Can Stress Delay Your Period
Having a manageable amount of stress in your life is normal. But excessive levels of stress, whether physical or mental, can be detrimental to your health. One of the effects of stress is a spike in cortisol, sometimes called the stress hormone.
This is how it happens. Extreme physical, emotional, or nutritional stress activates a chain reaction in your body. It starts from changes in brain activity and activity in the brain endocrine glands, passes through the suprarenal gland where stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline are released into the blood, and disrupts the hormonal balance of the reproductive organs.
What Are The Possible Health Consequences
In the short term, skipping periods shouldn’t cause you harm. However, if it goes on for a longer time, it may cause some problems. Price says the major potential long-term consequences of irregular periods, particularly if you have PCOS are:
Understanding The Length Of Your Cycle
To get an idea of your cycle length and when your periods are due, it is a great idea to keep a record of your periods. This can be done on a period tracker app on your phone or on a calendar.
The length of a cycle is counted from the first day of one period to the first day of the next.
It is a good idea to track your period length over several months to get an idea of how much your cycle changes. This can help you find out what is normal for you. If you are ever concerned and decide to see a doctor, this record also makes it easier to explain what is happening with your cycles, particularly if there is no observable pattern.
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Why Losing Your Period Matters
When youre of childbearing age, a regular menstrual cycle is one of the most important indicators of your health.
Losing your period is like a big, blaring siren warning you that your body is experiencing an imbalance. Even if right now, the only symptom is your period missing, hypothalamic amenorrhea is a sign that there is a bigger issue going on.
Even if you dont want to have kids now or ever, your body needs a menstrual cycle to stay healthy. Ovulation is necessary for the production of estrogen. If youre not ovulating, estrogen levels will drop and your risk of osteoporosis and stress fractures increases.
The bottom line is that women of childbearing age need to be ovulating regularly to stay healthy. When your period has gone missing, there is a root cause, and that root cause is likely creating other dysfunction in the body.
When To See A Gp
You don’t need to get medical advice if you have always had slightly irregular periods or you’re still going through puberty.
But see a GP if:
- your periods suddenly become irregular and you’re under 45
- you have periods more often than every 21 days or less often than every 35 days
- your periods last longer than 7 days
- there’s a big difference between your shortest and longest menstrual cycle
- you have irregular periods and you’re struggling to get pregnant
There might not be anything wrong, but it’s a good idea to get checked out to see what the cause might be.
You might be referred to a specialist called a gynaecologist if you need any tests or treatment.
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How Long Is Your Menstrual Cycle
Uh-oh, PMS. Expect the possibility of irritability, cramps and even a few tears right now. Be ready with these 10 tips for tackling PMS and wear your ALWAYS pantiliners too.
It’s that time again. As the lining of your uterus sheds, your period starts. This is also the official start of your cycle. Want to know more? Here are answers to 10 common period questions. And make sure youre stocked up on ALWAYS pads!
- Up to 100 % leak-free periods are possible.
- A better fit means better protection and comfort.
- Find your size for day and overnight protection.
Your bleeding has stopped – or at least lightened up a lot by now. Here are more details about the 4 menstrual cycle phases if youd like more details. Because every month is a little different, carry ALWAYS pantiliners with you just in case.
What To Do If Period Is Late
If the expected date has passed and theres still no sign of your cycle, wait it out for at least 30 days. If you get your period within this time, it was probably due to stress, dietary changes, etc. If you still dont get your period or if you realize its been irregular for a while, consult your doctor.
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Is Your Period Healthy
How do you know if your hormones are healthy? The answer is in your 5th vital sign your period.
The color of your flow, frequency of your period, and symptoms you have each month can tell you a lot about your health. There are 5 different V-SIGN TYPES, and knowing which one you have will help you get healthy now and prevent disease in the future.
Weight Gain And Obesity
Weight gain and obesity can affect the frequency of your period in a couple of ways. Rapid weight gain can throw your cycle off because it affects the hypothalamus, which is a part of your brain that regulates hormones. That can lead to hormonal fluctuations that may cause periods to be more frequent or less frequent.
Obesity has a complex relationship with menstruation. High levels of fat, also called adipose tissue, can upset the balance of sex hormones and lead to more estrogen than you need. Too much estrogen can make you have short menstrual cycles and more periods. It also can cause heavier bleeding, more cramps, and more prolonged pain during your period. These problems are most severe when fat is mostly around the belly.
Losing weight, or maintaining a healthy weight, can help keep your menstrual cycle regular. If you need help losing weight, talk to your doctor about what options you have.
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Get Your Daily Dose Of Vitamins
A linked low levels of vitamin D to irregular periods and suggested that taking vitamin D may help regulate menstruation.
A 2014 study also found it effective in treating menstrual irregularity in people with PCOS.
Vitamin D is often added to some foods, including milk and other dairy products and cereal. You can also get vitamin D from sun exposure or through supplementation.
B vitamins are often prescribed to those who are trying to conceive. They may help , but more research is needed to confirm these claims.
B vitamins may also lower the risk of premenstrual symptoms. A
When using a supplement, follow the instructions on the packaging, and only buy supplements from reputable sources. You should also talk with your doctor to get the go-ahead before adding any new vitamins or supplements into your diet.
Skipping Or Discontinuing Birth Control
Birth control pills suppress your normal menstrual cycle with hormones that prevent ovulation. The pills usually come in a three-week supply followed by a week of placebos , and the lack of hormones during the placebo week is what makes you have a period.
When you go off of the pill, or even miss just a pill or two, your body may react like it does during the placebo week and start shedding the uterine lining. This can happen even if it hasn’t been very long since your last period. A similar process happens if you make a mistake with a birth control patch or ring.
The proper way to resume your birth control after missing one or more doses varies by type, so be sure to read the information that comes with your contraceptive or ask your doctor or pharmacist what to do. And don’t forget that you may need a backup method of contraception or emergency contraception to avoid an unintended pregnancy.
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When You Cant Keep Normal Circadian Rhythms
There is a possibility that your current life circumstances are working against you improving your sleep hygiene. These circumstances are frequently related to work, where you may travel internationally or work the nightshift. These are ultimately things that work against your circadian rhythms because they interfere with the way our brain has been designed to function.
Remember, our brains are designed to shift into sleep when there is no light. Changing the amount of time you are exposed to light, or the lack thereof will shift your bodys response.
While its probably not likely that a loss of a period is caused by poor sleep hygiene alone, if you are looking for ways to improve your cycle or regain it, its important to understand just how closely connected these pathways are in our brains.
If you have a night shift job, or one that makes you travel through multiple time zones, this could be an area of your life hindering you from getting back a regular menstrual cycle.
If you are planning for a family and fertility, your reproductive hormones will function best when youre putting in the best practices for good sleep and a proper circadian rhythm.
And while you may not want to quit your job to fix this issue, its important to do everything you can to optimize your circadian rhythms in all other areas of your life!
Heres a great post by Nom Nom Paleo all about Surviving The Night Shift if you cant control that area of your life.
Can I Exercise If I Have Hypothalamic Amenorrhea
The amount of exercise that can trigger hypothalamic amenorrhea is all relative. Whats too much for another person might be OK for you, and vice versa.
In general, if youre wondering if what youre doing is too much, it probably is. When in doubt, do less. This is especially true for longer-duration cardio, like running.
There will be time for more exercise when youve recovered from HA, but right now any exercise youre doing is only further stressing your body out. That means youre not reaping the benefits of this exercise, it is actually making you more unhealthy.
The best exercise you can do while healing HA is the simple, gentle, and joyful stuff: walking outside, yoga, swimming, and hiking are all good options.
The only rule is it has to be fun and feel good. If youre exhausted after a long day, and your body is begging you to lay down for a few minutes, that outside walk is going to do more harm than good.
Cutting out all exercise and focusing on just your normal daily movement might be what is best for your body right now.
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May Improve Blood Flow And Color
Beetroot is a potent source of nitrate, an inorganic compound linked to several health benefits from stronger cardiovascular health to better athletic performance. But, how do nitrates help with your menstrual cycle?
Once ingested, inorganic nitrate in beetroots is converted into nitric oxide, subsequently raising your bodys nitric oxide content. Research explains nitric oxide helps increase blood flow to the muscle cells. Consuming beets may thus boost blood flow to the uterus and other reproductive organs involved in your menstrual cycle to promote more regular periods.
Another side benefit from better blood circulation relates to the color of your period blood. Some of us may have encountered dark brown to black period blood, aka dark menstruation, from time to time. While the color may seem alarming, its usually no cause for concern. Darker shades of menstrual blood actually represent old blood that had stayed in your uterus longer than it should, causing it to oxidize and change color. Better menstrual blood flow, courtesy of the nitrates in beetroot, will likely put a stop to dark menstrual discharge, returning it to its usual red color.
Hypothalamic Amenorrhea & mental Health
Psychological and emotional stress can be a risk factor for developing FHA. However, it can also be a symptom of FHA.
The relationship between mental health and loss of the menstrual cycle is bidirectional. So it can occur in both directions, even at the same time .
People with FHA have significantly higher depression scores, greater anxiety, and increased difficulty coping with daily stress.
This is likely due to higher cortisol levels associated with FHA.
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Here’s How To Get Your Period Back After Going Off Birth Control
Oral birth control prescriptions are handed out to teenagagers and young adults for a variety of reasons, from hormonal acne and painful periods to preventing pregnancy. Years pass and these same individuals start thinking about having kids, or maybe just want to know how their bodies will feel without the constant influx of synthetic hormones. They stop taking the pill and are surprised to find that their period doesnt come back right away, sometimes for months.
This isnt everyones story, of course. Some bounce right back and begin ovulating again immediately, or within a few months. But as more and more individuals who have been on the pill for upwards of 10 years start to come off of it, theyre caught off guard by what is technically called secondary amenorrhea, or not getting a period for three months or more after having had one previously.
Because secondary amenorrhea is such a common problem, theres quite a bit of advice floating around social media on getting your period back, particularly among wellness influencers. Supplements seem to work for some, while others end up seeking the help of doctors to trigger a period for them.
If this is something youre struggling with, a conversation with your doctor is always a good first step. Below, find some other actionable things you can do.
What About Food Quality
Yes, it still matters, and you dont necessarily want to go headfirst into a box of Lucky Charms. But you might benefit from adding more calorie-dense foods into your diet. Think foods like oatmeal, rice, and quinoa.
Taking the stress out of eating and exercise is what this is really all about. You shouldnt be stressing about making the right food choice all the time. Try and listen to your body, eat what youre craving when youre hungry, and stop when youre full. Sometimes you might eat too much or too little, but thats all part of the journey.
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