Irregular periods are a guaranteed symptom of the menopause, as it symbolises that you have entered into perimenopause and your body is preparing itself to journey towards menopause. The full transition occurs when there is a complete stop in our periods for a whole year. Post-menopause is recognised as the immediate phase that follows on from there.
Why do we get irregular periods during the menopause?
In perimenopause, our reproductive hormones; oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone fluctuate and fall significantly, which has the ovaries shrinking and pausing its regular flow of producing eggs. As a result, our period becomes progressively more irregular and eventually, marking the end of our fertility and no longer able to become pregnant.
Experiencing irregular periods
Irregular periods are not an exact science so you may experience one or more of the following:
- A light, irregular period which becomes more regular and heavier as you near the menopause
- An intermittent period happening every two or three months
- A more frequent period every few weeks or your period phase itself lasting longer
- Irregular bleeding or spotting during your period
- A gradually less regular period with some intermittent periods (most common)
- A prolonged gap between each period, lasting up to 12 months
What can help with my irregular periods?
Remember, it’s very normal, natural and necessary to experience irregular periods whilst your hormones are changing as you journey from perimenopause, through the menopause. Try to be patient and flexible with your body's natural flow of events and also stay conscious about your fertility whilst experiencing regular periods because it’s still possible to become pregnant before you reach menopause.
Natural remedies to help with irregular periods
- Maintain a high plant-based food intake as it is rich in fibre, energy and nutrients
- Enjoy a generous amount of water per day to stay hydrated
- Limit refined sugar, alcohol and caffeinated products
- Make time to relax per day to reduce your stress levels as this impacts your cycle alone
- Embrace a restful sleep pattern each night to also reduce stress
- Avoid smoking and secondary smoking
- For bloating or tender breasts try angus castus (avoid if you are using contraceptives)
- For heavier or longer periods please seek advice from your health professional
- Consider using hormone replacement therapy (HRT)