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How stress affects the period

how stress affects period

The periods that are delay, this is the worst-case! Not being able to predict when it’s going to happen is super unpleasant, in addition to being stressful.

And the number one reason we think our period is late is of course pregnancy. But if you are not sexually active or know for sure that you are not pregnant, there are also several other reasons that cause your period to be delayed. Here they are.

1. Stress

Yes, stress, worry, or even anxiety can be enough disturbance to delay your period. If this is your case, I give you a big virtual hug and I wish you that it gets better (naturally or because you make certain changes / take the means to reduce it ).

2. A big change in routine

We’re not talking about a small change or a new activity in your schedule, but rather something major, like a trip with a significant jet lag, that really disrupts your sleep cycle and your mealtimes. 

Just like the digestive system which can be greatly disrupted in this case, it can cause your period to be late.

3. An eating disorder

No one likes to talk about it and many deny being a victim of it, but under-normal weight can be associated with stopping your period. 

If you feel a bit stuck in a cycle of deprivation or control over your food and your cycle changes, I beg you to speak up and consult. It’s entirely possible to get out of it before you go too far. 

4. Overtraining

VERY intense and sustained participation in just about any sport or physical activity can cause amenorrhea, which is the stopping of menstruation. Those particularly “at-risk”: gymnasts, dancers, runners, etc. If you train almost every day for more than a few hours, it may be. 

And while this is not a problem in itself, it is important to understand that the body does this because it considers that a pregnancy could not be completed under these conditions.

Training is important, especially when you are very dedicated to a sport or another physical activity … But sometimes, without even realizing it, you can come to go beyond the stage of health and optimal form.

5. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

Still little known a few years ago, this syndrome is better understood today and above all, more widespread than one thinks! Symptoms of this syndrome, more commonly known as PCOS in English, can include irregular periods, excess weight, increased hairiness, acne, and very oily skin … 

It is a condition that is not immediately serious but requires medical follow-up because in the long term, fertility is affected and the risks of developing diabetes or endometrial cancer are higher. If you have these symptoms, it is therefore important to consult. 

6. A thyroid gland problem

There are two things that can happen with the thyroid: it can slow down (hypothyroidism) or on the contrary, be too active (hyperthyroidism). Both forms can affect the menstrual cycle.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism are constant fatigue and weakness, weight gain, cold extremities,  hair loss, difficulty concentrating, etc.

As for hyperthyroidism, it is characterized by insomnia, irritability, weight loss despite increased appetite, diarrhea, etc. 

Again, it is important to see a doctor if you have these symptoms. 

7. Certain methods of contraception

If you have been using a new method of contraception (for a few months at the most) such as an intrauterine device (IUD) or an injection of progesterone (Depo-Provera), it is normal for your periods to decrease or even stop. 

In this case, there is usually nothing to worry about.

8. Chronic disease

Other chronic conditions that are not taken care of can also affect the menstrual cycle.

Doctors cite among others Lyme disease (which unfortunately is likely to become more and more common), celiac disease (related to gluten intolerance that becomes autoimmune), rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, or even the syndrome irritable bowel.

9. Here’s a great way to find out your cycle.

There are several mobile apps that allow you to track your menstrual cycle; some are more focused on conception while others simply allow you to better understand your body and make predictions. The one I use is called  Flo; it’s in English, but it’s easy to understand and there are plenty more! 

How the app works: we enter the date of the first day of our period as well as its usual duration for a few months. After a while, the app becomes able to predict the exact date of our next period, PMS days, etc.

It’s great to see a calendar several months in advance, with periods of menstruation; Among other things, it allows better planning of trips, special events, etc. The app can also predict fertile days, but it should not be used as the sole method of birth control. 

Sometimes, if you’re not careful, it’s easy to forget the exact date of your previous period, so you might think you’ve been late for a few days when you haven’t ever been! This kind of app helps to avoid unnecessary stress. 


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