Can the Covid infection impact your menstrual cycle? An Expert opines

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Can Covid effect the menstrual cycle?
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Women know that there are multiple factors that have an impact on our menstrual cycle. The issues that impact our menstrual cycle are high levels of stress and anxiety, underlying health conditions like PCOS and PCOD, and endometriosis.

About 1 in 20 women aged between 30 to 49 years consult a doctor each year because of menstrual problems. There are various reasons for menstrual cycle disturbances like polycystic ovaries, polyps, fibroids, underlying medical illness, and stress. Symptoms of a polycystic ovarian syndrome are menstrual cycle disturbances, features of increased androgen, and fertility problems.

Primary presenting problems of a menstrual cycle may vary with age, while acne may be a concern for adolescents whereas reduced fertility may be a concern for older women. Here, Dr Saroja Koppala of Fertility Consultant at Nova IVF Fertility shares with us how Covid can impact the menstrual cycle or fertility. 

During the pandemic, doctors and gynae have reported a higher number of cases where women have had issues with irregular periods. Covid pandemic has caused enormous psychological stress. Stress also can cause changes in the menstrual cycle. 

Normal menstrual function in women is primarily dependent on hormone secretions from the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and ovaries. There are issues like having two cycles in the same month where it is taking longer for their period to come, having heavier/lighter periods, their period carries on for a longer duration, and or their PMS symptoms getting worse. The reason why so many women are facing this issue with their periods is that there are factors that you may not be able to see or pinpoint that are impacting your periods.

For women who were working and have a family at the same time, it became extremely difficult to balance both. During COVID there was additional stress from work, as people took the liberty of assigning tons of work at any time of the day just because people did not have plans of going out. Women had to take care of their children, their household, and their work at the same time, and that too without any help from anyone as no one could leave their houses. This took a toll on their mental health and their menstrual health as well. What you also need to understand is that even though sometimes you may not be fully paying attention to some bad or negative news in the room, your brain registers the information and understands that your environment might not be safe.

Due to the pandemic, there is already so much stress and anxiety that is impacting women’s physical and mental health.  The stress response system of women is very powerful. What you need to know is that short-term stress is okay, and the body might deal with it, but chronic stress is harmful to the body. There is a study that says that stress reduced fertility in women. So, the higher the stress was the higher chances of difficulty in conceiving. What a woman needs for conception is proper hormone levels. 

Luteinizing hormone and follicular stimulating are both being released by the pituitary gland which is in the brain. These hormones go to the ovaries and indicate the ovaries what to do. However, if your body is over-worked, stressed, or anxious the signalling from the brain to the ovaries is incorrect.

As discussed above extensively, here are a few things that one can do to take over control and reduce the COVID stress that is induced in the body:

One can take up yoga as many people have proved that yoga might help you get your cycle back to normal, as yoga puts your mind at ease.

Start exercising and meditating. Meditating might help your body to focus and release stress. Taking out this time for yourself may help you to release the extra stress and load that you might have been carrying.

Start eating better and increase your intake of water. Control your diet and reduce packeted foods.

NOTE*

Always consult your doctor first be it any menstrual problems like heavy bleeding, menstrual migraine or even when you are under stress as it can impact the irregularity of periods which may not be just a short-term problem, it might impact your ability to conceive later. So, it must be diagnosed as soon as possible.

Also Read:  Cardiologist Dr Ameya Udyavar sheds light on cardiovascular disease management during COVID-19

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