If your cycle has been longer than 32 days for 3 months in a row you could have something called Oligomenorrhea. It's not a condition it's just the posh name for having long cycles. It could be totally normal for you but if it's not, it's a good idea to get it investigated. Usually long periods are a sign you're not ovulating (in doctor-speak it's called anovulatory). If you're around 40 or older this is probably happening because you're starting to transition into perimenopause and doesn't require treatment unless it gets uncomfortable for other reasons like hot sweats.
Possible hormone causes:
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome
- Ovarian resistance
- Hyperprolactinaemia (Collins, 2013)
What to do
- Don't panic
- Watch, wait and chart. Keep a record of your cycle lengths, period duration and anything else you're noticing.
- Eat a low GI diet, exercise in moderation and take the herbs listed below.
- If it continues for more than 3 months get tests done with your doctor. They will be able to tell a lot from a blood test.
- If you are diagnosed with PCOS you can download my guide here. If you get told it's a thyroid thing I'd highly recommend this resource. For anything else, including being told it's not a hormone problem, see a herbalist. You can always skip the guides and go straight to individualised care with a herbalist for PCOS and thyroid stuff too of course.
Relaxants: Vervain (Verbena officinalis), Lime blossom (Tilia cordata), Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) or Wood Betony (Stachys betonica).
Support the liver: Marigold (Calendula officinalis) or Dandelion root (Taraxacum officinalis rad.).
Support the endocrine system: Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera), Spearmint (Mentha spicata) or Liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra).
Womb tonics: Lady's mantle (Alchemilla vulgaris) or Raspberry (Rubus idaeus).
I'd recommend choosing one or two herbs from each category and combining in either a tea or tincture. Once you have your blend take 5ml three times a day of the tincture or make a cup of tea 3 times a day. Drink this every day and see what differences occur.
If you ever feel overwhelmed or confused just book a free chat with me so we can figure out your next best step.
Collins, S. et.al. (2013). Oxford Handbook of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 3rd ed. OUP: Oxford.