Have you noticed a change in your menstrual cycle during the lockdown?  Doctors are reporting that more women are complaining about irregular periods and menstrual problems now than ever before. A recent survey by Everteen, a feminine hygiene brand, revealed that more than 41 per cent of women in India experienced an unusually irregular gap in their periods during the COVID-19 pandemic. The 6th annual Menstrual Hygiene Survey released on the eve of Menstrual Hygiene Day 2021, which was observed on May 28, suggested that increased stress and anxiety levels could be a possible reason for period irregularities in these women. Here Dr. Apoorva Pallam Reddy, Obstetrician-Gynecologist-Fertility Specialist-Laparoscopic surgeon from Bangalore, elaborates on four possible reasons for your period irregularities during the lockdown and how to cope with them.

Higher stress levels

Stress is our worst enemy and is the reason behind several problems. Stress levels have been on a rise during the lockdown. Stress causes the rise of cortisol in your body that impacts the hormones responsible for ovulation thus bringing in a wide variety of menstrual irregularities like delayed or shorter or painful or scanty periods.

How to cope: Brain chemicals like dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin play an important part in uplifting your mood. Increasing protein intake, reducing saturated fat, consuming probiotics, exercising, meditation and indulging in games are some of the tested methods to improve Dopamine levels naturally. Taking a social media detox and avoiding indulging in negative conversations will also be very helpful in handling stress.

Weight gain

This has been the most significant and common problem that most of us are facing which is a huge reason for period irregularities. Lockdown weight gain is as real as COVID.  40-50% people have experienced weight gain during the Lockdown period with most of them being women. Increase in body mass percentage impacts hormone that regulate your menstrual cycle. More importantly Rapid weight gain leads to long term hormonal abnormalities like PCOS that cause chronic menstrual irregularities.

How to deal with it: Losing even 5-10 % of the current weight can make your period cycle normal. Restrict your calorie intake to 1800kcal per day. This will be very helpful to show immediate results. Download apps in your mobile phones that help in counting the number of calories that you consume based on the food items you eat. Along with keeping your diet in mind, practicing at least 4-5 hours of sweat inducing exercises per week helps in better results.

Lack of medications and fear of visiting hospitals

Women with pre-existing thyroid abnormalities are required to be on regular medication to avoid menstrual irregularities. The dosage has to be adjusted on and off based on the requirements. Do not fear visiting a gynae to be sure that nothing serious is the reason behind these irregularities.

How to cope: Be in regular touch with your gynae using a tele consultation and try to use a home collection facility to perform any blood tests when necessary

Irregular sleep patterns

Our average screen time and subscriptions to OTT platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime etc has increased drastically since the lockdown. This has disrupted our routine and our sleeping patterns.  Extreme Blue light from televisions, computer screens, phones and tablets suppress melatonin levels that can not only delay the onset of sleep but the quality of it as well. Women who have irregular sleeping schedules or are used to working in the night have higher incidence of period delays or poor flow.

How to deal: Switch to listening to music or podcasts or audiobooks instead. Avoid using the phone for watching television for at least 30 minutes before you hit the bed. Reduce the brightness of the screen to a minimum.

This post first appeared on The Health Site

The post How to Cope With Period Irregularities During Lockdown appeared first on Sound Health and Lasting Wealth.

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