Definition of Menstruation/Periods
- Menstruation is the shedding of the lining of uterus monthly and it is also termed as menses, periods, cycles and menstrual period. It is the partly blood and partly tissues from the inner part of the uterus. The blood flows from the uterus through the cervix and comes out through the vagina.
- A normal menstrual cycle is described as the sequence of events that occurs in females as a part of reproductive health which prepares the body for conception.
- This cycle is counted from the first day of the period to the first day of the next and this could not always be the same. It might occur every 21 to 35 days and usually lasts for about 2 to 7 days.
- In the beginning, for the first few years, irregular or long cycles are most common but it becomes short and regular as per the age.
- But some of the women have a period that lasts for 1 or 2 days and it can be due to a variety of causes.
What are the Causes of Irregular Periods?
- Age: During the puberty, there may have the chances of irregular periods for the first few years and it also becomes irregular during the perimenopause.
- Stress: Most of the studies have shown that chronic stress may lead to irregular periods.
- Obesity: Accumulation of extra fat in the body produces the estrogen hormone and high level of estrogen changes the normal menstrual cycle and causes irregular periods.
- Thyroid Problem: Conditions such as hyperthyroidism causes the thyroid to produce more thyroid hormone than the thyroid hormone the body needs. It causes periods lasting for only one to two days i.e., periods lighter than the normal.
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease: Irregular periods may be a sign of PID which is caused due to the sexually transmitted infection.
- Improper Diet: Improper diet like eating junk foods, excessive oily foods, and improper dietary habits may cause irregular periods. Disorders like anorexia nervosa and extreme weight loss can cause irregularity.
- High Prolactin: High prolactin in the blood is termed as hyperprolactinemia. Prolactin is the hormone that causes breasts to grow and produces breast milk after childbirth. Its high level causes irregular periods.
- Excessive Exercise: Excessive exercise can cause irregularity in the periods or absence of periods. Imbalance of the amount of energy burnt with the nutrition you are taking, your body will not have enough amount of energy to keep all the systems working properly.
- Ovarian Cyst: PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) causes multiple ovarian cysts, irregular periods and imbalance of hormones.
- Diabetes Mellitus: Uncontrolled diabetes can cause irregular periods but a normal level of blood sugar can normalize the periods.
- Medicines: Certain medicines like those for anxiety or epilepsy may cause irregular periods.
- Breastfeeding: Breastfeeding delays the menstruation cycle after pregnancy.
- Uterine Fibroids: Fibroids are the noncancerous growth in the uterus and it can cause irregular menstrual flow.
- Birth Control Pills: Birth control pills cause the irregular menstrual bleeding and may cause spotting in between the periods which results in the lighter of periods that last for only one to two days.
- Endometrial and Cervical Cancer: Both of these cancers cause irregular menstruation in which there will be heavy or light flow and bleeding during intercourse or after intercourse are the other symptoms of these cancers.
Other conditions that may cause shorter or irregular periods include:
- Cervical stenosis: Narrowing of the passage through the cervix
- Asherman syndrome: It is caused due to any adhesion in the cervix or inside the uterus.
- Premature ovarian failure
Herbs Useful in Treating Irregular Periods
The main herbs that are useful in treating menstrual disorders are lodhra, Shatavari, Ashoka, Amalaki, giloy, and guggul.
These herbs have the inherent power to give wonderful results. These will naturally improve the functioning of gonads.
Shatavari is also known as Asparagus racemosus. It has been used in Ayurveda since ancient times for treating various female health-related disorders. It has various medicinal properties which improve the health of a female and normalizes the menstrual cycle. It shows its wonderful results on the female libido and increases the stamina and energy levels in the female.
The Botanical name of lodhra is Symplocus racemosa which is commonly used in leucorrhea, painful and delayed menstruation. This herb shows effective results in endometrial and vaginal cancer. Its bark acts as an astringent that reduces the flow of watery discharge from the vagina.
Amalaki is also termed as Emblica officinalis and this herb is known for its rejuvenating properties. This natural antioxidant herb eliminates free radicals and waste products from the body and regenerates the new cells. It has many medicinal properties like anti-diabetic, antipyretic and cardio-tonic. In females, it regulates the menstrual cycle and maintains the flow of blood by balancing the hormonal level in the body. It also improves immunity and increases the vitality of the body.
Guduchi boosts up the immune system and prevents the body from infections. This herb maintains the homeostasis in the body naturally and calcium deficiency can also be relieved with this herb.
Ashoka is known as Saraka indica and it is useful in relieving menstrual disorders and regulates the female menstrual cycle. This herb also relieves the pain during menstruation and treats other female related disorders.
The Latin name of guggul is Commiphora Mukul. Its rejuvenating property revitalizes the body cells. This wonderful herb acts as a natural body tonic that regulates lipid metabolism and has purifying properties. Anemic patients can also use this herb for increasing the hemoglobin level. It acts as a heart tonic that maintains the triglycerides and cholesterol level and protects the heart from atherosclerosis. It is also useful in treating hypothyroidism and its related symptoms.
All these herbs help to regulate the menstrual cycle and balance the hormonal level in the body.
Dr. Vikram Chauhan (MD-Ayurvedic Medicine) is an Expert Ayurveda Consultant in Chandigarh (India). He has vast experience of herbs and their applied uses. He has successfully treated numerous patients suffering from various ailments, throughout the world. He is CEO and Founder of Krishna Herbal Company and Planet Ayurveda in Chandigarh, India. He researched age old formulas from ancient Ayurvedic text books to restore health and save human beings from the worst side-effects of chemical-based treatments.