Your menstrual cycle can sometimes seem like a mystery. While many women choose to take a prescription birth control for a variety of health reasons, it is possible to regulate your menstrual cycle naturally. While it may take a bit of work, the results can be incredibly worth it!
The first step to beginning your birth control free life is to begin tracking your cycle. I recommend using one of the many menstrual tracking apps that are available online. I use MyDaysX (it’s free).
The most important element to begin tracking is the length or duration of your cycle. Your cycle begins with Day 1 which is the first day of your period. This will help you to determine if your cycle falls within the normal range, which is 25 to 35 days long. This is entirely dependent on your individual body so your cycle may be different from other people.
It is not only important to track the length of your cycle, but also any characteristics or changes that arise over the course of your cycle. When you come off the contraceptive pill, you may also notice that you can tell when you ovulate, so it’s good to track this.
If you notice that your cycle is incredibly irregular, then it is best to consult a doctor or naturopath. Irregular menstrual cycles can be indicative of underlying health issues.
Your menstrual cycle may become irregular if you become overweight. Staying active helps to keep your cycles regular and to decrease symptoms of PMS. Taking a 30 minute walk every day is one way to ensure that your body is getting a bit of exercise. Plus, light exercise during your period will help to relieve cramps.
I should also mention that your menstrual cycle may disappear due to too much exercise. This is called amenorrhea. The main cause of this is excessive cardio and extreme under eating. If you have not had your period for more than 3 months, I highly recommend seeing a doctor or naturopath.
There are lots of natural supplements available that can help you get your cycle back on track, especially if you’ve just come off the contraceptive pill.
Some beneficial herbs include chaste berry, maca root, licorice root, rhodiola, black cohosh and wild yam. Fem Rebalance by Vitanica is a great supplement with a lot of these herbs in one capsule.
Stress is one of the top contributors to an irregular menstrual cycle. High cortisol levels and disruption to your adrenal gland hormones will usually have flow on effects to all of your other hormones. It’s that important!
Try taking at least 1 hour per day to relax and do something you enjoy, even if it’s just watching TV! Meditation or yoga classes can help teach you skills that will decrease your stress levels. These forms of movement and mindfulness not only keep stress levels down, they help you to stay active in a gentle way when your body might not be feeling the best!
Food has a major effect on your overall feelings of wellness. Food also can greatly impact your menstrual cycle and the symptoms that come with it.
Eating excessive amounts of soy can increase your estrogen and throw off your estrogen / progesterone balance. So don’t overdo it on soy.
Overeating causes inflammation within your body which then causes your body to release cortisol, and this has flow on effects. So avoid binge eating or eating to excess.
Foods and beverages that are salty or overly caffeinated can actually increase cramps and the feeling of being bloated. So try to keep these to a minimum.
Maintaining a healthy balanced diet will not only help your menstrual cycle stay on track, but it will help you stay healthy all month long!
Removing birth control from your life is a personal choice. But I highly recommend undergoing a full examination by a qualified physician to ensure that your reproductive health is being monitored.
Cysts, polycystic ovarian syndrome, irregular cells and other uterine diseases can majorly effect your menstrual cycle. If gone unchecked, they can also cause permanent damage. Having an annual check up will help to ensure that your body is healthy and that if anything does arise, it can be caught early on and treated swiftly.
With a little extra effort and a bit of mindfulness you can regulate your period without birth control through simple diet, exercise, natural supplements and behavior modifications.
As with anything health related, it is incredibly important that you pay attention to how your body is feeling, and know that you are your own best advocate for your health and wellbeing.