How Quarantine Is F*cking With Your Period
The stress from living in quarantine has drastically changed most of our sleeping, eating, and exercise patterns, which can in turn have adverse effects on our menstrual cycles. Dr. Sherry A. Ross, women’s health expert and author of She-ology the She-quel and founder of She-ology Hormonal Supplements for women explains, “The way our bodies handle and manage periods and stress is a very complex hormonal balancing act. When this wiring is significantly disrupted (like during a global pandemic) the balance is upset and our bodies become out of sync and changes in our normal bodily functions become noticeable.” Dr. Sherry goes on to say that, “Given the unprecedented world changes happening with COVID-19 and social injustices, [our] stress levels are beyond the usual amounts we can normally tolerate.” Our increased state of anxiety, while justified, can be significantly affecting our body, resulting in physical changes, like heavier flows, or having no periods at all.
Stress can wreak havoc on our menstrual cycles. Dr. Felice Gersh, an award-winning OB/GYN and founder and director of the Integrative Medical Group of Irvine, and author of PCOS SOS Fertility Fast Track tell us that, “Stress can predominantly cause irregularities of the cycle by interfering with ovulation, but can also increase menstrual cramps, heavy periods, and worsen PMS.” She continues, “Stress alters hormones and creates imbalances, and can increase cortisol.” When we’re stressed, we release cortisol, which can alter our reproductive hormones. These chemical imbalances can cause irregular cycles. Stress can make your period a day late, a week late, or even a month late. I’m all for surprises, but c’mon, how about a proposal, or a pizza, not my period. Dr. Jackie adds that, “Not only can stress lead to amenorrhea (no menstrual cycles), but it can also lead to dysmenorrhea or painful cycles.” She continues, “When we are in a higher state of stress, it can cause us to have a heightened perception of pain.” So that’s great.