Stress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has been shown to cause changes in women’s periods, according to a new study.
Ricerca pubblicato in Obstetrics & Gynecology analyzed data from 354 women between the ages of 18 e 45. Participants answered questions about their pandemic-related stress and self reported changes to their menstrual cycles between March 2020 and May 2021.
Alterations in menstrual cycles included cycle length, duration, flow and spotting. Researchers found that more than half of women reported a change in at least one area, e 12% of women reported changes in all four areas.
The study noted that the diverse group of participants were not on birth control and were not menopausal or postmenopausal before the pandemic. Stress can cause changes in how the body produces estrogen and progesterone, hormones that influence a woman’s menstrual cycle.
“In the United States, women have shouldered more childcare duties during the pandemic and find COVID-19–induced changes to daily activities, along with the potential risk of COVID-19 illness, significantly more stressful than men,” the study said.
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Martina Anto-Ocrah, assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and author of the study, detto Il Washington Post that irregular cycles can cause issues with fertility and mental health.
“Women are constantly being told, ‘This is in your head,’ ” Anto-Ocrah told the outlet. “Until we get some data to show that what is in women’s heads is actually the truth, the medical society kind of turns us away and doesn’t believe it.”
Inoltre, the study noted that younger women and those with a greater mental health history reported higher stress levels.
Linda Fan, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Yale School of Medicine, detto il Inviare that women who are experiencing irregular periods should talk to their doctors and track their cycles to make sure there is nothing concerning.