How Does The Menstrual Cycle Affect A Woman's Health


The menstrual cycle is a cycle of events and modifications that take place on a monthly basis in a woman's body as she gets ready for a potential pregnancy. It entails ovulation, the monthly release of an egg from the ovaries, as well as a number of hormonal adjustments that get the uterus ready for pregnancy.

The menstrual cycle, however, is the process by which the uterus sheds its thicker lining through the vagina when the egg is not fertilized.

How Does A Regular Menstrual Cycle Look Like?

From the beginning day of one period to the first day of the following period, the menstrual cycle is measured. Menstrual flow, which can last anywhere from two to seven days, can occur between 21 and 35 days for different people, therefore it is not exactly the same for every woman. In the first few years after starting post-puberty, menstruation cycles frequently last a long time, but as women age, they typically grow shorter and more regular.[1]

Some women may suffer somewhat irregular cycles, while others may have fairly regular cycles with periods coming at roughly the same time each month. Menstruation may be painful or not, mild or heavy bleeding, lengthy or short, and may also be accompanied by other symptoms.


Our physical and mental health are interdependent, despite the fact that this is frequently considered to be the case. Consider the menstrual cycle as an illustration. While menstruating is a natural biological process, it can also have an impact on your emotional well-being, and vice versa. Understanding how the two are connected may help you predict your mood at various times during the month and may also help you understand why your period may alter.[2]


Following ovulation, PMS occurs during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle and can result in both physiological and psychological symptoms. Although they differ from person to person, some of the more typical ones are as follows:

  • Bloating
  • Breast pain
  • Feeling tense

While many of us only have minor symptoms, occasionally they can be so severe that they cause problems with day-to-day activities.[4]


Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), which can also damage your emotional and physical health in the weeks leading up to your period, is commonly referred to as a severe version of PMS. Contrary to PMS, PMDD is considered a mental disease. This is due to the fact that mood disorders can be so debilitating they outweigh any physical effects. Each person's experience with PMDD's psychological symptoms will vary, however, they may include:

  • Depression
  • Hopelessness
  • Suicidal Ideas

Managing PMDD

According to the Director of Education and Awareness at IAPMD, the symptoms a woman goes through when living with PMDD are very difficult and exhausting - they occur cyclically each month, and that may have a knock-on effect on your relationships, your career, your income, your family, and your friendships.[3]

People with PMDD are affected differently; some only experience symptoms for a few days each month, while others experience them for two weeks. Some people have milder symptoms, but we also see patients who are suicidal on a regular basis.


Premenstrual Exacerbation is another premenstrual illness that may have an effect on your mental health (PME). Any pre-existing ailment or condition that worsens during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle is known as PME. For instance, if a person has PME and anxiety, their anxiety symptoms will deteriorate before menstruation.

Since PME research is still in its early stages, it is now classified as a phenomenon rather than a clinical diagnostic. This does not, however, imply that PME is not genuine or that professionals do not take it seriously.

Fluctuating In Hormones

Although it's conceivable for the hormonal changes that occur during your menstrual cycle to have an effect on your mental state, the reverse is also true. According to reports, those with anxiety and depression are more likely to have shorter cycles and worse PMS symptoms, although depression and bipolar disorder are both associated with irregular menstrual cycles. Some people discover that medications can also change their menstrual cycle.

Stress And Periods

Additionally, if you're going through a stressful moment in your life, your menstrual cycle could also shift temporarily. In order to moderate our reaction to stress, our systems release hormones. However, these chemicals might block ovulation, therefore making us miss a period. Stress can exacerbate the emotional symptoms of PMDD and has also been connected to painful menstruation, or dysmenorrhea.[5]

Even while the menstrual cycle's unpleasant symptoms might be challenging to manage, experts believe you can do a lot to reduce them by adopting healthier living practises. The body's hormone levels can be disturbed by eating poorly, consuming a lot of alcohol, and getting little sleep, all of which make managing premenstrual symptoms much more difficult. Doctors advise that if someone has PMS, there may be a problem with her lifestyle choices rather than a hormonal one. Contact your doctor if you're following healthy practises but still feel moody around your period since you might have an unbalanced hormone level that needs to be addressed.


  1. Lauren Streicher, MD, professor, clinical obstetrics and gynecology, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University.
  2. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: "FAQ193: Heavy Menstrual Bleeding," "FAQ095: Abnormal Uterine Bleeding," "FAQ046: Dysmenorrhea: Painful Periods."
  3. CDC: "Heavy Menstrual Bleeding," "Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) -- CDC Fact Sheet."
  4. "Iron-deficiency anemia," "Your menstrual cycle."
  5. PCOS Awareness Association: "PCOS Symptoms."

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