Is a missed period causing stress or stress making you miss a period? Are those uncomfortable cramps and terrible back pain interfering within daily life? Wondering what to do about it? Here’s how can you cope up with irregular periods due to stress.
What is an irregular period?
A regular period usually lasts from 2 to 8 days. While some women get their periods on time like every 24 to 38 days, some women get their periods delayed or even miss them. Some women also suffer from unpredictable spotting.
You have an irregular period if:
- The time between menstrual cycles starts to vary
- You have abnormal bleeding, lose more or less blood, during a period
- Your period lasts longer or shorter than usual
So why do you have an irregular period? There are various factors that can cause an irregular period. The main reason is an imbalance of hormones- estrogen and progesterone for an irregular period. There can be both psychological as well as physiological factors that can disrupt this hormonal balance.
Some of the physiological conditions that can cause an irregular period are-
- Using certain medications or changing birth control pills
- Excessive exercising
- Having an intrauterine device
- Polycystic ovary syndrome(PCOS)
- Overactive/underactive thyroid
- Polyps in the uterine lining
- Uterine fibroids
Also Read: 10 Yoga Poses To Prevent Ovarian Cyst
Stress impacts the menstrual cycle to a large extent. Hence, it is important to make sure that you keep stress under control.
How stress affects the menstrual cycle?
When you are stressed, the body releases a stress hormone called cortisol. As stress increases, the level of cortisol rises. (Quick Read: How to Reduce Stress in Office? ) This cues the hypothalamus (an organ that controls and regulates the pituitary gland which controls the thyroid, adrenal and reproductive organs) from functioning properly. The hypothalamus doesn’t send signals to the ovaries to produce the eggs. Without this signal, the ovaries don’t function properly.
As the ovaries are unable to function properly, this leads to lower estrogen production, ovulation or other reproductive processes including irregular or missed periods.
In medical terms, the phenomenon of no periods when there is no pregnancy is known as amenorrhea. This can be caused by issues in the hypothalamus, pituitary glands, the ovaries, the uterus or the vagina.
Extreme stress can cause pain during menstruation, also known as dysmenorrhea. Women who have a history of dysmenorrhea, are more likely to suffer from more pain when under stress.
How does meditation help?
As stress affects the part of the brain responsible for producing hormones, it imbalances the hormonal levels thereby, giving rise to irregular/missed periods. So, relieving stress can help a woman fight irregular periods.
Meditation is the simplest way to reduce stress. There is sufficient evidence that suggests that regularly meditating improves stress-related mental health issues. It also decreases depression and anxiety.
Tips to meditate at home or work-
- Find a quiet place to focus
- Sit up straight with arms relaxed and hands-on knees
- Breathe in and out deeply
- Focus on the sound of breath
- Listen to other sounds in the surrounding
- Acknowledge each thought that comes and then letting them go
There are different types of meditation that one can try to cope up with stressful situations-mindfulness meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, guided meditation, etc.
Mindfulness, a type of meditation is widely practiced to influence attitudes about periods as well as severe premenstrual syndrome (PMS). When compared with other coping mechanisms, such as reading, meditation helps to get relief from PMS more effectively.
Women suffering from premenstrual symptoms such as pain and water retention can also get relief if they practice meditation regularly. Not only premenstrual symptoms but also menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats can also be cured with regular meditation.
What are the other home remedies that work for irregular periods?
In this fast-moving world, the solutions to our problems also to be fast. Along with regular meditation, you can follow the tips that are mentioned below-
Maintaining a healthy weight is essential
Overweight women are more prone to having irregular periods and suffer from heavier bleeding and pain. This is because the fat cells have an impact on the hormones and insulin. If you are overweight or obese, lose weight to regulate the period whereas if you are underweight, gain sufficient weight.
Polycistic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is one of the major reasons for irregular menstrual cycles. Exercise helps to maintain a healthy weight and reduce pain before or during your period.
Daily dose of vitamins
Low levels of vitamin D are associated with irregular periods. Hence, get your daily dose of vitamin D as it lowers the risk of certain diseases, aids weight loss and reduces depression.
Irregular periods are one of the most common health issues that affect women. There is enough evidence that suggests that stress is one of the major contributors to delayed or missed periods. Simple lifestyle changes such as regular meditation can help treat irregular periods. Reducing the stress level or finding effective coping mechanisms helps the body get a normal period.