Anxiety and menstruation How anxiety affects menstruation

Can anxiety delay menstruation?

Has it ever happened to you or someone you know who was so stressed that you missed your period? Or even stopped menstruating? Did you know that there are women who can even menstruate twice a month due to the level of stress and anxiety? After all, is this dangerous? If you or someone you know has gone through this, should you really be worried or is it just natural? In this article we will provide you the relationship between the Anxiety and menstruation.

Yes, we should be concerned. Depending on the circumstances, it is necessary to take some measures in search of anxiety control to regulate the menstrual cycle. Knowing this importance, in this Psychology-Online article we will talk about how anxiety can delay menstruation.

Anxiety can delay your period

Anxiety can delay menstruation due to the chemical and neurobiological processes it causes. Stress activates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis inhibiting other areas of the pituitary causing menstrual irregularity.

However, stress and anxiety are not the first indication of a delay in menstruation. Doctors usually consider other reasons before assuming it’s anxiety.

Other common reasons for missed period:

  • Pregnancy
  • Menopause
  • Contraceptive methods (contraceptive, IUD, morning-after pill)
  • hormonal disorders
  • Excessive physical activity

I imagine you have your reasons to believe that anxiety is delaying your period, but try to confirm with your doctor‘s help that none of the above is affecting your menstrual cycle.

I haven’t had my period for many months, is it anxiety?

To answer this question it is essential that you discard the items mentioned above with the help of your doctor. For this you need to do:

  • Endocrine consultations
  • Consultations with gynecologist
  • Hormonal tests
  • lifestyle review
  • Review use of birth control pills or other methods

How anxiety affects menstruation

Stress and anxiety have similar effects on our neuroendocrine system. Both activate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis), an area responsible for actions in the nervous and endocrine systems.

This axis when it suffers some kind of stress releases a set of hormones and neurosteroids. At the end of the process, cortisol will be released. Cortisol is known to be the stress hormone. With all these neurochemical releases, anxiety can start to delay menstruation.

Anxiety happens when we are facing a possible danger stimulus , thus causing the famous problem between approach and avoidance.

  1. Stressful situation for the individual
  2. Confusion between fight or flight – approach and avoidance
  3. The anxious-stressful process begins
  4. Activate the HPA axis
  5. Release of hormones such as cortisol
  6. Excessive activation of the HPA axis affects the pituitary area related to the reproductive system
  7. irregular menstruation

Let’s talk a little more about what might be helping your anxiety disrupt your period.

Personality

Personality has a lot to do with the “modus operandi” of the individual, affecting his behavior, thoughts, way of acting with others and with himself. There are personalities more favorable to the development of anxiety.

If it is easier for you to have anxiety and other disorders, then it is easier for stress to affect menstruation.

Support

We are social beings and that is clear. Support is one of the pillars for a healthy environment for a person. If an individual grew up without support, he is more likely to have irregular self-esteem, lack of trust in people, lack of affection, among others.

An individual with these difficulties is more likely to develop mental disorders and, with that, more stress and more activation of hormones that can possibly disrupt menstruation.

stress adaptation

The way the individual reacts to stress is super important for how the body will react physiologically and how anxiety will affect menstruation. Anxiety is a symptom of a coping situation – if you recognize how to cope, you will have fewer symptoms of anxiety.

How long can your period delay because of anxiety?

Let’s assume you went to the doctor and he ruled out all the alternatives mentioned and yes, what’s causing your missed period is anxiety.

There are several works that already highlight the importance of stress in menstrual changes. In the study of reproductive function affected by stress [3] , they call this stressful event a latent event.

The greater the anxiety, the longer the period is delayed?

Exactly, other disorders may also be involved. People with problems such as depression, compulsions and other disorders are more likely to have their menstrual cycle delayed or altered. 

Neuroendocrine reactions caused by stress and anxiety affect not only menstruation but also the reproductive system. That is, if you are interested in getting pregnant in the coming months, anxiety can also get in the way.

Anxiety can delay menstruation by how many days?

There is no exact amount of how many days your period can be delayed due to anxiety. Some people experience delays of 3/4 days while others go months without menstruating due to very stressful situations.

Does stress delay menstruation?

In addition, anxiety can delay your period by several days and even months, along with excessive stress, can also cause amenorrhea (absence of period) and even more than one cycle per month.

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