The effect lifestyle and habits have on your period – YourStory

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A delayed or missed period is always alarming. However, this need not be the case. A number of factors are responsible for period health, including many mundane every-day 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 an 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 feed our bodies, and our general lifestyles alter our menstrual cycles. It is true that irregular periods, over long periods of time, 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:

  1. Stress

It’s not mind-boggling that stress is the most common cause for 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 throw off the timing of the period – meaning early or delayed periods.

2.          Excess exercise

In most cases, exercising or starting a new exercise regimen should not affect your menstruation. However, sometimes, an extreme exercise regimen- maybe training for a marathon or frequent high intensity interval training- can cause irregularity in your menstrual cycle. Over-exercising causes an imbalance of hormones in your body and may lead to irregularity in your period.

3.          Smoking and excessive alcohol intake

Smoking and alcohol adversely affect your hormone levels and also have an impact on your sleep cycles, which may ultimately lead to an irregularity in your period. It is important that one be mindful of their baseline. One needs to be observant of their body rhythms and what is “normal” for their body.

 4.          Diet

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.

5. 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 imbalance in the production of melatonin levels, which plays a vital part in maintaining your menstrual health. 

6.          An inconsistent work schedule 

Inconsistent work schedules cause the body physical and mental stress; COVID 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 that one try to maintain a consistent work schedule and aid the body in functioning smoothly. 

All these factors are fundamental to healthy functioning of your body. While they may seem small and inconsequential, it is important that we give them due consideration. 

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