Curejoy Expert Gina Hodge Explains:
Yes, Stress is the most common cause of irregular periods. The stress hormone-Cortisol, has a direct impact on how much estrogen and progesterone (sex hormones), gets produced by the body. If you have too much cortisol in your bloodstream, the time and flow of your cycle could change.
Although some stress can be good, too much can negatively impact health. Excessive worrying can put the digestive system into overdrive, causing stress symptoms like diarrhea, frequent urination, and abdominal pain; while the pulmonary system may respond with rapid breathing.
As stress levels rise, there’s a chance that your menstrual period will temporarily stop, a condition known as secondary amenorrhea. Because stress can affect the part of the brain responsible for producing hormones, it can throw hormonal levels out of whack, which can lead to changes in the frequency and duration of your menstrual period.
Reducing your level of stress or finding effective coping mechanisms may help your body revert to a normal menstrual period. It’s not possible to completely eliminate stress from your everyday life but finding healthy methods to cope with excessive stress is the best way to not let it wreak havoc on your body’s natural functioning.
Avoid over-exercising and try not to diet excessively; doing so can interfere with your menstrual cycle. Try yoga, meditation, tai-chi and other calming daily practices to cope with daily stress. A couple of irregular periods per year are usually nothing to worry about. Any more than that, and you should see a doctor to be sure an ovulation problem or health condition isn’t the cause.