Irregular periods? Pandemic stress could be the reason

Doctors suggest that being in the house can affect sleep patterns, eating habits and physical activity as well

Entertainment Desk June 18, 2020
If you’re worried about missing your period or not getting them on time, chances are that the pandemic is wreaking havoc with your system.

According to The Indian Express, experts suggest that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has contributed to growing “stress in women and it could be directly affecting their periods”.

Being indoors for extended period of time has directly affected our routine activities like sleep patterns, physical activity and eating habits. Combined, all this can manifest as stomach cramps and messed up hormone levels.

Dr. Anubah Singh, gynaecologist and IVF expert at Shantah Fertility Centre says, “Many patients have informed us over phone that their periods have become irregular and after talking to them it was found that they are feeling very stressed.”

“The reason for this is that the Covid-19 lockdown has spoiled their daily routine. Stress issues in women have increased due to the epidemic. Stress affects the amount of cortisol produced by the body. Among women who are under high stress, 40 per cent of women complain of infertility. However, there is no concrete evidence that infertility is due to stress,” she added.

Dr. Singh also hinted that besides affecting your daily routine and exacerbating other conditions, stress could also become a reason for PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome). “If you had been borderline PCOS all along, this stress induced by the pandemic might push you over to the other side,” she said.

“The uncertainty brought about by the pandemic, and the fact that no one really knows when this might end, has resulted in widespread panic. Also since most women are now locked indoors, they’re probably not leading the healthiest of lives. Such unusual situations could exacerbate pre-existing hormonal imbalances in women. For instance, if a woman had been diagnosed with mild PCOS, it might get aggravated during this time,” explained Dr Singh.

She explained that the imbalance of insulin can cause the formation of the hormone leptin, which in turn could result in stress. So much so that that women who are used to a cycle of within the first 30 days, may now find it delayed by 7-8 days or even more.

“One key factor in reducing stress levels is coming to terms with the fact that the current situation, where the world is locked down, is not in anyone’s hands and working on oneself is really the best way to deal with it. Try and make a fixed routine for your day, eat healthy, sleep on time, and try to be happy as much as possible,” suggested Dr. Shobha Gupta, medical director and IVF specialist at Mother’s Lap IVF Centre.

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