Stress and anxiety can cause shifts in your normal cycle.

Is lockdown impacting our periods?

“Lots of people have been feeling more stressed than usual during the coronavirus pandemic - and this can be a key factor in changes to your menstrual cycle,” explains Dr Simran Deo from Zava UK . The solution to getting our periods back on track, according to Dr Deo, is to try to reduce our stress levels. And while that is easier said than done with so much anxiety and uncertainty right now, there are a few simple things you can do to help feel a little calmer, such as making time for regular exercise, or trying mindfulness or relaxation techniques or deep breathing and meditation. “If you're feeling very stressed or anxious and you feel this has affected your menstrual cycle it's a good idea to talk to your GP, who may recommend speaking to a mental health professional as well as carrying out investigations to rule out other possible causes for the changes you have noticed,” Dr Deo adds. But it isn’t just stress that may have impacted aunt Flo, the change in diet and routine that lockdown has brought could also have had an effect on cycles. “ Many people may have found that they've changed their eating habits during lockdown, and being over or underweight can affect your cycle,” Dr Deo explains. “Not getting enough sleep, or a change in your normal routine such as staying up late or working night shifts, can indirectly affect the hormones that impact your menstruation cycle,” Dr Deo explains. And the loss of our typical every day schedules may have made some women forget to take their contraceptive pill. “In fact, the most recent guidance from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists suggests that for most people, the monthly break isn’t always necessary. “It is completely safe to do and side effects are unlikely, however you may notice slight break-through bleeding or spotting, if this happens tell your doctor.”

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