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Can the Pandemic Be Affecting My Period?

Can the Pandemic Be Affecting My Period?

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 every day.

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 more serious.

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 WiseRhandi Wise, MD
Baton Rouge General Physicians - Obstetrics & Gynecology
(225) 237-1880

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