Mental Health & Periods
Mental stress can create irregularities or other troubles in your period. Your periods can take your mind through a roller coaster ride most of the time. Thus, all menstruators need to be cautious about this.
Here are how the basics of how they impact each other -
The Basics of the Menstrual Cycle and how it affects your Mental Health
The menstrual cycle is not merely those five days of the month; it starts from the day you start menstruating to the day before starting your next period. As per medical science, an ideal menstrual cycle is a 28 days cycle. Not every menstruator has the same timeline. There are two critical hormones involved in the menstrual cycle – Estrogen and Progesterone.
When you bleed during periods, both estrogen and progesterone are on the low. It may cause irritation, anxiety and make you feel low.
Once the periods are over, estrogen levels start to rise in your body till you ovulate when it is at its peak. It is the time when most women feel happy and confident.
After the day of ovulation, till you start to bleed again, progesterone starts to rise. As progesterone elevates further high, one may feel more annoyed, reactive and low. For some menstruators, it causes depression too. Such symptoms qualify for PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome). PMS may cause anxiety, pains, acne, bloating, lack of concentration, restlessness, fatigue, breast tenderness, anger and make you feel like crying, etc. Some women experience PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder) which gives severe mood swings, panic attacks, severe depression, etc. Always consult a doctor in such a case.
By understanding how hormones constantly affect your mental state, you can build better self-control. You can even plan easy and hard stuff to deal with accordingly. Also, read the article “Make your period happier and easier.”
Apart from hormone play, there are other reasons relating to periods that also impact mental health. Be it anticipating the arrival of period or irregular arrival of period or frequently running to the washroom for changing pads or constant worry about a stain on the dress. It often results in high anxiety levels. These are amongst some of the worst nightmares of most menstruators.
Impacts of Mental Health on Periods
When the stress hits, the regular functioning of your hormones can be affected. It causes a delay in periods or irregularities in periods. Some studies show that it may even cause delay or absence of ovulation.
Prolonged stress can even turn into depression. Depression can impact sleep, emotions, sex drive and periods. If depression becomes longer, one may experience irregular periods, absence of periods, PCOD and infertility. One may need to consult a therapist or a medical practitioner in this case.
These are some small, initial ways to deal with mental stress -
- Set aside a few minutes every day for your hobbies, be it painting, sewing or reading, etc. They are always instrumental in lifting your mood
- Regular physical exercises also help boost your happy hormones
- Share what you are going through with your family or your friends. You will be able to get the load off your mind. You might also find some valuable insights that will help in coping with situations in a better way.
- Meditation is also one of the effective ways to charge your inner self. It will strengthen you mentally and emotionally.
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By Payal Kulshreshtha
Read more of my work here!