How Does Stress From Covid19 Affect Your Menstrual Health?

covid-19 side-effects

5 min read

December 15, 2021

During the pandemic, uncertainty and fear have contributed more and more to stress. Worldwide, more than double the number of people are feeling more stressed in the last year than they were before the pandemic. In other countries, such as the United States, 42% of people feel more depressed or stressed because of the pandemic compared to 20% the previous year, according to nature.com. Let’s take a look at how stress from COVID-19 impacts your menstrual health.

What Are Some of the Biggest Stress Causers Caused By the Pandemic

There are many stress factors that go along with the pandemic. These include work-related stress, family-related stress, and other mitigating factors. Some individuals may experience stress from fear of getting COVID-19 and they have a compromised immune system. According to research by the American Psychological Association, some common stressors related to the pandemic include: 

  • Parents who are trying to get access to educational resources, healthcare, and other resources for their children because access to those resources have been restricted by lockdowns.
  • Government response to the pandemic.
  • Having to work at home and more stress related to conditions while working at home.

One notable aspect of the APA study was that many people rated their level of stress as being 8 to 10 on a ten-point scale, with 10 being the highest level of stress. 

How Does Stress From the Pandemic Impact Your Menstrual Health? 

The Journal of Women’s Health recently did a study on the stress of COVID-19 and overall menstrual health. The study found that over half of women reported having some sort of change in their menstrual cycle, including the timing and length of their cycle, as well as their premenstrual symptoms. Women who had high stress levels during the pandemic were twice as likely to notice a change in their overall cycle timing, length, and intensity.

The stress response will cause the body to release several stress hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline into the bloodstream. Chronic stress is also a big contributor to progesterone levels. As progesterone is the precursor to cortisol, when cortisol levels increase, progesterone levels decrease. When there is too much stress in a woman’s life it can lead to a progesterone deficiency and therefore causing an imbalance in the hormonal levels with estrogen. When there is an imbalance of estrogen and progesterone levels in a woman’s body, it leads to various menstrual health issues such as cramps and PMS.

What Can You Do To Mitigate Stress In Your Life During the Pandemic?

Strategies like a healthy diet, getting plenty of sleep, and work/life balance can help you deal better with stress. Here are some overall tips to eliminating stress:

  • Balance Working At Home With Life At Home: Make sure that you set clear hours for when you are working and place boundaries, like a home office schedule, to allow you to get work done on time. 
  • Eat Healthy: Make sure to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, fish, and other healthy food rich in vitamins and minerals that help you maintain healthy hormone levels that support your regular menstrual cycle. 
  • Drink Plenty of Water: Dehydration can often lead to feeling bloated and your body retaining water. Make sure that you drink the recommended 8 to 10 glasses of water per day. Not feeling bloated will help mitigate the intensity of stress as it happens. 
  • Have Sufficient Rest: Sleep is a powerful stress reducer. Most adults need seven to night hours of sleep each night. Practicing good hygiene along with stress-lowering tactics can help to improve your sleep quality. 

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