Five Things That Could Be Messing With Your Menstrual Cycle, And What To Do About It


Being a woman can be difficult at times, specially when your period is out of whack. The average cycle between 24 and 31 days is considered normal. You’d plan your life around it, making sure that never be caught without a tampon.

“A highly irregular period is usually a sign that something else isn’t right in your body,” says Veronica Lerner, MD, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at NYU Langone Medical Center.

Here are five things that could be messing with your menstrual cycle, and what to do a bout it:

Being overweight
Being overweight can sabotage more than your skinny jeans. Fat cells cause elevated levels of estrogen, which can increase your risk of endometrial cancer, and stop your ovaries from releasing an egg. “Obese women usually experience heavy, infrequent, longer-lasting periods.

Talk to your gynecologist about going on the pill. “The pill stabilizes the lining of your uterus and thins out your endometrial lining, decreasing your risk for endometrial cancer,” says Dr. Lerner.

Stress
Stressed out women were less likely to conceive, and a regular cycle is designed to do just that. “Since you can’t nourish a baby under extreme stress, your body temporarily shuts down the production of fertility hormones,” explains Dr. Lerner.

Relax. Take warm showers, listen to zen music and let go of whatever is causing your to be stressed.

Frequent rigorous exercise
Combining frequent rigorous exercise with low body fat puts stress on your body, and this stress tells your brain to stop producing reproductive hormones. One study found that half of exercising women experience subtle menstrual irregularity. A stressed body doesn’t produce enough estrogen. “And you need adequate levels of estrogen to build your uterine lining and have a period,” says Holly Puritz, director of OB/GYN services at Sentara Leigh Hospital in Virginia.

Take a couple of days off from the gym. Let your body rest and rebuild stressed out cells. Meditate. Replace one if your exercise sessions with Yoga.

Loosing too much weight in a short period of time If you’ve lost a significant amount of weight in a short period of time, your body may not produce enough estrogen. “You need adequate levels of estrogen to build your uterine lining and have a period,” says Holly Puritz, MD, and medical director of OB/GYN services at Sentara Leigh Hospital in Virginia.

However, if you’re still within a healthy range, your body should adjust within a few months.

If you stay within a healthy range, your body should adjust within a few months.

Irregular Sleep
Skimping on sleep can not only make you feel off, but it can wreck havoc your health and throw off your cycle, too. According to a recent study published by Sleep Medicine, people who work irregular hours are more likely to experience irregular periods.In order to adjust to the new schedule, your body suppresses the hormone until it’s dark again. These fluctuations aren’t good for your flow. “Irregular sleeping patterns can affect your melatonin levels and your reproductive hormones, which influence ovulation and menstruation,” says Fiona Baker, PhD, program director of SRI International’s Human Sleep Research Laboratory.

Whenever possible, go to bed early. If you work the night shift, use blackout curtains and earplugs to help you sleep well when it’s light out.


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