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A menstrual cycle is counted from the first day of a period to the first day of the next. The average menstrual cycle is 28 days, but this can vary from person to person and month to month.

Your periods are still considered regular if they come every 24 to 38 days. Your periods are considered irregular if the time between periods keeps changing and your periods come earlier or later.

Treatment depends on finding out what’s causing your irregular periods, but there are remedies you can try at home to get your cycle back on track. Read on to discover eight science-backed home remedies for irregular periods.

What causes irregular periods?

There are a variety of reasons why you may be experiencing menstrual irregularity. Excessively heavy, irregular, or prolonged periods is called menorrhagia.

Common symptoms include a period that lasts longer than 7 days or bleeding that’s so heavy you have to change your period product every hour.

Causes of menorrhagia may include:

  • Medications. Some anti-inflammatory or hormone medications can affect menstrual bleeding. Heavy bleeding is also a side effect of the IUD birth control.
  • Hormone imbalances. An excess of the hormones progestin or estrogen, which regulate the lining of the uterus, may cause heavy bleeding. Hormone imbalances occur most frequently in girls who have recently started menstruating or women approaching menopause.
  • Medical conditions. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), endometriosis, inherited blood disorders, and benign growths and cancers have all been found to possibly cause menstrual irregularity.

How to get regular periods naturally

1. Practice yoga

Yoga has been shown to be an effective treatment for different menstrual issues. A 2013 study with 126 participants found that 35 to 40 minutes of yoga, 5 days a week for 6 months lowered hormone levels related to irregular menstruation.

Yoga has also been shown to reduce menstrual pain and emotional symptoms associated with menstruation, such as depression and anxiety, and improve quality of life in women with primary dysmenorrhea.

Primary dysmenorrhea is a condition that causes extreme pain before and during menstrual periods. It affects between 16 and 91 percent of women of reproductive age, and it can be debilitating.

If you’re new to yoga, you can look for online yoga videos for beginner or level 1 yoga. This will teach you how to properly do several moves. YouTube is also full of free videos where licensed yoga teachers walk you through a full yoga practice, making it easy to keep up with a regular yoga practice in the comfort of your own home.

2. Maintain a healthy weight

Changes in your weight can affect your period. If you’re in a larger body, losing weight could help regulate your periods.

Alternatively, extreme weight loss or being underweight can cause irregular menstruation. That’s why it’s important to maintain a moderate weight.

People who menstruate and have obesity are also more likely to have irregular periods and experience heavier bleeding and pain. This is due to the impact that fat cells have on hormones and insulin.

If you want to lose weight, talk with your doctor. They can help you identify a target weight and come up with a strategy of how to get there.

3. Exercise regularly

Exercise has many health benefits that can help your periods. It can help you reach or maintain a moderate weight and is commonly recommended as part of a treatment plan for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). PCOS can cause menstrual irregularity.

A 2021 clinical trial showed that exercise can effectively treat primary dysmenorrhea by reducing the intensity and duration of pain associated with the menstrual cycle. However, more research is needed to understand the effect of exercise on an irregular cycle.

4. Spice things up with ginger

Ginger is used as a home remedy for treating irregular periods, but there isn’t any scientific evidence to show that it works. However, ginger does seem to have other benefits related to menstruation, primarily related to relieving pain.

A 2014 clinical study of 92 women with heavy menstrual bleeding showed that daily ginger supplements may help reduce the amount of blood lost during menstruation.

Taking 750 to 2,000 mg of ginger powder during the first 3 or 4 days of your period has also been shown to be an effective treatment for painful periods.

Research from 2014 found that taking ginger for 7 days before a period relieved mood, physical, and behavioral symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). And a 2018 clinical trial demonstrated that 200 mg of ginger every six hours is effective in relieving pain in those with primary dysmenorrhea.

5. Add some cinnamon

Cinnamon appears to be beneficial for a variety of menstrual issues.

Research from 2014 found it helped regulate menstrual cycles and was an effective treatment option for women with PCOS, though the study had few participants.

It has also been shown to significantly reduce menstrual pain and bleeding, and relieve nausea and vomiting associated with primary dysmenorrhea.

Cinnamon is generally regarded as a safe and effective natural treatment for young women with primary dysmenorrhea.

6. Get your daily dose of vitamins

A study published in 2015 linked low levels of vitamin D to irregular periods and suggested that taking vitamin D may help regulate menstruation.

A 2014 study also found it effective in treating menstrual irregularity in people with PCOS.

Vitamin D is often added to some foods, including milk and other dairy products and cereal. You can also get vitamin D from sun exposure or through supplementation.

B vitamins are often prescribed to those who are trying to conceive. They may help regulate your period, but more research is needed to confirm these claims.

B vitamins may also lower the risk of premenstrual symptoms. A 2011 study found that participants who consumed food sources of vitamin B had a significantly lower risk for PMS, and another study indicated that vitamin B-6 can alleviate premenstrual depression.

A 2016 study showed that women who took 40 mg of vitamin B-6 and 500 mg of calcium daily experienced a reduction in PMS symptoms.

When using a supplement, follow the instructions on the packaging, and only buy supplements from reputable sources. You should also talk with your doctor to get the go-ahead before adding any new vitamins or supplements into your diet.

7. Drink apple cider vinegar daily

Research from 2013 showed that drinking 0.53 oz (15 ml) of apple cider vinegar daily may restore ovulatory menstruation in women with PCOS. More research is needed to validate these results, as this study involved only seven participants.

Apple cider has a bitter taste, which may be difficult for some people to consume. If you want to try taking it but have a hard time with the flavor, you can try diluting it with water and adding a tablespoon of honey.

8. Eat pineapple

Pineapple is a popular home remedy for menstrual issues. It contains bromelain, an enzyme that is claimed to soften the lining of the uterus and regulate your periods, though this hasn’t been proven.

Bromelain may have anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, although there’s no real evidence to support its effectiveness for alleviating menstrual cramps and headaches.

When should I see a doctor?

Home remedies can be useful, but you should still see your gynecologist for a regular checkup.

However, you should make an appointment if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms:

  • bleeding or spotting between periods, after sex, while pregnant, or after menopause
  • if your periods consistently last longer than a week
  • if you need to change your period product every hour for several hours in a row
  • severe pain
  • fever
  • abnormal vaginal discharge or odor
  • unexplained weight loss or gain
  • unusual hair growth
  • new acne
  • nipple discharge

Your doctor may also recommend medication or some other type of treatment depending on the cause of your irregular periods. Some possible causes include:

The bottom line

You may be able to get your menstrual cycle back on track with some lifestyle changes and home remedies. Scientific evidence is limited, however, and only a few natural remedies have been scientifically proven to regulate your menstrual period.

If you’re concerned about your irregular periods, speak with your doctor.