The COVID-19 is turning our world upside down. It is impacting our physical and mental health. People are experiencing anxiety and bouts of depression more than ever. It doesn’t matter whether it’s our sleeping habits or our menstrual cycle. Everything is in flux. The stress of the pandemic is causing changes in the menstrual pattern. Let’s have a look at how this pandemic is impacting periods. According to the Everteen Menstrual Hygiene survey which was conducted on 5000 women between the age of 18 to 35 years. Out of which, 41% of women experienced irregular gaps, 34% observed change in the intensity of bleeding, 20% missed their period at least once in the Covid times and 29% experienced painful periods.
Why are women experiencing changes in their period cycle?
Living through these disruptive times is stressful for everyone. However, the female sex is more affected by this novel virus. They are bearing the burden of increased domestic and financial responsibilities. Homeschooling, taking care of the ill-member, and dealing with family issues are emotionally exhausting for them. The supporting systems such as schools, creches, and other social organizations are inaccessible. The lesser contact with the outside world makes women feel lonely and overwhelmed. All this emotional weight and stress is impacting the period cycle and changing the way we bleed.
Doctors recognize the connection between stress and menstrual changes. The changes are light or heavy bleeding, uneven menstrual cycle, mood swings, unnecessary fatigue, painful cramps, and bigger clots in bleeding. Pandemic stress has worsened the period cycle. When stress increases, the HPA (Hypothalamus Pituitary Adrenal) axis stimulates. It releases the stress hormone, Cortisol, to help the body prepare to fight a threat. With a prolonged duration of stress, the HPA can burn out. This suppresses the pituitary gland that is responsible for the production of estrogen and progesterone. The suppression of the HPA axis results in amenorrhea. It means the absence of periods.
Females who have successfully beaten COVID are suffering from erratic period cycles. The menstrual cycle of women is getting delayed by 5 to 8 days atleast. Some are dealing with skipped periods and others with heavy bleeding. Blood clots are also a common side-effect. Another reason for changes in menstrual patterns is the disruption to lifestyle and routines. The sleeping patterns, eating habits, and exercise routines are no longer the same. Weight gain, longer working hours and an unhealthy diet is throwing the menstrual cycle out of rhythm.
What should you be doing?
The above discussion shows that stress is one of the major factors to affect the period cycle. We have tips for you to cope up with the pandemic. Follow them.
- Have a positive outlook
We all are experiencing tough times. One thing we must look forward to is that it will all pass. Don’t lose your calm. Your mental health is most important as it affects your overall well-being.
- Do meditation
It’s old-fashioned but has immense benefits. You have to focus only on three things, that is, observe your surroundings, sit in silence, and breathe consciously. Start meditating every day for 5 minutes. It makes you feel an immense amount of energy the whole day and improves your quality of sleep.
- Take proper Nutrition
Eat clean. Have a balanced diet and include fat, proteins, carbohydrates, minerals. Don’t miss out on the greens and a bowl full of fruits. Lack of nutrition makes you anemic which affects the bleeding pattern.
- Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day
The quality of sleep improves gradually. Exercise also relieves stress and anxiety. Research has shown people fall asleep 13 minutes faster. It also helps in having healthy periods. Take out time for exercise and start today.
- Consult a Doctor
Lastly, never ignore your irregular menstrual cycle. If you are experiencing spotting, heavy bleeding, or abnormal delays consult a doctor today.
Bring small changes into your lifestyle for a healthy and happy period. Subscribe to our newsletter for enlightening blogs on periods. Follow us on Instagram.