The menstrual cycle of a woman is a window to her overall reproductive health. The regular menstrual cycle lasts about 28 days, however, our bodies don’t always work like clockworks. We might experience delays or irregularities in our periods once in while. As many as 30 percent women report having experienced irregular periods during their childbearing years.
However, if the periods become highly regular, it indicates that the body is going through severe hormonal imbalances. While it is normal to experience some discomfort and pain during periods, irregular periods need to be treated with caution as they could result from other health complications.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF IRREGULAR PERIODS OR A DISTURBED MENSTRUAL CYCLE?
If the number of days between stopping and starting your period is significantly different each month, you have an irregular cycle. Here are a few things that you might experience as a result of irregular periods.
Even if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, there is no need to worry. In most cases, irregular periods are due to hormonal balance caused by improper lifestyle and diet. Let’s explore what Ayurveda says about the menstrual cycle and menstrual health.
Ayurveda provides with immense knowledge and insight into women’s reproductive system which helps us understand how to overcome irregular periods naturally. The menstrual cycle is considered a blessing as it provides women’s body a chance to renew and eliminate the toxins.
Ayurveda suggests that the menstrual cycle of every woman is influenced by the three doshas - Vata, Kapha, and Pitta. By understanding the dominant doshas in your body, you can make the required changes in your diet and lifestyle to help maintain a regular menstrual cycle.
Apana Vata is the ayurvedic subdosha of Vata that governs the menstrual cycle. It is located in the lower abdomen and is responsible for the downward flow through the intestines, urinary and reproductive tracts. The imbalance of this particular dosha is responsible for irregular periods according to Ayurveda. Stress, improper diet, long-term illnesses, lack of physical exercise, over-exertion and certain medications result in such an imbalance of Apana Vata.
In some cases, irregular periods are caused by complex underlying conditions like Ectopic pregnancy, Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome, Anemia, Anorexia or Thyroid. It is also common to experience irregular periods just at the onset of periods (during puberty) and during the pre-menopause phase. In all conditions, one can find some relief by following an Ayurvedic lifestyle and diet.
THE AYURVEDIC APPROACH
Ayurveda emphasizes on following a regular and healthy diet that is rich in nutrients. If one doesn’t eat at regular intervals and at proper hours, the hormone levels fluctuate which in turn affects the menstrual cycle. During menstruation, one must stick to lighter meals and avoid meat, pickles, and sweets so that the digestive system functions well and doesn’t create further discomfort.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle and exercise regularly throughout the month. Yoga is most effective in regulating the hormones and menstrual cycle. Exercising regularly also helps in maintaining weight which is also important to maintain a regular cycle. Sudden loss or gain in weight directly influences the menstrual cycle.
During menstruation, provide yourself with proper rest. Exerting yourself during menstruation can be harmful to your health. The traditional wisdom of resting during your menstrual cycle holds strong for having a healthy hormonal and uterine balance.
AYURVEDIC HERBS FOR IRREGULAR PERIODS
The female body is truly unique and beautiful. If we align it to its natural cycle by following a good lifestyle and diet, we can alleviate ourselves from problems that are caused by hormonal imbalances. Ayurveda provides with solutions that really work at the root level to solve the problem of irregular periods naturally and we have equipped you with some of them to help you on your way towards balance and health. Hope you find these tips helpful for regulating your menstrual cycle.
Shreya Dalela is a certified Yoga instructor and a professional dancer trained at The Danceworx. She’s passionate about Ayurveda and holistic living with over 6 years of experience in doing extensive research and content creation in the domain.