Even if we've had hundreds of periods in our lifetimes, I think most of us still greet the first day of our period thinking, "Already?! Again?!" Some of us experience easy and regular cycles, while others, not so much. Whatever side of the spectrum you're on, most would opt for the easiest, breeziest cycle they can have.
While a bit of discomfort is par for the course, there may be times when our bodies are trying to deliver a different message. Imbalances, sporadic timelines and cramps that send you into the fetal position can all be signs of an irregular cycle.
Here are 5 common signs of cycle irregularity and some tips to find your balance:
- Cramps cramping your style: With everything going on inside of our bodies as we start our periods, it's natural to feel the cramping and is our bodies' way of communicating with us. But, when the cramps regularly hinder our ability to get through our days, it's time to make some changes. Our stress levels, nutrition habits and hormone imbalance could all be contributors.
- Bleeding patterns: If you're bleeding irregularly, spotting between periods or have noticeably heavy flows, it could be a sign that your hormones are off balance and need attention. It also a good idea to focus on liver health, as our livers help to process excess hormones out of the body.
- Emotions running the show: A little irritability and emotional impulsiveness is just a part of female hormones. Feeling low to the point where it effects the quality of your life is a different story. It's important to find mood balance as hormone cycles shift into another. Exercise, nutrients, mood uplifting herbs and teas and cycle tracking can all help improve your mood before and during your period. Tuning into when you're most likely to be emotionally vulnerable is equally as important. Take space and release emotions when needed.
- Fatigue that won't leave: It's normal to need more sleep during certain phases of our cycle, and we should listen to our bodies when they ask for rest. But fatigue that doesn't fade away with rest and nutrients could be letting us know that our livers are sluggish and are hormones are starting to run the show. It's also an indicator that our adrenal glands need more nourishment.
- The gastro-show: Our appetites' may fluctuate around our cycle, but constant trips to the bathroom, uncomfortable bloating that doesn't go away after a day or two and feelings of nausea can point to a deeper issue. It stems from the same reason why pregnant women experience morning sickness during their early trimesters; too much of one hormone making the scales uneven.
Herbal Tools to Help Regulate & Soften your Cycle
Many discomforts stem from imbalanced hormones. Sometimes it's too much Estrogen, sometimes it's too much Progesterone and other times it's not enough of either. The best place to start is to take herbs that help bring your body back to equilibrium, no matter what side you're on. Herbs like Vitex, Wild Yam, Dandelion and Burdock are all staples to help achieve ease and balance. Vitex and Wild Yam harmonize hormones while Dandelion and Burdock support the liver and hormone processing. These herbs, plus other amazing plant allies, are found in Cycle Harmony and Cycle Changes. Cycle Harmony can be taken throughout your entire cycle to support every stage and phase. For those in perimenopause or menopause, Cycle Changes helps ease the discomforts that come along with the hormone shift. For additional emotional support, PMS Emotional supports a positive mood and a calm nervous system to help you breeze through your day.
Listening to your body and feeling for the sings of irregularity is a great act of self-care! If any discomforts get worse over time and aren't eased with increased nutrition and herbal support, seek advice from a practitioner or naturopathic doctor.
Rebecca Younger is passionate about herbs and women's health. She aspires to plant seeds of inspiration within her community about plant medicine and healthier ways of life. She studied Herbal Medicine at Herbalism Roots in Denver and is a certified Doula through the Matrona Foundation. She is the customer journey lead at WishGarden Herbs.
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease, or sell any product.