Most women occasionally skip a menstrual period. This is most often due to having an anovulatory cycle, or a menstrual cycle during which an egg is not released. Irregular menstrual cycles can also be a symptom of perimenopause, which is the period of time directly preceding menopause. If your periods are irregular and you often skip periods, or if your periods are accompanied by severe cramping or last longer than 10 days, make an appointment with your health care provider for an evaluation. If you miss a period or have a late period occasionally, you may be able to nudge your system into better regularity with some simple home remedies.
Stop smoking. Cut back on alcohol. The Women to Women website states that women who smoke may be more likely to have irregular periods than those who do not smoke. Also, drinking alcohol can affect the way your liver processes the hormones responsible for ovulation and menstrual regularity.
Strive for a healthy weight. Weighing too much or too little can affect your menstrual cycle.
Evaluate your diet. Eating too many carbohydrates can cause menstrual irregularity. The Mother Nature website states that women who are vegetarians may be more likely to have irregular periods. Vegetarians may consume more fiber than other women, and this excess fiber can interfere with the production of estrogen. Ask your doctor to test your estrogen levels if you are a vegetarian suffering from irregular menstruation.
Avoid stress. Stress can cause your body to delay or skip ovulation, which causes a late or missed period. Physical as well as emotional stress may be to blame for your irregular periods. Physical stresses can include consuming too much caffeine, suddenly losing or gaining a lot of weight and recent illness.
Take herbs under the supervision of your doctor, herbalist or naturopath. Some herbs that may help with menstrual irregularity, according to the Project AWARE website, include vitex, wild yam, red clover, sage, pomegranate, raspberry leaf and dong quai.