Feeling a little overwhelmed by the current situation? Even if you don’t realize it, you could be suffering from underlying stress. It’s no surprise as people around the world worry about the infection, family and friends, finances and adapt to quarantine life.
From anxiety to depression and breakouts to chest pains, for women, you might also find that it’s having a negative effect on your menstrual cycle too. “This stress can trigger the release of cortisol – the stress hormone which in turn affects the release of female hormones and can cause an impact on the menstrual cycle,” says Dr. Shiva Harikrishnan a consultant gynecologist at Medcare Women and Children Hospital in Dubai.
Gynecologists across the globe have reported a rise in women asking about changes in their periods. Irregularities can include cycle length, bleeding patterns, pain, premenstrual symptoms, spotting, and even acne and breakouts. “You need to keep in mind that the stress is the culprit of any alterations in your menstrual cycle and not the Covid-19,” says Dr Harikrishnan. Instead, focus on how to combat stress. Dr Harikrishnan advises indulging in activities like yoga, meditation, listening to music and reading to help you relax and unwind.
At this time, many are also facing significant changes to their routine, this includes eating habits and exercise patterns. “There’s a high possibility of gaining weight which can also adversely affect your menstrual cycle,” Dr Harikrishnan warns. Try to work on a routine that includes healthy eating habits and finding the right balance for you.
“During quarantine, there is also a tendency not to engage in regular exercise as many women prefer to do exercise only in gym and parks. You need to get creative in how you can exercise indoors,” says Dr Harikrishnan. From apps to streaming free workouts online and even zooming your friends, there’s no excuse not to get moving even if it’s just for half an hour a day.
Remember, if in doubt always seek the advice of a health professional making the most of the various telehealth consultations on offer in the region.
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