Can Workouts Affect Periods?
We all wish our periods would go away, until they actually do!😭 But can workouts affect periods?
When I first started my period, it was rough. I've always had very painful periods and I remember trying so many things to get rid of the cramping. From smoking weed, heat pads, pain relievers, different diets, birth control, and the list really goes on. I've always been really active, even as a kid. I played every sport & my parents encouraged us to be very competitive & keep up with psychical activities. Which now, I am so grateful for. So, what's my point? Well, I remember my mother telling me years ago, "if you run harder, and more often you can actually stop your period from coming." I thought to myself, YES!!! I want to get rid of this pain! 7 days is a long time to be in pain, once a month, every month. That's 84 days a year, I could spend doing something else LOL
However, this is a BIG RED FLAG for any women's health. Not getting your period can either be very serious or nothing at all, here's why.
Amenorrhea From Exercise
Probably like so many of you, I had never heard of this either! Amenorrhea is when menstruation is absent during the reproductive years, between puberty and menopause. It is not a disease, and it does not mean that a person is infertile, but it can be a sign of a health problem that needs some attention. By over exercising, or pushing your body to unhealthy exercise limits you can actually create Amenorrhea in your body.
The good news is, you can get rid of this, if you know where it's coming from. So, if it's coming from excess exercising, lack of nutrition, lack of sleep, these things are easily changeable. You cut back on the psychical activity, eat more, and give your body the rest it needs.
Maybe your period hasn't completely deserted you; but you can see when it does come, it's shorter & lighter. This is could be less of an issue. However, you should also consult with your doctor if you think something could be wrong. But, I will give you some of my personal experience just in case you want it. So, I've noticed that with regular exercise (not overdoing it) and eating a well balanced diet (not too much or to little) my period has gotten lighter. Also, I noticed that when I cut out junk foods, processed foods, and artificial sugars, my period lightened as well. Note, I do not take any birth control pills. Often times, if you're taking BC it can have an effect on how heavy your periods are, and their regularity.
A few years ago I had the BC method that goes into your arm & my period went away completely. I had it for about a year and a half. It was nice, until I took it out! Then my period came back 10x worse! If you're having irregularities in your period and you're worried, make sure to read the side effects of your BC & talk to your doctor. Many times, these pills change our natural hormones so it's not a big surprise our cycles get thrown off.
It's true, working out raises the levels of testosterone in your body; man or women doesn't matter. Getting your estrogen & testosterone levels checked by your doctor can be super helpful! Because, if you know you're a women that naturally has higher testosterone levels and you work out consistently it may be easier for your body & your cycle to skip or become irregular. Higher levels of testosterone doesn't make you manly so don't freak out. In fact, exercise can raise testosterone because it promotes muscle building. The more muscle you have, the higher your testosterone levels. Women naturally store more fat than men since we carry children, so don't freak out & quick working out. It's all about balance & knowing your body.
Track Your Period Cycle
Which brings me to my last point. Get a period tracker. There are so many free apps for it these days. You can change what you don't measure. By tracking your periods & also your workouts, you'll be able to pin point what you think could be causing the problem. If you want, track your meals as well! Gather all your own data & if you still don't think thats enough or you need peace of mind, take your info to your doctor and see what they can do for you.
So ladies, the short answer is yes. Workouts can affect your period, so always listen to your bodies. Treat yourself with kindness and next time you get your menstrual cycle, be thankful for her because that means you're doing good to your body & you're healthy❤️🥰