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Five things that could be messing with your periods

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Your monthly cycle is an indicator of your overall health. Any changes in the menstrual cycle should be analyzed carefully. In most cases, it is the lifestyle changes that attribute to changing the pattern and simple natural steps can assist bring the cycle back to your regular. Let’s look at some of the seemingly harmless habits and lifestyles that could be messing with your periods.

Extreme Stress

Even though we do not realize it, our psychological state directly affects our physical health. Excessive stress can have a negative impact on the reproductive system. When in stress the body produces ‘cortisol,’ a stress hormone. Increased cortisol levels disturb the hormonal balance in the body and disrupts ovulation. So if you are going through a challenging time in life, chronic stress can mess with your hormones and cause late or missed periods.

Excessive exercise

Vigorous exercise can also alter your cycle. Often athletes have irregular periods because of their high-intensity workouts. If you have low body fat and you exercise rigorously, it stresses the body out. When the body is in stress mode, it shuts down the less critical functions like reproduction and you miss your periods.

Drinking and smoking

Excessive alcohol and smoking can also affect your periods. Studies indicate that excessive alcohol can cause hormonal imbalance and irregular periods. Like alcohol, smoking also makes periods irregular and shorter. Smoking also makes PMS symptoms severe. Women who smoke may experience intensely painful cramps during periods. Smoking can also affect your fertility and increases the chances of cervical cancer in women.


Certain medicines can make your periods heavier and more prolonged. For example, Warfarin helps to prevent blood clot, but it makes the periods heavy and also causes bleeding in between periods. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen can make the periods light. Thyroid medicines may also cause changes in your periods. When you start medicine, it is best to discuss its effects on your periods.

Lack of sleep

Erratic sleep patterns can also influence the menstrual cycle. Women who work night shifts like nurses and flight attendants often experience irregular periods. Poor sleep can affect melatonin levels which is involved in regulating the monthly cycle. So try and sleep at the same time every day and get good seven-hour sleep to give body adequate rest.

You must keep track of your monthly periods and note significant changes in the flow and pattern. Consult a gynecologist to understand the reason for the change and the steps that can be taken to resolve the issue. 

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