nurture yourself, and trust that your body will find its rhythm. Before you know it, you’ll be flowing freely and fabulously into womanhood once more.