5 Things That Can Affect Your Period
For some women, their monthly period appears regularly, like clockwork. But for others—as much as 25 percent—irregular periods are the norm.
The bottom line is that there are several things that can affect your period, causing irregularities or even for you to skip a month. In fact, it’s also very important that you understand these factors and even how stress affects your period. We’ll answer this question and provide information on five things that can cause problems with your menstrual cycle.
5. Things That Can Affect Your Period
How Does Stress Affect Your Period?
Stress is one of the things that can affect your period.
When you’re stressed, your body produces the hormone cortisol. Cortisol has a direct impact on the part of your brain that controls your period (called the hypothalamus). The result affects your pituitary functions as well as ovulation, creating periods that are irregular, or in some cases, even absent. The absence of periods is called amenorrhea.
How does stress affect your period? The bottom line is if you’ve skipped three periods (and you aren’t pregnant) or you’re having dramatically different periods than you normally do, you should schedule an appointment with us.
How Do You Know If Stress Is Affecting Your Period?
Stress affects several systems in your body. It can cause headaches, fatigue, insomnia, depression and even a low – or nonexistent – sex drive.
However, because there can be different causes of an irregular or skipped period, it’s best to schedule an appointment with us. Not only can we get to the heart of your problem, but if stress is the culprit, we can provide methods and treatment to help you cope with your distress. We can even refer you to a professional therapist or mental health specialist to ensure you get the assistance you need.
For more information on stress and your menstrual cycle, check out our earlier post that goes into more detail about your period and anxiety.
2. Things That Can Affect Your Period: Hormonal Imbalances
Hormonal issues are some of the things that can affect your period.
Your thyroid and pituitary glands are instrumental in controlling ovulation. If you have a problem with your pituitary gland or a thyroid disorder like hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, you could have irregular or non-existent periods.
Endometriosis is a common problem and one of the things that can affect your period.
Your endometrial tissue is the uterine lining that sheds every month when you menstruate. When this tissue grows outside the uterus—such as on the ovaries or fallopian tubes–you have endometriosis. Endometriosis causes:
- Abnormal bleeding
- Cramps both before and during periods
- Painful sex
Endometriosis can be treated through medication or surgery. Typically, we will only consider surgery if more conservative, nonsurgical treatments have been unsuccessful. We will evaluate your individual case to determine whether or not surgery is the right option for you.
Some medications used to treat endometriosis include:
- Pain medication
- Hormone therapy
- Hormonal forms of birth control
4. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
In this condition, fluid-filled cysts form in the ovaries, creating hormonal changes. As a result, your eggs may never mature, which means irregular ovulation, which in turn affects your period. It’s also not unusual for someone with PCOS to stop menstruating altogether.
This condition can also cause:
- Excessive hair growth
5. Uterine Fibroids
Uterine fibroids complete our list of five things that can affect your period.
Fibroids are noncancerous growths that affect your uterine lining. The result is heavy bleeding and excessive pain during periods.
We can easily treat uterine fibroids through a variety of nonsurgical and minimally invasive techniques. These include:
- Uterine artery embolization, which cuts off the blood supply to the fibroid
- Radiofrequency ablation, which uses radiofrequency energy to destroy fibroids
- A myomectomy, a minimally invasive procedure that surgically removes the fibroids
Your Cycle – and Things That Can Affect Your Period –Provide Insight Into Your Gynecological Health
There are several things that can affect your period, and because each one can profoundly affect your reproductive health, we want you to schedule an appointment with us any time you have irregular bleeding, absent periods, or excessive menstrual pain.
By pinpointing the heart of the health issue, we can help you return to a healthier menstruation pattern.
Associates in Women’s Healthcare: Women Providing OBGYN Care for Triangle Women
We’re not just concerned about your gynecological health—we care about your overall health. That’s why we want to know if you’re having trouble managing blood sugar, difficulty sleeping, problems maintaining a healthy weight or anything that affects your everyday life.
We’ve even been recognized for clinical excellence by the National Committee for Quality Assurance. We’re also certified by Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) through the Blue Quality Physician Program (BQPP).
Are you having problems with irregular periods? Not sure if it’s being caused by stress or by something more serious? Contact us today to schedule an appointment.