How does stress affect your Period?

Stress and anxiety seem to be constant companions for modern women, not to mention depression or sadness. Mental health affects a woman's physical and emotional well-being. So, what's its impact on menstrual cycles? Can stress cause irregularities or temporary disruptions in your menstrual cycle? Find detailed answers in this article.

Published on:Sep 25th 2023 |Updated on:Mar 10th 2024
الحالة النفسية

Stress's Effect on Menstrual Cycles

Stress is a key factor affecting a woman's mental health. The brain region, the hypothalamus, is responsible for regulating menstrual cycles. This area is highly sensitive and can be affected by emotions, dietary changes, sleep, and family issues. So, when the stress hormone cortisol comes into play, it directly impacts this region, disrupting the secretion of menstrual hormones and leading to irregularities in menstrual cycles. Your cycles may become lighter, heavier, or even disappear for a few months due to elevated stress levels.

Psychological Changes Affecting Menstrual Cycles

  • Sleep disorders, either too little or too much sleep.
  • Eating disorders, either overeating or under-eating.
  • Overexercising.
  • Long-term feelings of stress and anxiety.
  • Feeling down or depressed.

When Should You see a doctor?

Consult your gynecologist if you notice that your mental state has caused any of the following issues:

  • A delay in your menstrual cycle for more than three months without being pregnant.
  • A noticeably lighter menstrual flow and shorter duration. For example, if your usual cycle lasts at least five days and it has reduced to two days.
  • An increase in the duration and heaviness of the menstrual flow, like if bleeding is much heavier than usual and the cycle lasts longer than a week.
  • Menstrual pain is more severe than usual and unbearable.

Ideas to Improve Mental Health

Adopt a Healthy Diet

When stressed, you might rush to eat ice cream and chocolate. However, sugar and preservatives can worsen your mental condition. Stick to a healthy diet of protein, fresh vegetables, fruits, and nuts to improve your mental well-being. Try to avoid processed and fatty foods as much as possible.

Exercise Regularly

Exercise is the key to physical and mental health. Regular exercise, whether walking outdoors or doing various workouts at home or in the gym. This will help you lose excess weight and improve your muscle mass and mental state.

Breathe Properly

You probably forget to breathe calmly and regularly because you're busy and have many responsibilities. Practice daily breathing exercises for ten minutes right after you wake up and before you go to bed. Proper breathing effectively and quickly reduces tension and anxiety.

Practice Yoga and Meditation

The stretching exercises in yoga, emptying your mind, and practicing meditation effectively relieve the body and mind from tension and anxiety. They also stimulate the release of relaxation hormones.

Get Enough Sleep

Avoid staying up late and aim for an early bedtime. Stay away from screens before sleep for better-quality rest. Sleep is essential for controlling anxiety and stress levels, improving your mental state, and strengthening your immune system.

Cut Down on Caffeine

Despite the numerous benefits of coffee for women, excessive tea, coffee, and caffeine-rich energy drinks significantly increase stress and anxiety levels. So try to reduce caffeine intake and limit coffee to the mornings.

Hang Out with Your Friends

Spending time with friends is therapeutic. Close your circle of friends and hang out with them regularly to discuss your concerns and seek advice when needed. A healthy social life is a cornerstone for good mental health.

Quit Smoking

Smoking in its various forms is fundamentally harmful to your health and reduces the oxygen flow in your body, which increases anxiety and harms your mental health. So quit smoking and immediately improve your health level.

Seek Professional Help

If the above tips don't work for you, you may need the support of mental health professionals to develop a treatment plan that suits your condition. Don't feel embarrassed or scared; these experts will help you overcome all these negative feelings effectively and positively.



OmoomaOmooma | First Online Arabic Motherhood Training Platform

Omooma is the first Online platform offering classes in Arabic dedicated to mothers and mothers-to-be. In addition to content covering many relevant topics, women’s health, pregnancy, fertility, child’s health, and parenting. Omooma’s articles are written by medical writers, based on extensive research, and reviewed by a panel of experts who are part of the largest team of experts available in the region in all fields related to the journey of motherhood.

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