Period problems occur in 14% to 25% of women of childbearing age. Such problems include absent, infrequent, scanty, heavy, prolonged, or painful periods. These period issues can occur for a variety of reasons. Women with fertility issues such as PCOS/PCOD have disturbances in getting their periods on time. The imbalance of hormones is seen as the major cause of delay in the regular menstrual flow. Other factors like stress, overeating, or lack of physical activity can also cause irregularity in periods. For women with delayed or missed periods, lifestyle could be the cause of it all. Certain lifestyle changes such as diet, exercise, and healthy habits when followed in addition to proper medication as advised by the PCOS specialist in Chennai are reported to induce and normalize periods. Likewise, avoiding certain things during periods can allow the periods to pass with ease and prevent discomfort or complications.
Important foods to avoid during periods
There are certain foods that may worsen period symptoms. Such foods may have to be avoided during periods to have them trouble-free.
– Salty Foods lead to water retention, which can result in bloating and also worsen cramps. Reduce salt and avoid highly processed foods that contain a lot of sodium to save from feeling bloated and stay pain-free.
– Sugary foods can cause a quick spike in energy followed by a sudden crash leading to mood swings. For women who feel moody, depressed, or anxious during periods, controlling sugar intake can help regulate mood.
– Caffeine is known to cause bloating from water retention and can also exacerbate headaches if taken in excess. If diarrhea is a symptom of menstruation, cutting down coffee intake can also help in stopping diarrhea. High caffeine content can also increase pain and contribute to breast tenderness. Women who crave caffeine will definitely need to reduce their intake of coffee to stay away from period problems.
– A number of negative effects of alcohol on the body can exacerbate the symptoms of periods. Alcohol can cause dehydration that worsens headaches, cause bloating, diarrhea and nausea due to digestive issues. A hangover can present similar symptoms that occur during periods, like headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fatigue.
– Spicy foods that are heavy can upset stomachs, causing diarrhea, stomach pain, and even nausea. If the stomach is unable to tolerate spicy foods or if eating them is out of habit, it would be best to avoid them during periods.
– Red meat is high in iron and is generally recommended for menstruating women but not during periods as they produce prostaglandins in the body. Prostaglandins are naturally secreted in the body to help the uterus contract and eliminate the uterine lining during periods. Eating red meat can increase the production of prostaglandins causing severe cramps and hence it is advisable to avoid them during periods.
– Women with food sensitivities would have to obviously avoid those foods, especially during periods. But the emphasis here is to not consider those foods that cause an allergic trigger even as occasional treats while having periods to prevent added discomforts.
Important habits to avoid during periods
– Skipping meals severely affects energy levels and so can lead to irritability and feeling lethargic during periods. At the same time, it is not recommended to replace actual meals with junk food that contains high amounts of salt and sugar, contributing to symptoms like bloating and discomfort.
– Prolonged wearing of the same sanitary product for more than 4 to 6 hours will prove to be a breeding ground for bacteria, causing bad odor, skin rashes, and Toxic Shock syndrome.
– Going to bed without a sanitary product can be comforting to sleep better if rashes and discomfort are a worry but it is a bad idea as the period flow can mess the clothing and bedding, increasing the chances of infection.
– Using a douche to clean the vaginal area can prove to be very harmful. It can increase the risk of infections and developing STDs by interfering with the bacteria in the vagina that act as natural barriers.
– Waxing or shaving for hair removal in the vaginal area can hurt, adding to the discomfort, as the area is sensitive during periods. The period flow makes shaving an extremely messy affair plus a cut while shaving might lead to infection.
– Having unprotected sex during periods may avoid pregnancy but increases the chances of infections and STDs.
– Women smoking during periods can experience more pain and discomfort.
Foods to eat to get a heavy period
– Diet affects the flow of periods. A healthful PCOS diet as suggested by the PCOS and fertility clinic in Chennai includes the following foods for getting a heavy period.
– Fruits rich in vitamins C like papaya, pineapple, and mangoes are known to increase oestrogen hormone causing uterine contractions that help in shedding the blood lining completely as heavy periods.
– Dates have positive effects on reproductive and menstrual health. Regular consumption of dates can increase blood circulation making it ideal as an effective remedy for women with anemia and problems related to scanty periods.
– Jaggery is primarily known for treating the occurrence of scanty periods as it contains the properties to increase hemoglobin levels in the blood. Eating small amounts of jaggery can maintain the iron levels needed for heavy periods.
– Turmeric has emmenagogue and antispasmodic functions that specifically stimulate blood flow in the uterus and pelvic region. Drinking turmeric with hot water or milk has proven useful for women looking forward to a heavy period.
– Ginger and honey are known to have emmenagogue effects that induce heavy menstrual flow. They can be taken in many forms like tea, juice, or in daily foods.
– Cinnamon is beneficial in treating menstrual issues including period flow. Cinnamon has been used as an effective treatment option to regulate menstrual cycles in women with PCOS.
– Apple cider vinegar taken daily may help restore ovulatory menstruation and heavy periods in women with PCOS. Added benefits are the properties that help lose body weight, lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin levels in women with PCOS.