A delayed period or missed period is always alarming. However, this need not be the case. Several factors are responsible for period health, including many mundane everyday activities. Some people may be more sensitive to change than others, but this in no way is indicative of a problem to worry about.
On average, menstruating people have 11-13 menstrual cycles per year, but of course, every person is different. The physical and mental environment we are in, what we eat, and our general lifestyles alter our menstrual cycles. It is true that irregular periods, over long durations, can be indicative of something larger – a pregnancy, menopause or polycystic ovary disorder – but this isn’t always the case.
You may want to consider the following factors the next time you find some irregularity in your menstrual cycle:
It’s not mind-boggling that stress is the most common cause of irregular periods. When you stress out your brain, it essentially releases stress hormones. This, in turn, causes your body to react in a way that causes side-effects such as sleeplessness, acne, and irregularity in your period. Stress causes the body to either delay the period or advances it.
In most cases, exercising or starting a new exercise regimen should not affect your menstruation. However, sometimes, an extreme exercise regimen – training for a marathon or frequent high-intensity interval training – can cause irregularity in your menstrual cycle. When you over-exercise, it causes an imbalance of hormones in your body and may lead to irregularity in your period.
Smoking and excessive alcohol intake
Smoking and alcohol adversely affect your hormone levels and they also have an impact on your sleep cycles that may ultimately lead to irregular periods. One must be mindful of their baseline and needs to be observant of their body rhythms and what is “normal” for their body.
Again, it’s a no-brainer that you are what you eat. While everyone is allowed to indulge in junk foods once in a while, sustained diet overhauls will affect your menstrual cycle. Remember that nutrition must take precedence over calories.
Irregular sleep cycle
Inadequate sleep will disrupt the hormone levels in your body. This will directly affect your ovulation and menstruation. Lack of sleep causes an imbalance in the production of melatonin levels, which plays a vital part in maintaining your menstrual health.
An inconsistent work schedule
Inconsistent work schedules cause the body physical and mental stress; COVID-19 has only accelerated this. Working from home has blurred the lines between weekdays and weekends, days and nights, and has impacted employees’ mental and physical health. This takes a direct toll on your menstrual cycle. It is important to maintain a consistent work schedule and thus aid the body in functioning smoothly.
All the above-mentioned factors are fundamental to the healthy functioning of your body. While they may seem small and inconsequential, we must give them due consideration.