At some point, most of us have experienced an irregular period due to a temporary
situation, such as extreme stress or a new exercise routine. But if the irregular
length, frequency, spotting or amount of bleeding during your period becomes a regular
occurrence, we understand that you may start to feel a little worried or concerned.
With ongoing or significant changes to your menstrual cycle, we recommend you see
a healthcare practitioner to rule out any more serious issues.
You may not realize that irregular periods are extremely common as the first sign
of hormonal imbalance, and if so, your body may just need extra support to return
your menstrual cycle to its regular, healthy pattern.
What is an irregular period?
Irregular periods can be longer, shorter, heavier, or lighter, and can include spotting
or skipping days (or months) – in short, there is no one set definition of an irregular
period. In fact, because you understand your body better than anyone, you’re going
to be the best one to know if there have been changes to your regular menstrual
cycle pattern, which is really what “irregular” means.
Common hormonal causes of irregular periods
No matter how you might describe the changes to your menstrual cycle, disruptions
to your sex hormones, adrenal hormones or thyroid hormones could be the underlying
cause of your irregular periods:
You may be starting perimenopause or menopause
While menopause is often described as completely stopping your period, the truth
is that changes to sex hormones (often progesterone) may affect the menstrual cycle
for months or even up to 15 years before your last period.
You may suffer from Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
One of the symptoms of PCOS is that a woman may not ovulate at all or have very
unpredictable periods. Women who suffer from PCOS often have the specific hormonal
imbalance of insulin resistance or increased androgens (often considered “male”
Your stress may have gone from temporary to chronic
We know that sometimes stress moves on a spectrum beyond temporary and into a chronic
condition, such as adrenal imbalance. With adrenal imbalance, high cortisol (stress
hormone) levels exert influence on progesterone and estrogen — and as a result,
can disrupt menstruation.
Your thyroid function may be low
Because the thyroid is the master gland that affects symptoms and functions throughout
the body, women who suffer from subclinical hypothyroidism may experience irregular
periods as well as weight gain, hair loss and feeling cold in the extremities.
You’ve lost or gained weight
Gaining weight or being overweight can both lead to irregular or unusual periods.
Not getting enough nutrition or exercising too much may put extra stress on your
body, resulting in high cortisol levels.
The natural approach to hormonal imbalance for irregular period relief
When it comes to balancing your hormones, you may discover you have more control
than you realize!
Two of the most powerful ways are by making some simple adjustments to your diet
and lifestyle routines. Diets too high in sugars and starches may lead to insulin
imbalances that affect estrogen and progesterone levels. You also need specific
nutrients such as calcium, magnesium and B vitamins, as well as fish oil, to keep
your hormones optimally balanced, yet it can be hard to get all of the nutrients
you need every day from your diet.
We’re not going to tell you that the “solution” to having too much stress is to
eliminate all the stressors you face. That’s just not realistic for any woman today.
But good detoxification, adequate sleep and emotional wellness techniques can go
a long way in reducing the negative effects stress creates in your body — as they
can take you a long way on the path to finding health and happiness.
These are just a few of the ideas that make up the Women’s Health Network approach
to healing and hormonal balance.
Why not get started now?
PMS symptoms today