Stress and Periods: Life Happens and So Does Its Impact

Our body is this complex hormone driven system of cause, release and resulting action.   I was going to say something like:  “said more simply”.     However, there is nothing simple about the menstrual cycle and how it happens with regularity every month.  In fact (and I swear this is true), every time I read about hormone secretions that happen over the month to regulate the various aspects of normal body functioning, I am totally amazed that anyone has a “normal” 28-day cycle.  

The fact is the menstrual cycle can be impacted by physical and emotional stress.   While we all have stressors every day, it depends on how extreme they are for your system, as to whether your periods will be altered.  It is well known that the following can cause changes in the menstrual cycle:  athletes during training, excessive dieting, personal illness, deadlines at work or school, raising a teen, dealing with a newborn and all the changes any of that brings, as well as anything that is outside your usual being that impacts sleep, emotions, health, and causes strain to your being.  

I was inspired to write this after reading an article on the Tampax.com website called Stress and How It Affects Your Menstrual Cycle, authored by Dr. Christina Matera (a link is below).   Stress has been on my mind lately with the most recent current events, situations friends are dealing with, and ways life can change suddenly, whether we want it to our not.  Actually, from what Dr. Matera says and what I know to be true, the shutdown of the menstrual cycle makes perfect adoptive sense.  If your body could talk to you, it would say:  ok enough for the moment, as there is too much happening already.   We’ll hold off on the period part for now until things get back to normal.  (My body would also say:  work on your stuff, you can do it and stop lamenting on things you can’t change!  My Pilates instructor’s body would say:  there is peace in stretching.)  

I strongly believe that it is important to know how your body functions during times of extreme happenings that life can bring to us whether we want whatever is happening to occur or not.   That way, we can address it and find ways to help ourselves to minimize long-term negative impact when your body is out of synch.   Dr. Matera offers some suggestions to help us cope and bring our bodies back to what is normal for us.  

Have you ever had any period changes as a result of stress?  How did you deal with the situation and are you in a better place now (sure hope so!)?  Also, feel free to let me know if you have any questions about the article.  

Wishing everyone only good things!

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