Many women deal with painful, heavy, or irregular periods. Sometimes conditions like endometriosis, PCOS, or fibroids contribute to these problems. Painful or irregular periods can also occur due to hormone imbalances even when no other conditions are present. Chiropractic care and other holistic remedies like herbs and lifestyle changes can treat these problems safely and effectively. Here are some common menstrual problems and natural solutions.

Heavy, Painful Periods

Periods that are regular but heavier and more painful than average are a problem for many women. If you have these symptoms, you should check with your doctor to see if a condition like endometriosis or fibroids is causing your symptoms. Once you know what’s going on, you can consider your treatment options. You may need to avoid birth control if you have uterine fibroids since exposure to hormones (especially estrogen) can cause them to grow faster. On the other hand, endometriosis may benefit from birth control or other hormone-based therapies. Some doctors prescribe birth control for heavy periods even if there is no apparent underlying condition.

Birth control isn’t for everyone. Many women can’t tolerate the side effects. In this case, herbal remedies that affect hormones can often work better. Herbal remedies work more gently, and many researchers think they work via “pathways” in the body that cause them to have fewer side effects. Red raspberry leaf tea is a popular herb for several period problems. It works by correcting hormone imbalances. It also contains high levels of B6, iron, and antioxidants. Women have found it helpful for centuries to reduce pain and excess bleeding and treat mood-related period symptoms.

Spinal adjustment can also be helpful for heavy, painful periods. If your pelvis is out of alignment or the nerves that control your reproductive organs are hampered by subluxated vertebrae, your system will not work optimally. Adjustments can improve overall function and help reduce cramps and bloating.

Irregular or Missing Periods

Some women don’t mind if their period only comes once in a while, but it can be concerning for some, especially women trying to conceive. A missing or irregular period can be caused by PCOS, hormone imbalances, and lifestyle.

As many as 10% of US women have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). This condition is characterized by high levels of androgens like testosterone and many small cysts on the ovaries. Symptoms of PCOS include irregular periods, excess acne and hair growth, and weight gain. As they age, women with PCOS are at an increased risk for type 2 diabetes. Birth control pills or other hormonal interventions are necessary to increase female hormones and balance out the excess androgens. PCOS is a complex condition that requires a multifaceted approach to treatment. Licensed herbalists use combinations of several herbs to treat their PCOS clients, and many women have successfully managed their symptoms with herbal remedies. A low glycemic diet can prevent type 2 diabetes in PCOS patients, and moderate exercise is beneficial for managing weight gain.

Some women experience irregular periods due to other hormonal factors that are often not tested or are difficult to pinpoint. Red raspberry leaf and chaste tree berry have proven effective at regulating periods in women where the cause of irregular periods is unknown.

Being underweight or participating in an extreme exercise like marathon running or “insanity” type workout programs can also cause irregular or absent periods. In this case, the cure is purely lifestyle-related. Gaining weight and reducing exercise should allow the body to normalize and begin menstruating and ovulating again.

Bleeding Between Periods

Seeing blood when you aren’t expecting it is always concerning, but it’s also quite common and usually not related to life-threatening problems like cancer. That being said, if you’ve struggled with sudden breakthrough bleeding that’s becoming more common or if the bleeding is heavy or lasts more than seven days, you should talk to your doctor about ruling out things like cancer, ectopic pregnancy, or other serious conditions.

Uterine fibroids, endometriosis, PCOS, and other unnamed hormonal disorders can cause breakthrough bleeding. It’s also common when a woman changes or starts birth control, especially when using it to skip periods. Some women experience spotting for a day or two around ovulation, which is considered normal.

Birth control is the first-line treatment your doctor will recommend for frequent breakthrough bleeding once serious problems have been ruled out. Women who don’t wish to take birth control or can’t tolerate it have some effective herbal options. Again, red raspberry leaf and chaste tree berry can help. They both strengthen the uterus and help regulate monthly bleeding by balancing hormones.

Lifestyle changes can also help. Stress can cause hormone imbalances because the body will steal hormones like progesterone and estrogen to make cortisol– the stress hormone. Finding healthy outlets and managing stress will help you feel better and keep your hormones in check. Excessive exercise sometimes cause physical stress, so it may be best to do light exercise during the time of the month when breakthrough bleeding has been a problem for you.

Since your nervous system interacts with your hormones, spinal adjustment is beneficial for women who struggle with breakthrough bleeding.

Trouble Conceiving

It’s common for women to experience miscarriages or not get pregnant as quickly as they think they will. Up to a year of trying is considered normal for healthy couples under 35. If you’ve experienced multiple miscarriages or it’s taken more than a year to get pregnant, you should consult your doctor to rule out any serious reproductive problems in both yourself and your partner. Sometimes the solution to reproductive woes is as simple as reducing stress and taking the pressure off trying to conceive. Non-stress-related hormone imbalances may also be to blame. In this case, holistic treatments like diet and lifestyle changes, chiropractic care, and herbal medicines may help.

Being underweight, having a history of smoking, being obese, and underlying conditions like autoimmune diseases can make it more difficult for a woman to conceive and increase the chance of miscarriage and complications. Correcting and managing these factors can significantly improve your chances of becoming pregnant. Along with lifestyle changes, herbs like red raspberry leaf, black cohosh, chaste tree berry, and asparagus (Shatavari) have been used traditionally to regulate the menstrual cycle and improve fertility.

Adding fertility boosting nutrients like fiber, plant proteins, and good fats (like those found in fish and walnuts) and folate (found in legumes, whole grains, and citrus fruits) will prepare your body for a healthy pregnancy and may make it easier to conceive.

Holistic Women’s Health Care in Tennessee

At Stanlick Chiropractic, we work with women and their other healthcare providers to improve their health and well-being. We offer spinal adjustment, pregnancy chiropractic care, and lifestyle advice. Schedule a Consultation to find out how holistic care can help keep your body balanced.