How Quarantine Is F*cking With Your Period

Originally Published on August 6, 2020 Health | By Mora Gluskin

Anyone else have a love/hate relationship with their period? Every month it’s “yay not pregnant!” followed by an onslaught of torturous cramps, mood swings, and bloating. If you’re one of those people who somehow don’t suffer from painful periods, then please DM me all your secrets, because the struggle is real. There are a lot of varying factors that can affect your menstrual cycle, such as medications, weight changes, sleeping patterns, and lucky us, we can now add the pandemic to that list. Yes, that’s right, as if periods weren’t already annoying enough, the pandemic may be making them worse. Added stress from the pandemic can be the reason you’re suddenly skipping a month, or why it feels like a grown man is sitting on your abdomen. In order to figure out what’s going on with our menstrual cycles, I spoke with three certified women’s health experts to find out exactly why and how quarantine has been f*cking with your flow.

The Menstruation Situation

First, a little health lesson: what is menstruation? Menstruation is normal vaginal bleeding that occurs during a monthly cycle. Every month, the uterus prepares for pregnancy and if no pregnancy happens, it then sheds its lining, often ruining your day and your favorite pair of underwear. Periods are accompanied by premenstrual syndrome (PMS) that affects emotions, physical health, and behavior leading up to and during certain days of the menstrual cycle—so fun, right? Now that we’ve got the basics down, let’s dive into how menstruation can get messed up. 

Have you been experiencing particularly annoying or off periods lately? Turns out you’re not alone. Since the pandemic has begun, Dr. Jackie Walters (aka Dr. Jackie), author of The Queen V: Everything You Need To Know About Sex, Intimacy, and Down There Health Care, says that she’s seen a 10-15% increase in patients with irregular periods (missed periods, more frequent periods, heavier periods, etc.). While there’s no definitive answer as to why people are experiencing irregular periods, Dr. Jackie says, “There could be many theories such as sedentary lives, change in diet, and stress.” Trying to figure out if your period is considered abnormal? A typical menstrual cycle usually lasts 5-7 days and occurs roughly every 28 days. Your cycle is counted from the first day of your period to the first day of your next period, which can vary from woman to woman. Dr. Jackie says that, “Therefore an abnormal period would be anything that is much longer or shorter than that time length.” You can also tell if your period falls into the abnormal category if your cycles are closer than 21 days from start to start or further than 32 days apart. 

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