The whirlwind schedules of young girls and mature women nowadays, be it school exams, college assignments, deadlines at work or juggling numerous day-to-day chores at home, induces tremendous amounts of stress, leaving both, the body and mind exhausted. Not to mention the added burden of having to adapt every single task as per the new normal lifestyle, to curb the spread of coronavirus disease and keep infection at bay. Unfortunately, an escalating level of stress is not something to be taken lightly, as it negatively influences physical fitness, mental wellness, as well as hormonal processes. This inevitably affects one key function in the female reproductive system, which is the monthly occurrence of periods.Also Read: Irregular Periods? Don’t Ignore It, Try These Remedies
Medically termed as menstruation or menstrual cycles and involving the elimination of the uterus lining i.e. endometrium through bleeding via the vagina, the average gap between each period is usually 28 days, with minor variations for each individual. However, presently, gynaecologists in India and other countries worldwide are reporting a sharp rise in women with complaints of irregular periods, which is a rather worrisome trend. Irregular menstrual cycles can be defined as those happening after a break of more than 35 days, or if the interval between cycles is very erratic each month. While this is an expected happening in teenagers during puberty, middle-aged women over 45 years undergoing menopause, it is quite detrimental to the health of young adults in their twenties, thirties and requires proper medical care and treatment.
Apart from mental stress, irregular menstruation is caused by several other attributes including fluctuating body weight, sudden weight gain, excessive strenuous physical workouts, emotional challenges, medication side-effects and underlying chronic diseases of diabetes, hypertension. Timely professional healthcare is of utmost importance, for sporadic menstrual cycles often lead to grave complications of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), cervical cancer and endometriosis, to name a few. Moreover, it gives rise to many discomforting symptoms such as heavy bleeding during periods, spotting between cycles, loss of blood after sexual intercourse, discharge of blood even in menopause, excruciating abdominal pain, stomach cramps and intense fatigue.Also Read: Cervical Cancer: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment
Although prescription drugs and supplements help to normalize hormonal mechanisms in the body, Yoga, an ancient natural physical exercise practice, complements potent medicines, vastly boosting reproductive wellbeing and regularizing menstrual cycles. Comprising stationary poses, flexing movements and breathing techniques that work in synergy to instil holistic wellbeing, Yoga is a time-tested tradition that offers instant relief from stress, relaxing the body, calming the mind and activating reproductive operations in women. Read on, to discover some astounding yoga asanas that will synchronize monthly periods and guarantee all-around women’s health.
Yoga Postures To Tackle Irregular Periods And Preserve Hormonal Balance:
1. Matsyasana (Fish Pose)
Lie flat, with your back on the ground. Keep your arms under your hips, with your elbows touching the waistline. Bend both legs, bringing them in a cross-legged pose, with the knees, thighs still touching the floor. Inhale and raise your upper body, then the back of the head, hold the posture for a few minutes, then exhale and relax the torso.
2. Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
Lay down on the ground, with your stomach touching the floor, feet spread apart a little and arms along the side of the body. Lift your lower legs, keeping them steady by holding on to your ankles with your hands. Raise your chest and legs off the surface while taking in a deep breath. Stay in this manner for as many seconds as possible, then gradually bring your upper body and legs back to the floor.
3. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Balance yourself on all four limbs, placing your arms down straight, with your head facing front, bending your knees and stretching your lower legs outwards on the ground, resembling a table. Slowly lift your hips while breathing out, straightening your arms, elbows, to form a V-shaped structure. Extend your arms, further elevating your body, hold the pose for a few minutes, then gently relax and come back to the table position.
4. Malasana (Garland Pose)
Start by placing yourself on the floor in a comfortable squat position, with heels flat on the ground, thighs wide apart and feet closer to each other. Exhale, then bend the body forwards, to fit your torso in between the thighs. Fold the hands, place the elbows on the inner thighs, applying some pressure. Swing your arms, slightly elevate your heels, then gradually come back to the squat position and relax.
5. Ustrasana (Camel Pose)
Kneel on the floor, with heels flat and facing upwards, keeping hands on the hips. Make sure that the knees and shoulders are aligned in a straight manner. Inhale deeply, then bend your back, gripping your feet with your hands for balance. Retain this posture for one minute, then slowly bring your back to an upright position, relaxing the legs and hands as well.
Apart from seeking professional medical treatment from a gynaecologist, taking prescribed medications adhering to the dose recommended by the doctor and adopting a healthy diet, engaging in yoga and meditation daily, some simple tips aid in regulating menstrual cycles in women.
Avoid Stressful Situations
Stress is a major contributing factor to irregular periods. It can be physical, mental, emotional stress and scenarios at work or home could trigger undue amounts of tension, panic, anxiety in the mind. Thus, to effectively overcome untimely menstruation, doctors advise women to step away from such situations that induce high amounts of stress and instead take deep breaths, drink ample water and sleep well to calm the body, mind and ensure normal hormonal functions.
Do Not Exercise Too Much
While regular physical activity is essential for physical fitness and mental wellness, thereby guaranteeing optimal hormone levels, working out excessively can lead to muscular wear and tear, bone and joint damage, as well as hormonal imbalance. This, in turn, prompts irregular periods and at times can even result in the ceasing of menstruation in women for long intervals of time. Healthcare experts advise women to engage in not more than 2.5 – 5 hours of moderate intensity exercise every week, to preserve hormonal balance and regulate menstrual cycles.
Take Vitamin D Supplements
Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin, for it is synthesized in the skin by the reaction of cholesterol compounds with UV-B rays from the sun and many women are found to be invariably deficient in this vital nutrient due to sedentary lifestyles and limited or no exposure to sunlight. Scientific researchers have stated that vitamin D is involved in maintaining optimal ovulation processes in the body and hence doctors prescribe vitamin D supplements to women to overcome nutrient deficiencies, combat irregular periods and support reproductive health.