Menstrual cycles often vary from one month to the next. Women may occasionally miss periods, have too many periods, experience spotting, clotting or heavy bleeding. Hormonal changes or imbalances are commonly causative factors. This is especially true during puberty or menopause. When improper diet, stress, a lack of physical activity or excessive exercise cause the disruptions, correcting the issues solves the problem.
Changing eating habits to include a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and sufficient protein is often all that is needed to control monthly irregularities. Women should also consider the amount of refined carbohydrates regularly eaten and reduce these foods as needed. Caffeine consumption causes heavier menstrual flows. Caffeinated beverages also deplete iron levels. The lives of many women are filled with full-time schooling or work along with raising families. Under these circumstances, it often becomes much easier to make the wrong food choices, which deprives bodies of much needed nutrients.
Taking vitamin and mineral supplements helps fill the need. Women should also ensure that the diet includes a sufficient amount of essential fatty acids by eating oily fish, legumes, nuts and seeds. As hormones are made from cholesterol, healthy fats are necessary for their production. The United States Department of Agriculture created a food pyramid to help consumers customize individual diets according to age or situation.
Inactivity often leads to weight gain, which affects periods. Excess weight interferes with ovulation, which determines menstruation cycles. Losing the weight by diet and exercise may help. Engaging in some type of exercise three hours a week may also regulate monthly cycles. Moderate exercise is described as include brisk walks, bike riding or swimming. Jogging, running or aerobic dance classes are considered vigorous activities that may be done one to two hours a week instead. However, excessive weight loss or exercise can also have a detrimental effect.
Stress increases the production and release of cortisol. When the body becomes focused on stress hormone processes, the availability of female reproductive hormones suffers. Under stress, proteins in the brain change, which interrupts the signals normally communicated for ovulation to begin. Proper diet and exercise help the body deal with stress. However, women must also find ways to relax and unwind, which decreases cortisol levels. Consider spending fun time with family or friends. Indulge in TV watching, reading a book and listening to soothing music.
Taking the wrong prescription birth control formula may also lead to irregular or missed periods. When the problem occurs for three or more months, women should consult with their health care provider. Starting a different type of birth control often corrects the problem.