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How Stress Can Affect Your Period

Stress. It can affect anyone. It can cause headaches. And it is the only time you’ll get your jumper stuck on the door handle.

Also, stress can affect your period. 

Your period might become longer, shorter, and more painful. Your cycle length may change too. 

When your period starts to alter it can leave you feeling pretty concerned. 

“51% of adults who felt stressed reported feeling depressed, and 61% reported feeling anxious”

Here’s the How and Why Stress can Affect your Period, and What You Can Do About It

Periods can change over our lifetime. When you were younger you might have had heavier, irregular periods while your hormones were all over the place.

As you get older (and wiser…) your hormones start to settle and you may find those teenage aches and pains calm down and there is a rhythm with your period. 

Other times your period might change are:

  • During the perimenopause 
  • After being pregnant 
  • Starting a new intense diet or exercise plan
  • When you are stressed
stress can affect your period

How exercise stress affects your period 

If you’ve noticed long or short periods, them stopping altogether, or becoming more painful, it  could be a sign that you are stressed.

You might associate stress with being busy at work, but actually, there’s more to it than deadlines and big presentations (though those are stressful…more on that later)

Exercise also puts stress on your body. Your body won’t know whether your heart rate is so high because it’s running for survival, or because you are doing a Joe Wicks HIIT twice a day. This increases stress. I can speak from my own experience, it can play havoc with your period. 

How to tackle exercise stress

  • Swap a high-intensity session for yoga or pilates (we have a blog)
  • Try weight training, walking, swimming rather than high intensity cardio every session
  • Take rest days!! 

How work stress affects your period

If you are temporarily stressed because of a big interview, presentation, or work thing, then your period might be a few days late. 

However, when the stress is chronic, it can cause your period to go missing for months or longer. This could be a sign that you are overdoing it at work and need to take some steps to reduce stress.

How to reduce your stress at work

  • Tell your boss you’re feeling overwhelmed and make an action plan
  • Take breaks at lunchtime (AWAY from the desk)
  • Walk or exercise during your lunch break or before you start work
  • Try breathing exercises 
  • Take some time off, book a holiday or just have some time at home
  • If all else fails, maybe it is time to look for a new job

How stress can affect your period 

Your period is a great window into your overall health. If you start noticing issues with it, then it may be time to book a GP appointment. While changes to your cycle can be due to stress, it can also be a number of other things and is important to get checked.

From experience, I can tell you the GP will likely ask you lots of questions about how long it’s been like this, cycle dates etc. Take notes each month about what is happening. This way you will have all the information you need to get the necessary tests. 

stress affects your period

If you need any more ways to manage your stress, hit us up on instagram! @itsourremedy

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