IS AN IRREGULAR MENSTRUAL CYCLE HINDERING YOUR FERTILITY?
Irregular menstrual cycle?
Having a healthy menstrual cycle is the first step to boosting your fertility naturally and being able conceive.
It can be quite frustrating if you are trying to get pregnant, yet have an irregular, unpredictable menstrual cycle or worse, no period at all.
While a menstrual cycle that is irregular or has stopped is not a disease, it is a sign that there is an underlying imbalance in the body. Hormonal changes are the main reason for menstrual irregularities and there are things that disrupt the hormones that regulate the menstrual cycle. Providing you are not already pregnant, these can include stress, dietary deficiencies, low body weight, getting off of birth control, PCOS, thyroid conditions, excessive or insufficient exercise or excess low or increased body weight.
HERE ARE FIVE ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE RIGHT NOW TO IMPROVE YOUR HORMONAL HEAL AND REGULATE YOUR MENSTRUAL CYCLE.
1. Create a stress reduction plan starting today!
Try some light regular exercise, meditation, acupuncture, journaling, or massage. Take some time out in nature. If necessary also re-evaluate you work life balance, use of coffee, alcohol and stimulants plus exposure to toxic irritants and lack of sleep.
If you do not lower your stress levels, the irregular periods may persist.
Traveling, work stress, family stress, finances and even stress about infertility can increase hormones such as cortisol and adrenalin that inhibit the release of fertility hormones at the correct times in the menstrual cycle.
2. Adequate rest and sleep are vital for good hormonal balance. Don’t let yourself become run down through lack of sleep. Try for at least 8 hours or more per night.
For the best sleep hygiene and hormone balance –
- Create a sleep routine by going to bed at the same time each night and wake at the same time each morning.
- be in bed with the light out by 10pm to allow for optimum sleep hormone (melatonin) production
- Make the room you sleep in as dark as possible so your body can easily recognize the circadian rhythm. Pull the curtains to block outside light.
- Avoid caffeine, nicotine, stimulating herbs and alcohol in the late afternoon or evening.
- Remove electronics in your sleep area and avoid them before bed. The artificial light and electromagnetic frequency can inhibit the brain’s natural ability to move through sleep cycles correctly.
Disrupted sleep patterns result in hormonal imbalance, low basal body temperature and suppress ovulation. The quality and quantity of sleep you get each night will affect your hormone balance and fertility.
3. Nutrition and hydration Nutrition plays a massive role and is key to a healthy menstrual cycle and hormonal balance.
Eating a variety of nutrient dense foods (with minerals, vitamins, essential fatty acids & antioxidants) throughout the day will keep your hormones in balance. Ideally include some protein and small amounts of 5-6 different coloured vegetables with each meal. Your hormones are manufactured from protein and good fats so also include some healthy fats such as nuts, seeds, avocado, oily fish, coconut and olive oils. Never miss meals.
Hydration is also important for a healthy menstrual flow as well as overall health. Aim to drink a minimum of 1 ½ to 2 litres of fresh filtered water each day – more or less depending on your stature, the climate and your activity level.
4. Re-evaluate your activity levels and exercise routines. Both too much and too little exercise can be a problem in balancing both stress and reproductive hormones. Think of exercise as a means of stress reduction rather than for burning calories and losing weight. Aim for 30-45 minutes of gentle exercise most days. Try walking, dancing, yoga, pilates, swimming or light resistance training.
5. Reduce your exposure to environmental toxins. Reassess you household and personal care products. Go for more natural products. Read labels carefully and reject any containing hormone disruptors such as sodium lauryl sulphate, parabens, propylene glycol and DEA (diethanolamide). Replace plastic (BPAs) and Teflon kitchen equipment with glass and stainless steel and avoid microwaving your foods.
First and foremost nourish your body through good nutrition. Your dietary habits are the foundation of your hormonal balance and fertility. Add a high quality prenatal multivitamin and mineral supplement as well to ensure that all vital nutrients are covered.
Work on stress reduction and exercise regularly. This combination is a great plan for working to promote a healthy menstrual cycle long term but seek help from a natural health professional qualified in reproductive health if problems persist.
Be patient, the body needs time to establish a cycle. Be gentle with yourself and your body will come back into balance.
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