Stressful situations and the factors affecting menstrual cycle

Stressful situations and the factors affecting menstrual cycle
© iStock/JulyProkopiv

Modern life is full of stressful situations and triggers that can negatively affect the mood of women, here we explore the 5 factors affecting menstrual cycle.

Once a month, most women have to juggle all of the emotions that invade their minds and hearts in the lead up to menstrual periods. How stress affects menstruation is quite difficult to assess. However, untreated stress, combined with increased hormone levels, can wreak havoc in daily lives, as well as cause women to suffer from other mental health issues like insomnia, loss of appetite and anxiety. In fact, chronic stress and anxiety are so closely related that it is easy to mistake temporary stress for a chronic anxiety disorder. Here Madeleine Taylor explores the many stressful situations and factors affecting menstrual cycle.

Factors affecting menstrual cycle

Having a regular cycle when it comes to menstruation is really important to women’s health. Women tend to plan important events like holidays, birth control (pregnancy), and even important work meetings around their monthly period.

So, when a woman is just about to board the plane for her yearly dream vacation in the Bahamas, the last thing she needs is for her period to turn up. Yet it happens far more often than initially thought, which means that managing stress and anxiety can usually rectify an irregular cycle.

Here are the five primary ways that stressful situations affect the menstrual cycle and, what can be done about it.

The delay in ovulation

When you are stressed in the lead up to ovulation, it makes is really difficult for certain hormones to be triggered and released on schedule. This will result in delayed ovulation, meaning your period will not be on time or predictable.

The main problem with delayed ovulation is that it puts a huge spanner in the works when it comes to planning events around your period. In addition, this can lead to further stress, as you will probably start worrying that something is wrong and before you know it, you have ended up in a vicious cycle of anxiety.

Delayed ovulation also poses a significant challenge to women who are planning to get pregnant, especially if they have struggled with fertility issues in the past.

A longer cycle

No one wants their period to last longer than is absolutely necessary, but this is exactly what can happen as a side effect of stress. When you are going through delayed ovulation, you will unfortunately likely have to endure a longer cycle than usual, and you could also experience a heavier flow.

The onset of your next cycle would also be late, so you would essentially be left guessing as to how long your period will last and when it will actually turn up. In today’s uncertain times, we certainly don’t need to be adding more unpredictable and stressful events into our lives!

Your period stops entirely

Stress situations can have a powerful effect on the menstrual cycle including the amount of bleeding, the level of cramps, and, in some cases, your period could stop altogether.

This is more common if you are dealing with a reduced appetite as a result of stress or anxiety, as being underweight can also cause your period to stop.

You will not ovulate

While you will still bleed each month, you won’t actually be ovulated. This can be a huge issue if you are trying to conceive, as it may look like you have your period as usual, yet you will not be able to get pregnant.

One of the most reliable ways to figure out, whether you are ovulating or not, is to chart your cervical mucus to see if it peaks or not; if it doesn’t, then you might not be ovulating and you should consult a physician to rectify the situation and obtain professional advice.

Your PMS gets worse

Throwing stress and anxiety into the mix of fluctuating hormones and mood swings isn’t exactly a recipe for success. Many women struggle with PMS and sometimes it gets so bad that it can result in heavy menstrual bleeding, anxiety attacks, and bouts of depression.

If you have noticed that your PMS has got a lot worse recently, then you need to take a serious look at the stress levels and triggers in your life in order to be able to restore normality.

How to manage stressful situations the natural way

Aside from affecting our period, stress can greatly affect many other aspects of our lives in a negative way. This is why it is of utmost importance to take steps to ensure that you have your stress under control. Regardless of how old you are, you should never underestimate the fact that stress is usually the root cause of a wide range of serious medical conditions, which include:

  • Hypertension;
  • Increased risk of stroke;
  • Increased risk of heart attack;
  • Depression; and
  • Insomnia.

There are also many more issues that are not always so apparent.

Thankfully, you are not alone and many women around the world have had great success managing and eliminating stress from their lives by using the following tool to help them live a more harmonious life.

CBD oil for stress

Based on recent news, it seems that this natural tincture is capable of treating virtually any illness on the planet. And while there will be some exaggerations and also scepticism with regards to its efficacy, many people have been able to significantly reduce stress and anxiety via the use of cannabis oil.

It is now entirely legal for medical use across the U.S., although it must only contain very low levels of THC (the compound of cannabis that makes you high) in certain states.

CBD Oil does not give psychoactive effects

When you use CBD oil for therapeutic purposes, the cannabinoids present will cancel out the psychoactive effects.

So, essentially you can enjoy all of the healing properties of the marijuana plant, without the disruption of being stoned and feeling as though you just want to stare at the ceiling all day.

Not only does nature’s miracle herb manage the symptoms of stress and anxiety for you, but it also works to fix other issues like insomnia and period pain. Certain strains will even help you to control the monthly munchies that many women seem to get during the time of their period.

Final thoughts

CBD oil is an incredibly potent remedy for stress, but you have to form a partnership with it, in order to experience the maximum benefits. What I mean is that a degree of self-healing will also come from your own willpower and, of course, your lifestyle.

If you are dealing with your stress by downing three bottles of wine every night before chowing down on a KFC, then you are subconsciously counteracting anything positive that you are doing for your body. Any medicine—be it pharmaceutical or natural—should be complemented with an active, healthy lifestyle.

Above all, however, if you are concerned about your health in any way, you should visit your doctor.

Madeleine Taylor

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