6 Ways to Reduce Period Delays

6 Ways to Reduce Period Delays

Jessie Wallace
By Jessie Wallace
A regular cycle is a great thing. You can plan for your day better, know when you need to pack some extra protection, and actively try to conceive or actively avoid pregnancy all by knowing and understanding where you are in your monthly cycle. A regular period is a sign of good health and for those who are sexually active, it’s a sign that you’re not pregnant yet. It may come with its troubles and annoyances, as well as the cramps and pains, but it also has some great benefits. It’s a rite of passage for a young girl and a topic that binds women together.
However, when your period doesn’t come on time or isn’t regular, you can face a lot of questions and worries. Every woman’s period is a little different, but it should still be on a regular schedule for the most part. While tiny and occasional fluctuations are unavoidable for many, if every cycle is late or if you seem to skip periods often, it could mean that there is something in your daily life that’s harming your health. While not having to deal with cramps and bleeding may seem like a great turn of luck to some, it’s actually something that any woman should try to remedy if she’s able to. While some conditions are unavoidable, there are usually some things you can change in your life to help your cycle become more regular.

Reduce stress

Stress can lead to a wide variety of health problems, from heart disease to insomnia. One area it can also affect is your 1hormonal health. When you’re under stress, your body begins to produce more cortisol. This can lighten or even postpone your period. It’s also known that stress impacts the way your hypothalamus works, which controls your pituitary gland.

No one can avoid stress entirely, and there will be moments in your life when stress is high and the causes are outside of your control. When this happens, finding ways to relieve this 2stress in a healthy manner will help you in more ways than simply getting your period back on track. Increasing exercise, starting meditation or deep breathing sessions, or taking a bit of time to do something that relaxes you, such as a hike or a hot bath.

Maintain a healthy diet

Everyone knows how important it is to stick to a healthy diet. The food you consume to fuel your body impacts every aspect of your health. If you’re putting mostly junk food into your system, you’ll likely end up feeling like junk. This also affects your menstrual cycle. Lacking the right nutrition that your body needs will lead to an interrupted or inconsistent cycle. Being both underweight and overweight will both alter your body’s hormonal functions and eating too much sugar has been linked to fertility issues such as polycystic ovary syndrome. The good news is that changing your diet will often reverse these effects on your periods.

Sugar in particular has shown to be quite impactful on your cycle. Many women who have cut back drastically on the amount of sugar they’re consuming, including all forms of sugar, found that their periods became more regular and reliable. There is some evidence that a keto diet has a great deal of impact on menstrual regularity.

Make sure you get plenty of sleep

A consistent and adequate sleep schedule is an often overlooked way of caring for yourself. Everyone knows they’re supposed to do it, but people often ignore the importance. However, getting enough sleep on a regular schedule will keep your biological schedule as well. Throwing off your body’s internal clock will cause 3disruptions and inconsistencies in the way it releases hormones. It also affects melatonin levels in your system which has shown some evidence of affecting your reproductive health. In a study looking at alternating shift workers and those with a regular work schedule, and therefore a regular sleeping schedule, there was found to be more chance of period irregularities in those who had to change when they slept.

It’s also known that the same is true in the opposite way. Having issues with your period or having menstrual symptoms more severe than usual can 4cause sleeping problems to arise. You may be thinking, “But I ALWAYS have trouble sleeping during a certain part of my cycle!” This is often true. Many women experience sleep changes through part of their cycle due to temperature changes and slight variations in the amount of melatonin your body produces. However, in healthy women, this was found to be far less disruptive than those with inconsistent cycles.

Avoid over exercising, but don’t stop working out

Exercise is great. Following a good fitness routine and making sure to work out is highly beneficial to your body and overall health, so when we say to avoid over exercising, we don’t mean to avoid all exercise. There will also be plenty of times when you can’t avoid starting an extreme routine, such as when preparing for a marathon or a competition. It’s also tempting to start an intense exercise plan to get ready for swimsuit weather, which always tends to sneak up on us. However, starting an extreme fitness routine can interrupt your period and cause delays or lighter bleeding. An 5article published in the Sports Medicine, Arthroscopy, Rehabilitation, Therapy and Technology, or SMARTT, shows that athletes who are women were more likely to have missed periods and to even develop PCOS. For those who are trying to keep things consistent, this can mess up plans and make it more difficult to know where you are in your cycle.

Yet you shouldn’t avoid exercising entirely. In fact, regular exercise has been shown to help maintain your body’s schedule. The problems arise when women begin a regiment that’s far more intense than what they previously practiced. Regular exercise will help to keep weight off and we know that obesity is the enemy of a healthy cycle, so staying fit to keep those pounds off will help you stay regular and on time. Not to mention that consistent exercise helps to alleviate some of the uncomfortable period symptoms like cramps.

Check your thyroid

Your thyroid has a lot to do with the hormones in your body. It also affects your metabolism, so if you’re having a lot of trouble with your cycles being super light or late all the time and you can’t seem to lose weight even when trying your hardest, it may be time to talk to a doctor about your 6thyroid. Both hyperthyroidism (when the thyroid is working too much) and hypothyroidism (when the thyroid is underactive) will cause irregularities with your periods and issues with weight control. Other signs of thyroid disease are weak feeling muscles, becoming hot or cold when no one else seems to feel the same way, feeling drained all the time, not sweating like you should (either too much or too little), and an increased or decreased heart rate.

Thyroid disease does need to be treated. Generally, it’s treated with medication to correct the hormonal imbalance caused by the overactive or underactive thyroid. There are also more drastic measures that can be taken for hyperthyroidism, but these may cause you to develop hypothyroidism as a result. Either way, it must be addressed as it can cause a host of other issues other than simply delaying your period, some of which are quite serious.

Stay on a regular birth control or stop taking it

Women have been implementing some form of birth control for ages. Modern medicine gives us a variety of options and medicines to take in order to prevent pregnancy and regulate hormones. In fact, many women who aren’t even sexually active will take a form of birth control simply for regulating menstrual issues. This is especially true for those who have polycystic ovary syndrome. However, changing the type of pill you take or forgetting it often will likely result in changes to your cycle. Now here’s the interesting part. When on the pill, 7you’re not actually regulating your cycle because you don’t have a cycle at all. Those days when you supposedly have a period are something called, “withdrawal bleeding”. Birth control pills cause your body to stop ovulation entirely, meaning there is no real cycle anymore.

Where women can find themselves delayed is often due to prolonged use of the pill. The pill makes the endometrium, or the lining of the uterus, thinner. After taking it for a long period of time, the lining becomes too thin to bleed during those placebo days. As long as you’ve been taking the birth control as you’re supposed to, the chances of becoming pregnant are highly unlikely. If you’re on the pill solely for regulating your hormones and you haven’t tried some of the lifestyle changes yet, you may want to stop taking it to see if you can correct the issue without needing to use long term medication. However, you should keep in mind that it’s still one of the most effective forms of birth control available.

Missing a period can be stressful and frightening. Especially if there’s a chance you may be pregnant, but pregnancy is not the only reason this may happen. As you can see, there are many reasons you might be late or skipping your time of the month. While some late or skipped periods are not an immediate cause for concern, if you’re finding that you’re missing them often or are late more than on time, it’s a good idea to go ahead and talk to your doctor. Ruling out some of the more serious reasons will help put your mind at ease.

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