Stress creates a lot of problems in the short and long term. From momentary sweating to migraines and restlessness to burnout, the health problems are plenty if stress isn’t managed. Unfortunately for women, stress can impact their body through another way. The menstrual cycle. Stress can cause problems for your periods and certain irregularities in your cycle.
How stress impacts periods
Hormonal imbalance. Stress affects the part of your brain that regulates hormones. When stressed, the amount of cortisol is far too high and other feel-good hormones are low. Moreover, the other hormones related to your menstrual cycle are also compromised due to the stress, which can cause irregularities. Sometimes, you may miss your period entirely.
Heightened PMS. Premenstrual syndrome or PMS is a condition that affects a woman’s emotional and physical health, and mood during certain days of the menstrual cycle, usually right before the menses. Because of stress, your emotions and hormones are all over the place and your PMS may get worse, with more mood swings, irritability and pain.
Cramps and pain. Due to the changes within your system when nearing a period, your body is already weak and you may experience cramps and pain. When stressed, the frequency of cramps increases and so does the level of pain. This is because stress directly increases the perception of pain, and thus your cramps get worse when stressed.
Length of cycle. Stress can affect the length of your cycle. When you face stress close to the ovulation phase, key hormones aren’t released on time and you may face delayed ovulation. This affects the schedule of your period and the length of your cycle. If there is a delay in your ovulation, you may face a longer cycle with heavier blood flow. Moreover, the onset of your next cycle is also uncertain!
To sum up
Stress and periods have a clear relationship and it’s better to not take on extra stress or pressure when closer to ovulation. This can impact your cycle and managing stress is the best way to bring your cycle back on track. Stress relief exercises, breathing and mindfulness are some of the easiest ways to release and reduce stress.
Evolve helps you proactively manage stress and find solutions to it with light and joyful guided audios!