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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.

There are a variety of reasons why you may be experiencing menstrual irregularity. Excessively heavy 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 IUD birth control.
  • Hormone changes. 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 people who have recently started menstruating or those 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.

Looking to regulate your periods? There are many at-home remedies that can help.

1. Practice yoga

Yoga may be an effective treatment for different menstrual issues. A 2017 study with 64 women looked at the effect of practicing yoga over 12 weeks. It found improved physical function, less body pain, swelling, breast tenderness, and fewer cramps.

An older 2013 study with 126 participants also 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.

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.

Summary

Practicing yoga 35 to 40 minutes a day, 5 times per week, may help regulate hormones and menstrual cycles. Yoga may also help reduce premenstrual symptoms.

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.

Summary

Having more weight or less weight can cause irregular periods. If you want to maintain a moderate weight, you can talk with your doctor about exercise and nutrition plans.

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 suggests 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.

Summary

Exercise can help control weight, which may, in turn, regulate menstrual periods. It may also reduce pain before and during your period.

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.

Summary

Although it’s often used as a home remedy for irregular periods, there’s no scientific evidence to support claims that ginger can treat irregular periods. However, it has been found to help relieve PMS symptoms.

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 could even be 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.

Summary

Cinnamon may help regulate menstrual cycles and reduce menstrual bleeding and pain. It may also help treat PCOS.

6. Get your daily dose of vitamins for a healthy period

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 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.

Summary

Low levels of vitamin D may increase your risk for period irregularity. Taking a daily vitamin D supplement can help regulate your menstrual cycle. B vitamins may also help reduce PMS and regulate menstrual cycles.

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.

Summary

Drinking 1/8 cup (15 grams) of apple cider vinegar a day may help regulate menstruation in people with PCOS.

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.

Summary

Pineapple is believed to help regulate periods, though there’s little scientific evidence to support this claim.

An enzyme in pineapple (bromelain) may help relieve some PMS symptoms, such as cramps.

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:

If you’re experiencing irregular periods, you may have questions. Here are some of the most common concerns and what to expect.

How long does it take for a period to regulate?

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, it can take about 6 years for your period to become predictable after you begin menstruating.

However, if there’s an underlying condition causing irregular periods, you’ll likely need to resolve the cause first.

Do irregular periods mean infertility?

Having an irregular menstrual cycle does not necessarily mean you can’t get pregnant. Depending on the underlying cause of the irregularity, there may or may not be an effect on your ability to get pregnant.

If you’re trying to get pregnant, talk with your doctor. They can help pinpoint any health issues and recommend the next steps.

Can you get pregnant with irregular periods?

Yes, it’s possible to become pregnant with irregular periods. It may be more difficult to track ovulation and identify a missed period, but there are tools and trackers that can help.

If you’re concerned your irregular periods may be caused by an underlying issue that’s affecting your fertility, talk with your doctor.

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 evidence that they may help to regulate your menstrual period.

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