Irregular Mens / Menstruation is an abnormal variation in length of menstrual cycles. A female usually experiences cycle length variations of up to eight days between the shortest and longest cycle lengths. Lengths ranging between eight and 20 days are considered moderately irregular. Variation of 21 days or more is considered very irregular. Alternatively, a single menstruation period may be defined as irregular if it is shorter than 21 days or longer than 36 days. If they are regularly shorter than 21 days or longer than 36 (or 35) days, the condition is termed polymenorrhea or oligomenorrhea, respectively.
The menstrual cycle is a unique physiological event in the reproductive system of female mammals which makes pregnancy possible [rx,rx]. The first menstrual cycle (menarche) usually occurs between12 to 15 year of age; these cycles end around the of the age of 50 years, i.e. at menopause [rx]. The menstrual cycle is calculated as the duration from the first day of bleeding to the beginning of the next bleed. Although a menstrual cycle is 28 days on average, it could be a little shorter or longer. In general, a normal menstrual cycle usually lasts between 21 and 35 days. The most regular menstrual cycles in women occur during the reproductive ages (21–35 years) [rx,rx].
Types of Irregular Mens / Menstruation
Other types of conditions that can be referred to by “irregular menstruation” include:
- Metrorrhagia – which generally refers to vaginal bleeding that occurs between the expected menstrual periods. The distinction between irregular cycle lengths and metrorrhagia is not always clear. It may depend on whether the bleeding is regarded as marking the menstrual period (favoring the term “irregular cycles”) or being separate from it (favoring the term “metrorrhagia”).
- Oligomenorrhea – generally refers to infrequent menstruation, More strictly, it is menstrual periods occurring at intervals of greater than 35 days, with only four to nine periods in a year. Menstrual periods should have been regularly established before the development of infrequent flow and often (but not always) involves irregular intervals. In contrast to “irregular cycles”, the interval between one cycle and the next may be consistent but can be regarded as “irregular” compared to the cycle length of a female without oligomenorrhea. Women with oligomenorrhea often have irregular cycles as well.
- Polymenorrhea – is the medical term for cycles with intervals of 21 days or fewer. It can be regarded as the opposite of oligomenorrhea.
There is a wide spectrum of differences in how women experience menstruation. There are several ways that someone’s menstrual cycle can differ from the norm, any of which should be discussed with a doctor to identify the underlying cause:
There is a movement among gynecologists to discard the terms noted above, which although they are widely used, do not have precise definitions. Many now argue to describe menstruation in simple terminology, including:
- Cycle regularity (irregular, regular, or absent)
- Frequency of menstruation (frequent, normal, or infrequent)
- Duration of menstrual flow (prolonged, normal, or shortened)
- Volume of menstrual flow (heavy, normal, or light)
Dysfunctional uterine bleeding is a hormonally caused bleeding abnormality. Dysfunctional uterine bleeding typically occurs in premenopausal women who do not ovulate normally (i.e. are anovulatory). All these bleeding abnormalities need medical attention; they may indicate hormone imbalances, uterine fibroids, or other problems. As pregnant women may bleed, a pregnancy test forms part of the evaluation of abnormal bleeding.
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
PMS (also called premenstrual tension, PMT) is a collection of emotional, psychological, and physical symptoms that are linked to a woman’s menstrual cycle.
The following symptoms may be felt by some women in the days leading up to her period – symptoms of premenstrual syndrome:
- Abdominal bloating
- Headache (including migraine)
- Pains, especially backache
- Feeling generally emotional or troubled
- Lack of concentration
- Breast tenderness or swelling
- Slight weight gain
- Binge eating
As soon as the period begins (the woman starts shedding blood), the symptoms generally improve. In the majority of cases, symptoms will be completely gone by the time the period has ended.
The following factors may increase the chances of PMS:
- High caffeine consumption
- A history of depression or other mental illness
- Smoking and alcohol consumption
- A family history of PMS
- Low levels of some vitamins and minerals, calcium, and B vitamins
Each monthly period results from a sequential conversation between your brain, your adrenal, pituitary and thyroid glands, and your ovaries. This conversation tells your body to release an egg, which is then either fertilized and implanted in the uterus (conception) or shed in your menstrual flow along with the lining of the uterus. The sequence is orchestrated by a cascade of reproductive hormones, but the main actors are estrogen and progesterone.
Women generally begin menstruating between the ages of 11 and 13 – this first period is called menarche. Most of us will have more than 500 periods during our so-called childbearing years — the time frame between menarche and menopause, which is defined by the point in time when a woman has gone for 12 consecutive months without having a period. When menopause will occur varies for the individual, but the average age is 51. And just as there are gradual changes leading up to menarche, menopause is preceded by a gradual transition phase called perimenopause. Perimenopause is a premenopausal condition often characterized by irregular cycles, sometimes with heavy bleeding or skipped periods (amenorrhea), that can begin as early as the mid- to late-30’s.
One thing we’ve learned over the years is that no woman’s menstrual cycle is exactly like any other’s. While some sail through periods without much thought, others suffer with abdominal cramps (dysmenorrhea), excessive bleeding (menorrhagia), moodiness, and more. The range of symptoms that correspond with monthly cycles are sometimes called premenstrual syndrome or PMS, and this time of the month can be extremely difficult to get through for many women.
What is an irregular period?
At the clinic we answer questions all the time about irregular periods. A textbook period happens every 24-29 days, but in truth what is “regular” covers a wide range. Cycles between 23-35 days are very common. A woman may get her period only one to four times a year. Or she might have periods that occur 2-3 times in a month and involve spotting or extremely heavy flow. Alternatively, she may have heavy episodes of bleeding every 2-3 months. Irregular periods are simply what is irregular for you.
For the most part, we don’t worry at the clinic about a missed period or two over the course of a year. More variation than that may indicate to us the beginning of perimenopause or a disruption of the natural chain of hormonal events that controls menstruation. A wide variety of factors can be responsible for irregular periods, among them:
- Significant weight gain or loss
- Poor nutrition (or a diet too high in carbohydrates)
- Drug use
- Excessive alcohol use (interfering with how the liver metabolizes estrogen and progesterone)
- Eating disorders
- Increased stress
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome/Estrogen dominance
- Uterine abnormalities (fibroids/cysts/polyps/endometriosis)
- Hormonal imbalances related to perimenopause
- Recent childbirth, miscarriage, or D&C
What is amenorrhea (absent periods)
Amenorrhea is when a woman stops having periods altogether. There can be many reasons for this, including excessive exercise, stress, excessive weight loss, some medications, and hormonal problems, such as PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome).
Period pains (dysmenorrhea)
This is a medical condition which includes severe uterine pain during menstruation. The majority of women experience minor pain during menstruation. When the pain is so severe that it interferes with normal activity, it is called dysmenorrhea and may require medication.
Some women experience pain during the days before a period, while others have dysmenorrhea during the period. As menstruation tapers off, the pain generally does, too. Some women experience both dysmenorrhea and menorrhagia (excessive blood loss).
The following symptoms may be experienced by women with dysmenorrhea:
- Cramping in the lower abdomen
- Low back pain
- Pain in the lower abdomen
- Pain which radiates down the legs
- Tiredness (fatigue)
The following women are at higher risk of experiencing dysmenorrhea:
- Over 30 years’ old
- Individuals with a BMI over 20
- Those whose periods started before they were 12
Diagnosis of Irregular Mens / Menstruation
- blood tests to rule out anemia or other medical disorders
- vaginal cultures, to look for infections
- a pelvic ultrasound exam to check for uterine fibroids, polyps, or an ovarian cyst
- an endometrial biopsy, in which a sample of tissue is removed from the lining of the uterus, to diagnose endometriosis, hormonal imbalance, or cancerous cells.
- Endometriosis or other conditions may also be diagnosed using a procedure called a laparoscopy, in which the doctor makes a tiny incision in the abdomen and then inserts a thin tube with a light attached to view the uterus and ovaries.
Treatments of Irregular Mens / Menstruation
- Painkillers – for period pains and discomfort, many women find painkillers are effective. This could include paracetamol (Tylenol), ibuprofen, and aspirin. NSAID medications inhibit prostaglandin.
- Contraception – the contraceptive pill often eases period pains, they cause thinning of the lining of the uterus, resulting in lower amounts of contraction during menstruation.
- Exercise – exercise has been found to help reduce the level of discomfort and pain experienced by women with period problems.
- Relaxation techniques – these can include breathing exercises, massage, and medication. Some women practice yoga for easing pain and stress.
- Hot water bottle – holding one against the abdomen may help in reducing discomfort.
- Warm bath – apart from helping the person relax, a warm bath may also provide some pain/discomfort relief.
Home Remedies of Irregular Mens / Menstruation
- Ginger greatly helps regulate monthly periods in women. It promotes menstruation flow and also relieves women from the unbearable pain. Just boil ½ tsp of freshly grounded ginger in one cup of water for 5-10 minutes. Then add a little sugar or honey to enhance the taste. Strain this mixture and drink three times a day after every meal for around one month.
- The warming properties of turmeric improve the hormonal imbalance and regulate the menstruation cycle. Its anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties reduce the cramping. Take a ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder and add it to the lukewarm milk. Take it every day, until you see improvement.
- Take two cups of water and add one teaspoon of coriander seeds to it. Boil them until the quantity of water reduces to half. Strain the solution and drink it three times a day for a few days prior to the onset of your period. Follow this remedy for one or two months. Alternatively, you can also drink coriander juice on a daily basis.
- Carrots are the good source of iron and regulate proper functioning of the hormone. One should drink a glass of carrot juice regularly for three months to normalize the irregular menstruation cycle.
- Being an effective emmenagogue fennel aids in promoting menstruation flow. Apart from this, its antispasmodic properties relieve cramping associated with premenstrual syndrome. Take two tablespoons of fennel seeds and soak them in a glass of water overnight. Strain this solution in the morning and drink it. Do this daily for a month to see effective results. Or else, grind one teaspoon of fennel seeds to make a fine powder. Add this to one cup boiling water and steep it for five minutes. Then, strain this mixture and drink it.
Sesame Seeds and Jaggery
- Sesame seeds and jaggery do wonder when it comes to curing the problem of irregular periods. Take a handful of sesame seeds and roast them. Then, grind them with one teaspoon of jaggery to form a fine powder. Consume one teaspoon of this powder every day on an empty stomach, two weeks before your periods begin.
- The warming effect of cinnamon reduces menstrual cramps, and its hydroxychalcone element helps regulate the insulin levels. Take a ½ teaspoon of cinnamon powder and add it to a glass of milk. Drink this daily for a couple of weeks. Moreover, you can also drink cinnamon tea, sprinkle cinnamon powder on your toasts, or chew cinnamon sticks frequently.
- It is very useful for irregular menstruation resulted due to stress and menopause. It helps contract muscle fibers in the uterus that induce periods. Drink unripe papaya juice or eat chopped papaya for a few months.
Note – Do not drink it during your periods.
- Have grape juice daily to prevent irregularity in periods. Or else, incorporate raw grapes in your daily diet in a moderate amount. Excess consumption of grapes may result in loose motions.
- Parsley juice is considered as one of the most effective home remedies for menstruation-related problems. Crush parsley and grind them in a blender along with some water to prepare its juice. It is an excellent substitute for medicine.
- Take 5 figs and boil them in a cup of water. Then strain this decoction and consume it daily. It will certainly regularize your menstrual cycle.
- Boil 1 teaspoon of saffron in a ½ cup of water. Simmer until its quantity reduces to 1 tablespoon. Divide this infusion into three portions and take it with equal quantities of water, thrice daily for a couple of days.
- Bitter gourd proved very effective for the treatment of irregular periods. Drink its juice once or twice every day for a few weeks. Apart from this, bitter gourd juice protects your body from diabetes.
Buttermilk and Radish Seeds
- Grind some radish seeds and add two large spoons of its powder in one cup of buttermilk. Stir properly. Drink this mixture daily for at least three months. You will notice an improvement.
Apple Cider Vinegar
- Apple cider vinegar reduces the insulin and blood sugar levels that help regulate the periods naturally. Intake of 1-2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar with water once a day before your meal prevents irregular periods.
Cumin and Sesame Seeds
- Take cumin seeds and sesame seeds in equal amount and grind them to form a powder. Then add honey to this mixture. Consume one tablespoon of it daily.
- Vitamin C largely contributes to the production of estrogen that builds the uterine lining that handles your periods. Take high doses of vitamin C if your periods do not occur in 30 or 35 days. You can include orange, apple, tomatoes, berries, etc in your diet.
Note – Large dosage of vitamin C is not suggested for pregnant women as it may cause miscarriage.
- Asafoetida is a popular ingredient that has immense medicinal value. It contains chemical compounds that can treat hormonal disorder. Take a small amount of powdered asafoetida and fry it in the clarified butter. Add it to the goat’s milk with some honey. The recommended dose of asafoetida is 200 to 500 mg a day.
- Drink sugarcane juice for a week prior your expected periods to regularize your menstruation cycle.
Harbal Remedies for Irregular Mens / Menstruation
- It is one of the best herbs for regulating your menses. The active ingredient found in chaste tree regularizes the working of the pituitary gland; thus, balancing the hormonal discharge from the ovaries. It should be regularly consumed to normalize the timing of the menstrual cycle. A standard dose of 30 to 40 mg is considered safe.
- This herb is not recommended if you are taking any fertility drug.
- It should not be consumed during pregnancy.
Bark of Saraca Asoca
- Take a bowl; add one cup of milk, two tbsp of bark extract and a glass of water. Simmer this mixture until it reduces to half. Take this on the 3rd and 4th day of your period, at least three times a day.
Banyan Tree Roots
- Boil banyan tree roots in a cup of water for around 10 minutes. Add 2-3 tablespoons of cow’s milk to this decoction and take it before you hit the bed.
- Take out some fresh aloe vera gel from its leaf and mix one teaspoon of honey in it. Take this mixture daily before your breakfast for around three months. The amazing healing properties of this mixture can cure many disorders. Or else, squeeze out fresh pulp from three aloe leaves and boil it till the color of gel turns brown. After it cools down, take one tsp with a cup of water. Have it early in the morning on an empty stomach.
- A combo of one teaspoon each of honey and dried mint powder is an excellent treatment for irregular menstrual periods. Consume it three times a day for some weeks.
- Boil handful of bamboo leaves in some water. Strain the decoction and consume it regularly until you see the improvements. It has therapeutic properties that regularize the menstruation flow.
- Calendula, also termed as garden marigold, is a rich source of flavonoids and quercetin that balances the blood circulation. The analgesic properties of this flower relieve premenstrual pain. Simply, add 2 grams of dried calendula flowers in 200 ml boiled water. Let them steep. Strain and drink this infusion two times a day.
- Blue cohosh works as an emmenagogue that stimulates the menstrual flow. Intake of this herb expands the blood vessels in the uterus and leads to proper circulation. Have its tincture or extract prior to your menstrual period. For its accurate dosage, consult a healthcare physician.
- A high dose of this herb may cause a headache, nausea, and high blood pressure.
- This remedy is not recommended for pregnant women.
- Volatile oils and alkaloids in motherwort treat inconsistent periods in women. Prepare herbal decoction from its leaves or have its tincture to obtain its health benefits.
- The flowering part of this plant can be used to treat a menses problem. Have its tincture or brew the herbal infusion or drink its juice to cure irregular periods.
- Phytoestrogens present in this herb normalizes the working of hormones in the body; thus, helps deal with the menstruation issues. Use its extract or tincture to regularize the periods.
- This herb is also termed as Chinese cress that works as an astringent. It tightens the uterine muscles, which treats not only irregular periods, but also prevents excessive bleeding as well. Consume this herb in the form of tincture or extract, to experience its health benefits.
- This herb contains tannins that help prevent menstruation irregularities. Besides, it has salicylic acid that soothes your muscles and eases cramps.
Banyan Tree Roots
- Boil fresh roots of a banyan tree in a cup of water for 10 minutes. Afterward, include three tablespoons of cow’s milk to the solution. Have it every day before your bedtime to regularize your menstruation.
Holy Basil Leaf
- Crush some fresh basil leaves to extract its juice. Combine one tsp each of honey and basil juice. Now, sprinkle a dash of pepper powder on this mixture and have it two times a day to treat the problem of irregular menstruation.
- Pour two cups of water in a bowl and soak three cups of Indian lilac bark in it for 20 minutes. Strain the decoction and have one cup three times a day. Follow this remedy until you notice an improvement.
- Take five fresh hibiscus flowers and crush them in a juicer to form a smooth paste. Have this with some water in the morning prior to your breakfast. It should be taken seven days before your menstruation cycle starts. This remedy helps balance the estrogen and progesterone level in the body and regulate the monthly cycle.