Has COVID 19 affected your menstrual cycle?
Have you noticed a recent change in your menstrual cycle?
If you have it could be due to coronavirus.
Our daily routines have changed. Before the coronavirus, we may have visited the gym three times a week, managed to eat our five-a-day, and resisted reaching for the chocolate hidden in the back of the cupboard.
Coronavirus has forced us to stay at home and not see some family members and friends. Some have lost their jobs, others have had to work longer shifts and perhaps work through the night.
The changes to our lives can leave us feeling stressed, anxious, tired, overwhelmed, and even depressed.
What if the stress caused by these changes could also change the length of your cycle, and could even cause severe period pain.
Dr Anita Mitra shared a post on her Instagram feed that caught our attention. She shared that the body reacts to stress via the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal gland axis (HPA axis). Dr Mitra explains that the HPA axis is the brain and the adrenal glands chatting to one another in response to the occurrence of stress, and it can amend the hormone production accordingly. This then affects the body’s systems, which has an impact upon the ovaries, and you’ve guessed it, can impact your period.
Dr Mitra asked her Instagram audience if they had noticed any changes in their cycle, 65% of those who took part said yes and 35% said no. Check out Dr Mitra’s Instagram highlights to read the questions women have asked and her responses.
Although there isn’t research to link coronavirus to changes to our period, research has shown that stress can affect our periods. Studies have shown that women with high stress levels were twice as likely to have painful periods (dysmenorrhoea) than women who had low stress levels. The NHS share that stress is one of the most common causes of periods stopping.
The World Health Organisation has responded to people’s mental health during the pandemic and states the main psychological impact to date is elevated rates of stress or anxiety.
Being stressed and anxious can lead us to under or overeat, and exercising less, if at all. It’s easy to lack the motivation to pull on your jogging bottoms and go for a run, and it’s harder not to reach for the fridge door every time boredom sets in.
How to Reduce Stress and Keep Your Cycle Normal
A great way to reduce stress is to exercise and as difficult as it may be to get going, once you’ve finished your workout, you’ll feel better for it. Try a mixture of workouts, there’s a wide range of activities you could try, whether it’s yoga in your living room or running around your local park.
However, make sure you’re striking the right balance. Overeating and a lack of exercise can cause oestrogen levels to rise, which can lead to your period stopping or becoming irregular. Undereating and exercising too much can lead to losing too much body fat, which affects your hormones, and therefore affecting your menstrual cycle.
If you’re finding your cycles are all over the place then why not track your cycle. See if you can find a pattern between your emotions, other physical symptoms that stress can cause, such as nausea or headaches, and your periods.
Benefits of Using Reusable Menstrual Products
If your cycles have become irregular, longer, or you’re bleeding heavily, you are probably having to spend more money on pads, tampons, and liners. Just the stress of going out to the shops and wondering if they’ll be any menstrual products on the shelves can be overwhelming.
If you’ve ever thought about trying reusable menstrual products, (and we can think you should), then this is the perfect time for you to try them. Think about it, you’ve constantly got period protection at home. You simply use, wash, and re-use. The stress of battling with other shoppers and struggling to find your favourite pads could be over. Let’s not forget the added bonus of saving money in the long-run and the benefits to your health and the environment.
Reusable period product during lockdown
Perhaps you haven’t tried reusables as you’re afraid that you may leak, that’s understandable. When we’re used to a product, why would you change?
Our period pants can hold up to 4 tampons-worth of blood, and we’ve got you covered for your medium to lighter days too. Just think about it, you don’t have to keep going to the bathroom every couple of hours to change your pad or tampon and you can sleep through the night knowing that WUKA is taking care of your period.
If you can see that the long-term benefits outweigh your fears of leaking, then whilst you’re at home is the perfect opportunity to try reusables.
Wrapping It Up
We’re not saying that coronavirus is changing your flow. However, there’s clear evidence to show that stress caused due to the pandemic is a reason for your menstrual cycle to change.
Make sure you’re finding time for both emotional and physical self-care. While you’re in the comfort of your home, give reusables a try. It will make a world of difference to your period experience.
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