Our periods are monthly report cards full of information on how our endocrine and reproductive systems are functioning.

Having periods and understanding our periods are really important. Irregular periods may be a sign that your body needs some TLC.

Examples of irregular periods:

  • Periods that occur fewer than 21 days or more than 35 days apart
  • Missing 3 or more periods consecutively
  • A menstrual flow that is much heavier or lighter than usual
  • Periods longer than 7 days
  • Large fluctuations in cycle days. For example: one cycle is 28 days, the next is 37 days and the next 29 days
  • Painful periods that may involve severe cramping, nausea or vomiting
  • Bleeding or spotting between periods
  • Soaking through one or more tampons/pads an hour

What could be going on?

  • Anovulation
    • This is when a women does not ovulate, meaning her ovaries do not release an egg during the menstrual cycle. Ovulation is a crucial part of the menstrual cycle. 
  • Body weight
    • Low body fat can stop ovulation. Women who are underweight or have lost a lot of weight in a short amount of time may experience a very light or absent period.
    • Being overweight can sometimes lead to PCOS which has a common symptom of irregular periods
  • Excessive exercise
    • When the amount of energy expended during exercise exceeds the amount of nutritional consumption for days/weeks/months, this can cause certain body systems, that aren’t essential for survival, to be downregulated, this includes the reproductive system
  • Stress
    • Chronic stress can affect hormone production and secretion which can interrupt menstrual cycle regularity
  • Other: Certain medical conditions, diet, activity status, environmental exposures, synthetic birth control, alcohol consumption

 Ways to show your body some TLC

  • Try to eat 2-3 macro balanced, seasonal and nutrient dense meals daily
  • Eat healthy fats like fatty fish, dairy, olive oil, avocado, butter, beef, lamb, pork
  • Balance blood sugar by reducing excess sugar intake, pairing carbs with fiber, fat and protein and walking after meals
  • Regulate your nervous system by journaling, meditating, deep breathing, praying, talking to loved ones, doing things that you love, addressing your triggers/wounds
  • Exercise regularly and honor your body when you are tired!
  • Prioritize quality sleep
  • Regulate circadian rhythm by waking up and going to bed at the same time each day. Reduce blue light after sundown or at least 2 hours before bed. Blue light blockers work wonders!
  • Work with a naturopath or hormone specialist!
April 03, 2024 — Maxine Nathan