Stress affects our menstruation so much, recognizing the sources of stress and having the right tools to balance our lifestyle, allows us to better enjoy our menstrual cycle and in particular the bleeding phase.Why is it important to talk about stress and menstruation?
What is meant by stress?
How does stress affect our menstrual cycle?
Why is it important to talk about stress when it comes to menstruation?
Stress in all its forms negatively affects the course of your menstrual cycle. It does this by altering the correct trend of the hormones that deal with the menstrual cycle therefore causing a series of problems both related to ovulation and related to menstrual pain.
What is meant by stress?
There are so many forms of stress, but the most common are irritability, physical and emotional fatigue, anxiety, nervousness, muscle tension and excessive physical activity. Stress can be both emotional, therefore linked to emotions, and physical and therefore linked to strong body fatigue.
How does stress affect your menstrual cycle?
When we are stressed, our pituitary gland sends signals to our body and consequently begins to produce two hormones, adrenaline and cortisol .
Too high an increase in these two hormones can affect the nervous system, the immune system and the metabolism.
Some studies confirm that high levels of cortisol and adrenaline induce a lowering of estrogen and progesterone levels which are responsible for the proper functioning of our menstrual cycle and therefore this mechanism results in fertility problems, irregular cycles and a lowering of libido.
When your body is stressed, the increase in cortisol inhibits the production of progesterone which is the hormone responsible for ensuring the success of a possible pregnancy . In the same way, cortisol also inhibits estrogen which is the hormone that deals with ovulation by altering the production of oocytes, those cells that if fertilized give life to an embryo and which, otherwise, turn into corpus luteum.
I'll explain better!
The purpose of the menstrual cycle is to allow the person who menstruates to conceive a child, thanks to ovulation .
When our body is under stress this fantastic mechanism is inhibited, that is, it goes on pause, it understands that it is not the right time to procreate and consequently it does not allow ovulation, which is essential for conception.
The results of a hormonal imbalance are related to the presence of symptoms such as spotting , bleeding outside of menstruation, absence of menstruation, abdominal cramps and changes in the color and duration of the blood.
What can we do to reduce stress?
To reduce stress, it is not enough to work on just one aspect of our life, but it is necessary to have a fluid vision of everything around us.
When we talk about menstruation it is important to remember that our hormone levels drop significantly in this phase and consequently also our physical energies, so physical activity should not be very intense otherwise the stress that is produced strains the cardiovascular system.
So, during menstruation, we can think about taking beautiful walks in the open air, practicing yoga or pilates and dedicating the right time to rest. When we feel stressed, very often, we are looking for sweet foods like chocolate, cookies and ice cream. This attitude leads to an increase in cortisol which in turn increases the levels of insulin in the blood, which induces the so-called "sugar craving" and therefore increases the fat load within our body. All this is not only counterproductive for our body mass index, but also because fat increases the production of estrogen and therefore exposes us to the risk of intense and difficult to manage menstrual pain with a simple painkiller. During menstruation all the hormones of our menstrual cycle are lowered, we are more vulnerable, our energies are reduced so it is important to stop.
Recognizing the sources that cause stress to our body is the first goal for our menstrual cycle to be harmonious.
The cure is the rest!