Menstrual Cycle

Why Your Period Is Irregular and What To Do About It

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Do any of these symptoms sound familiar to you?

  • Missing / irregular period
  • No ovulation
  • Infertility/ struggling to fall pregnant
  • Acne, eczema
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome 
  • Moodiness, anxiety
  • Fatigue, insomnia
  • Hair loss, abnormal hair growth 
  • Unexplained weight gain or weight loss

If they do, it’s probably because you’ve been dealing with a hormonal imbalance. Whether mild or extreme, unfortunately hormonal imbalances, especially irregular periods, have become incredibly common in our modern lives. 

In most cases it all comes down to one recurring factor → whether your body deems you and your environment safe and healthy!

Your Period’s ON-OFF Switch

Our bodies are very energy-conscious organisms, and will always avoid wasting unnecessary energy at any opportunity. As women, we are already born with all the eggs we’ll ever have inside us at birth, and the body knows these eggs are precious, so it won’t waste one if it thinks:

A) Our external environment is not safe enough to sustain a full pregnancy/ raise a child, and/ or

B) Our internal environment is not healthy enough to successfully grow another human

So when we are no longer ovulating or we are missing our period, it is because our incredibly intelligent bodies have sensed something is not right… 

This is why the menstrual cycle can be seen as the fifth vital sign, and why tracking our menstrual health can be an incredible indicator as to how healthy we actually are. When we stop ovulating, lose our period, or experience other symptoms from the list above, it is usually because our bodies are trying to communicate to us that we are not healthy, safe or stress-free enough to either have a successful pregnancy, or to go on to raise a happy healthy child if pregnancy did occur. 

So, when we are in states of chronic stress (either externally and/or internally), instead of our body ‘wasting’ an egg and all the energy put into ovulation, it will channel that very valuable energy into different organs that will ensure we can survive (like the heart and lungs). 

This is why the symptoms of a hormonal imbalance can involve many other body systems, not just the reproductive system. 

Understanding Our External Stressors

Our bodies are more intelligent than we give them credit for, with every mechanism of function subconsciously geared towards survival and reproduction. So when we find ourselves in a situation that our body deems as stressful, whether that be running away from a lion or trying to meet a deadline with work, our body cannot always detect the nuance between what stressors are actually life-threatening and what stressors we can ‘handle’. According to our body, there is no scale of stress – only stress, or no stress. All our body registers is that we are no longer in a state to reproduce. This is also how chronic, daily stress can become so detrimental to our mental and physical health. It shuts down some body systems (hello weight gain), and speeds up others (que high blood pressure)!

In saying that, it’s important to know that all stress comes down to perception. Life is busy and it’s impossible to get rid of all deadlines and bills, but if those things make you nervous then your body will switch its stress switch ON vs. someone who doesn’t bat an eyelid. Therefore, the goal is to practice non-attachment, and to calm the body down at every chance (something many of us don’t do too often). More tips to come…

Your Monthly Health Report 

You may not know this, but ovulation is actually the main event of our cycle – not our period! So, even if you experience acne and fatigue, but have a regular, painless period, you still could be dealing with a hormonal imbalance and might not actually be ovulating. This is why our cycle is such a phenomenal indicator of our overall health – think of it like your monthly report card! Each month, your body is sending you the information you need (in the form of symptoms) to know that it needs more support. 

3 quick tips to balance your hormones and make your body feel safe again!

  • Help regulate your hormones with calming, cycle-supporting herbs like cinnamon, raspberry leaf, ginger and lemon balm → our favourite way to do this (because it’s the simplest and most delicious) is to include these potent herbs in a daily cup of tea!
  • Switch up your exercise! If you normally do activities like HIIT, running, boxing, crossfit or any other high intensity exercise, you may be working against your health goals → to reduce your stress hormone and help your body to feel balanced, try including more walking, yoga, Pilates and swimming, and see how your body thanks you. 
  • Educate yourself! Knowledge is power, and one of the most powerful ways to get your hormones back in harmony is to armor yourself with the knowledge of exactly what is going on in your body, and how you got there. Investing in education around your own health is invaluable → courses like the Balance Your Hormones program will show you exactly how to get to the root cause of your hormonal health issues and support your internal environment with step by step methods, helping you to reverse your symptoms and keep them away long-term by feeling the healthiest you’ve ever felt.

So to recap, when we are experiencing the symptoms of a hormonal imbalance it is because either our external environment (everything that occurs in our day to day life) or our internal environment (everything that happens within our body), or both, are under immense stress, and the tricky thing is that in a lot of cases it can become a vicious cycle → one can cause the other.

If you take anything away from this article it should be how important it is to listen to your body and make changes towards improving your health and minimising your stress as soon as you detect something is not right. It is a lot easier to prevent a hormonal imbalance in the first place, or even correct a small one, than it is to fix symptoms that have been suppressed and worsening over the years, though all is possible! Don’t lose hope and don’t settle for someone telling you that you just have to put up with your symptoms (I promise you, you don’t!)

Author

I'm Mads - a biologist, naturopath, nutritionist and educator who specialises in helping busy women achieve hormonal balance and symptom relief through science-backed natural approaches

Author

I'm Mads - a scientist, naturopath, nutritionist and educator who specialises in helping busy women achieve hormonal balance and symptom relief through science-backed nutrition and lifestyle approaches

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