Most people felt some sort of stress due to the coronavirus outbreak, whether
it was the fear of getting the virus, suddenly being out of work, having
to homeschool your children or just the fear of the unknown. This stress
may have caused your body to do some weird things, and one place you may
have noticed it most was in your monthly period.
Anxiety and stress caused by the pandemic can affect your cycle in more
ways than you think. During times of stress, your body releases cortisol,
a stress hormone that reacts with your regular hormones and misguides
your body. Your system then tries to prioritize safety over ovulation,
which can mean your period coming early, coming late, or not coming at
all. It can also cause heavier or lighter periods and make your menstrual
symptoms worse than normal.
Since your weight can be impacted during stressful times, keep in mind
that recent weight gain or weight loss may slow or stop ovulation altogether.
The change in weight may lead to a sudden hormone imbalance and change
the estrogen level in your body.
Changes in your period can even take place when you’re on birth control.
If you haven’t been on a regular schedule the past few months, you
may have been taking your pill at different times of the day. Being off
by an hour is not typically a problem, but sometimes, when you don’t
take it at your normal time, you forgot to take it, period. Now’s
a good time to set an alarm on your phone to remind you to take your pill
If you’re experiencing really heavy bleeding for more than one to
two days—like soaking through a super pad or tampon in less than
an hour -- feeling lightheaded or dizzy, chest pain, feeling like your
heart is beating very quickly, or getting out of breath much easier than
normal, talk to your doctor. They may want to see you to rule out something
Stress can cause your period to be irregular. You can detect and monitor
these changes by downloading an app designed to keep track of your cycles.
If you miss more than two periods and have a negative pregnancy test or
have anything else that concerns you, call your doctor to discuss.
Rhandi Wise, MD
Baton Rouge General Physicians - Obstetrics & Gynecology
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