Medicines And Medical Treatment
As discussed above, a number of contraceptive treatments can stop you having periods. Other medicines can affect periods too. Examples are some medicines for schizophrenia , an anti-sickness medicine called metoclopramide and strong painkillers called opiates.A number of operations may result in absent periods. For example, after a hysterectomy you will not have periods. A hysterectomy is an operation where the womb is removed. As the blood during a period comes from the womb, you will never have periods again afterwards. Another operation , which is sometimes done for heavy periods, also causes periods to stop. In this operation the lining of the womb is removed. This is not usually permanent and periods start again in time.
Treatments for cancer, such as radiotherapy or chemotherapy, can also damage the ovaries and result in absent periods. Recreational drugs such as heroin may also cause periods to stop.
Can Depression And Anxiety Affect Your Period
Depression and anxiety can severely impact your day-to-day life, making even activities you once loved feel impossible. These mental health conditions can also affect your cycle in a similar way to stress.
When youre depressed or anxious, cortisol levels rise in the body. As a result, you get that response that basically tells your reproductive system to stop right there. The ovaries then pause normal activity, and your period might be delayed or stop altogether.
If youre feeling anxious or depressed, remember, youre not alone. There are resources out there that can help you manage your symptoms so you can start to feel better.
When A Teenagers Irregular Periods Are Cause For Concern
One common cause is polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, which is difficult to diagnose in adolescents.
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Ive written recently about teenagers having too-heavy periods and too-painful periods, and now I want to talk about too-irregular periods. These issues can overlap, but lets focus on what it can mean when an adolescent doesnt menstruate regularly and on the question of how irregular is too irregular.
Dr. Andrea Bonny, an associate professor of pediatrics at The Ohio State University and chief of adolescent medicine at Nationwide Childrens Hospital, said that in the past, many doctors had thought that in the first two years after menstruation begins, really, anything goes, as far as frequency.
Now, she said, the thinking is that some irregularity is OK, but to go more than 90 days without a period for two consecutive periods is concerning and should get worked up medically. After someone has been menstruating for two years, she said, intervals shorter than 21 days or longer than 45 days are considered abnormal, especially if they recur. And many adolescents with irregular cycles like those with heavy periods, and like those with very painful periods may be offered hormone treatments, either oral contraceptives or other hormone-based contraceptives.
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Progesterone: The Pms Culprit
Progesterone and estrogen, the primary female sex hormones, affect the parts of our brains which influence mood and behavior. So, as the progesterone in our body suddenly rises after ovulation, so do depressive feelings. One explanation for this could be that progesterone affects the amygdala . The amygdala is part of our fear-based response system, and since progesterone triggers the amygdala, we become hyper-reactive in the throes of PMS. Heightened amygdala reactivity also leads to increased anxiety, which can make us more depressed. If you experience severe cases of depression and hopelessness during this time, consider speaking to a doctor since you may be experiencing more extreme symptoms of PMS.
The Menstrual Cycle And Mental Health: How To Track The Emotions Of Our Cycles
At the end of the day, the emotions and the hormones in the female body wax and wane like the cycle of the moon. They can seem messy in the moment, but they are probably more cyclical than you think.
If you dont already, try tracking your feelings throughout the month in a notebook or an app, noting how you feel on a given day. If you have an app that tracks when you ovulate, see if you can notice the positive emotional effects of heightened levels of estrogen in your body when you are your most fertile. On the flip side, see when you begin to feel the effects of PMS. In some women, the negative physical and emotional effects of PMS can begin right after ovulation up to 11 days before your period begins, in other women they can begin only three to five days before you start menstruating.
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What Should I Do If I Have Missed My Period
Don’t panic! In most cases there is nothing serious going on. The most important thing to do is to do a pregnancy test if there is any chance at all you could be pregnant. If you otherwise feel well in yourself, and you are not pregnant, then the chances are your periods will start up again in due course.
You should consult a doctor if:
- You have not had a period for three months and your periods were previously regular.
- You have not had a period for 6-9 months but your periods have always been infrequent.
- You could be pregnant.
- You wish to become pregnant.
- You have hot flushes or night sweats and are under the age of 45.
- You have lost weight or your BMI is 19 or less.
- You or someone close to you is concerned about your eating or weight.
- You have milk leaking from your breasts and are not breastfeeding.
- You feel unwell in yourself .
- You have not had a period for six months after stopping the contraceptive pill .
- You are worried about your lack of periods.
Stopped Or Missed Periods
There are many reasons why a woman may miss her period, or why periods might stop altogether.
Most women have a period every 28 days or so, but it’s common to have a slightly shorter or longer cycle than this .
Some women do not always have a regular menstrual cycle. Their period may be early or late, and how long it lasts and how heavy it is may vary each time.
Read more about irregular periods and heavy periods.
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Can Stress Cause Irregular Periods
Yes, particularly if youve been under a high level of stress for an extended period of time. To fully understand why, we have to look to the fight or flight response.
Stress causes your body to go into fight or flight modeits just the way were wired. When youre in this mode, it affects your hormones, which in turn affect your ovulation and, of course, your period.
This means you may have periods that are late or even stop completely for several months.
If you are having these irregular periods and you arent pregnant, you should schedule an appointment with us as soon as possible. While stress can be a culprit, there could also be several other causes.
Take Care Of Your Body
Theres a reason you reach for chocolates and ice cream when youre feeling stressed. However, these comfort foods can actually compound your problem. Although its tempting to eat fast food and unhealthy meals, by keeping your nutritional schedule, you can help your body deal with stress more effectively.
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How Do You Resolve Amenorrhea Linked To Depression
If you do suffer from depression, and you have ruled out any other causes for disruption to your menstrual cycle, then the best route forward is to try to treat the depression. You may need help from your GP to be referred for talking therapy for depression such as counselling, or cognitive behavioural therapy .
Your GP may advise that you start taking antidepressants. There are many types available and many dont affect the menstrual cycle. If weight loss or weight gain is a problem, then having a look at whether eating more or losing weight would help, although understandably this is unlikely to be easy if the depression is not first treated. Seeing a dietician may be useful when seeking advice on how to lose or gain weight healthily.
What Are Some Possible Other Reasons Behind My Irregular Period What Are Some Common Late Period Causes Besides Stress
There are a lot of factors besides stress that can impact your menstrual cycle and cause a delayed or late period, like pregnancy, birth control , menopause, weight loss, and too much exercise. Hormone changes could also be a cause of why your period is late that youâd wanna chat over with your doctor.
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Is My Medicine Safe To Take During Pregnancy Or Breastfeeding
It depends on the medicine. Some medicines can be taken safely during pregnancy or while you are breastfeeding, but others are not safe. Your doctor or nurse can help you decide. It is best to discuss these medicines with your doctor or nurse before you ever become pregnant.
Learn more about medicines and breastfeeding in our Breastfeeding section. You can also enter your medicine into the LactMedÂ® database to find out whether your medicine passes through your breastmilk and, if so, any possible side effects for your nursing baby.
Pinpointing The Cause Of A Missed Period
Of course, the first thing you should do if your period is late is to take a pregnancy test, which can be accurate as early as the first day of your missed period. If it’s negative and you don’t get your period in a few days or you completely skip it that cycle, or if you’re having chronic problems with menstruation, make an appointment to see your gynecologist.
She’ll likely do a repeat pregnancy test. If it’s negative, she’ll move on to some basic evaluations such as asking you about your medical history, doing a pelvic exam, and taking blood samples to check your hormone levels.
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Is Depression The Problem
Amenorrhea caused by chronic stress and depression is called hypothalamic amenorrhea. If you tend to eat more or less than usual when you’re depressed and have gained or lost weight, that also could play a part in your menstrual irregularities.
If your doctor has determined that depression is behind your late or missed periods, getting back on track will be a matter of finding an effective way to reduce your stress and treat your depression.
Reasons For A Missed Period
Pregnancy is by far the most common cause of a missed period, but there are some other medical and lifestyle factors that can affect your menstrual cycle. Extreme weight loss, hormonal irregularities, and menopause are among the most common causes if you’re not pregnant.
You may miss a period for one or two months, or you may experience complete amenorrheathat is, no period for three or more months in a row. This article explores 10 common reasons your period may be delayed.
Verywell / Cindy Chung
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Can I Continue To Take My Medicine If Im Trying To Get Pregnant
Maybe. Some medicines, such as antidepressants, may make it more difficult for you to get pregnant.8 Also, some medicines may not be safe to take during pregnancy or when trying to get pregnant. Talk to your doctor or nurse about other treatments for mental health conditions, such as depression, that donât involve medicine. Learn more about taking medicine during pregnancy.
Women who are already taking an antidepressant and who are trying to get pregnant should talk to their doctor or nurse about the benefits and risks of stopping the medicine. Some women who have been diagnosed with severe depression may need to keep taking their prescribed medicine during pregnancy. If you are unsure whether to take your medicine, talk to your doctor or nurse.
Talk therapy is one way to help women with depression. This type of therapy has no risks for women who are trying to get pregnant. During talk therapy, you work with a mental health professional to explore why you are depressed and train yourself to replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Certain mental health care professionals specialize in depression related to infertility.
Regular physical activity is another safe and healthy option for most women who are trying to get pregnant. Exercise can help with symptoms such as depression, difficulty concentrating, and fatigue.9
Why Do I Feel Depressed When I Have My Period
When my period comes, I feel ill and depressed. I don’t want to do anything. My period is heavy and I don’t go to school because of the cramps. It rules my life and I can’t go out at all. Please help. Vicki*
It’s normal to have the blues or feel sick before and during a period. As hormone levels rise and fall during a girl’s menstrual cycle, it can affect the way she feels, both physically and emotionally. This is known as premenstrual syndrome and it can make a girl feel like hiding in bed with the covers over her head.
Luckily, you can do a few things to ease PMS symptoms. Try eating a balanced diet with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and cutting back on processed foods like chips and crackers. Reduce the amount of salt you eat and drink more water. Say no to caffeine and yes to foods with calcium and whole grains. And get plenty of sleep at night.
Occasionally, PMS symptoms might include feelings of extreme depression and hopelessness. If this is the case, speak with your doctor it may be a sign something else is going on.
Heavy bleeding every so often, especially at the beginning of your period, is probably nothing to worry about. But if you soak through a pad or a tampon in an hour or less, call your health care provider, who can check you out to make sure everything’s OK.
*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.
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How Does The Time Before Menopause Affect My Mental Health
As you approach menopause, certain levels of hormones in your body begin to change. This initial transition to menopause when you still get a period is called perimenopause. During perimenopause, some women begin to feel symptoms such as intense heat and sweating , trouble sleeping, and changing moods.
As you get closer to menopause, you may notice other symptoms, such as pain during sex, urinary problems, and irregular periods. These changes can be stressful on you and your relationships and cause you to feel more extreme emotions.
Women with mental health conditions may experience more symptoms of menopause or go through perimenopause differently than women who do not have mental health conditions.
- Women with depression are more likely to go through perimenopause earlier than other women. Studies show that women with depression have lower levels of estrogen.10
The Truth About Periods And Mental Health
- 3 minute read
Bloating. Headaches. Moodiness. These symptoms of premenstrual syndrome are well known, likely because more than 90 percent of women experience at least one symptom before their monthly cycle. But for some women, the symptoms go beyond minor discomfort and a feeling of being off.
I tell everybody, Im not myself right now. Ill call you back when Im Ronna again, one woman was quoted as saying on National Public Radio.
Ronna, like three to five percent of menstruating women, suffers from premenstrual dysphoric disorder , a severe, often disabling extension of PMS. How is it different? According to the Mayo Clinic, women with PMDD usually battle at least one prominent emotional and behavioral symptom:
- Sadness or hopelessness
- Extreme moodiness
While often viewed as a primarily physical experience, PMS and the more severe PMDD prove that your periods each month can have an impact on your mental health. Heres why.
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Can Stress Cause Spotting
Absolutely. That fight-or-flight response we mentioned above isnât limited to just shutting your period down or delaying it for a few days. Stress can also cause spotting, aka when you kind of have a little blood coming out , but not enough for you to qualify as a full period. This often happens between periods, leading you to be like, âwhy is this happening 15 days early?â
Stress Impacts Your Menstrual Cycle
The hypothalamus is the part of the brain that controls your period. Its sensitive to external factors like exercise, sleep, stressor family drama. When working correctly, your hypothalamus releases chemicals that stimulate the pituitary gland, which then stimulate your ovary to release the period-inducing hormones estrogen and progesterone.
Enter cortisol, which is a hormone your body makes when youre under stress. It can wreak havoc on the hypothalamus/pituitary/ovary interaction and result in irregular periods.
When under stress, your body produces cortisol. Depending on how your body tolerates stress, the cortisol may lead to delayed or light periods or no period at all , says Dr. Kollikonda. If stress continues, you can go without a period for a long time.
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Antidepressant’s Effects On The Menstrual Cycle
Antidepressants may interfere with a womans menstrual cycle.Some women taking antidepressants may experience side effects and changes in their monthly cycle or menstrual period. Depression is approximately twice as common in women as it is in men in the United States, affecting one in five women. Prescribed antidepressants may help women cope with psychological, emotional and behavioral problems related to reproductive events, such as menstruation, premenopause, perimenopause and menopause.