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How Does Stress Affect Your Period

Max. D Gray
By Max. D Gray. Updated: May 30, 2019
How Does Stress Affect Your Period

In such times as these, fighting stress should be considered a basic need. This condition can affect our bodies in so many ways that there is not one biological process that remains unaltered when the body and emotions conflict. They order the brain to become alarmed and it begins producing an excessive amount of the hormone called "cortisol."

For women, stress can be such a determining factor in the functioning of your body that it has the power to influence the correct functioning of your menstrual cycle, producing disorders and symptoms which can often be mistaken for an illness. If you want to know how does stress affect your period, read this OneHowTo.com article.

You may also be interested in: Can You Get Pregnant Without A Period?

Steps to follow:


Periods are a biological process where female hormones may play with a woman's emotions as if they were puppets. If a woman is stressed, this effect can be doubled. Stress can affect periods by causing major mood swings, due to an unusual increase in hormones which can significantly alter a woman's emotional state. Although this does not directly affect the menstrual cycle, stress is considered to be a trigger of bouts of sadness, anger, rage and nostalgia during menstruation.

During menstruation, many women find it difficult to sleep well at night, largely due to pain in the lower abdomen. Such pains can increase if you suffer from stress, as does swelling, so it's no surprise if you feel more fatigued and drowsier the following day, even if you've slept the recommended number of hours.

How Does Stress Affect Your Period - Step 1

Stress can also cause irregular menstrual cycles. Emotions and nerves have the power to significantly influence the functioning of the body. When a woman has suffered episodes of chronic stress, it is common for her period to either be early or delayed several days or even weeks. Therefore, stress can lead to irregular menstrual periods, causing:

  • Polymenorrhoea where cycles are too short, as menstruation occurs at intervals of 21 days or less.
  • Oligomenorrhoea where cycles are too long, as menstruation occurs at intervals of 35 days or more.
How Does Stress Affect Your Period - Step 2

If really stressed, it is also common for a woman's cycle to be interrupted. This occurs when the period arrives but does not last the usual time but rather is suddenly interrupted and returns again when cortisol levels and stress are under control.


Stress affects your period by causing amenorrhea where a menstrual period is missed sometimes. Many women believe they are pregnant and take home pregnancy tests only to receive a negative result. This is often caused by previous stress which prevents menstruation on the expected days, leading to a missed period.

How Does Stress Affect Your Period - Step 4

One of the things most women complain about is Premenstrual Syndrome. It usually occurs a couple of days prior to a period and causes severe symptoms such as fatigue, abdominal pain, breast swelling, pain in the legs or hips, hunger, sadness and headache. All these symptoms may worsen or increase in intensity if a woman goes through a period of stress.

How Does Stress Affect Your Period - Step 5

Stress can affect your period causing a condition known as Polymenorrhea. This occurs when a woman has short cycles or cycles lasting less than 21 days, leading in some cases to light menstruation twice a month. Stomach pain can also increase when women suffer from stress. Here you can find how to relieve menstrual cramps without medication.

How Does Stress Affect Your Period - Step 6

As you can see, stress does nothing good for the body. The best advice is to try to control bouts of stress and keep the mind calm with positive thoughts, so as to prevent this issue from causing a very negative effect on the human body's biological processes. You can learn more in our article on what are the health effects of stress on the body or take a look at the 6 most effective natural stress relief remedies.

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to How Does Stress Affect Your Period, we recommend you visit our Family health category.

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Jennifer Bowman
I am having a very long and painful period with heavy flow
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How Does Stress Affect Your Period