“During the lockdown, my periods have gone erratic,” says 29-year-old Richa (name changed). “I menstruated twice this month during the nationwide curfew”, says another woman. Amidst an already existing problem that has put lives in danger, women are going through different issues –  irregular periods and severe menstrual cramps.  Yes, you are not alone in this. There are many whose menstrual cycle has gone for a toss.Also Read - Tamil Nadu Temple Sets An Example, Allows Women To Worship During Menstruation

The lockdown owing to COVID-19 pandemic seems to have a weird effect on the periods. While some women are experiencing missed or delayed period, others have gone through a long-lasting period followed by debilitating pain. Also Read - Early Menstruation Linked to Diabetes + Other Diseases

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, irregularities in menstrual cycle is freaking out many. But why is this happening? How can the lockdown has such a drastic impact on a woman’s monthly cycle? Also Read - Stay Away From These Foods During Menstruation

The answer lies in the question itself. ‘Lockdown’ has forced people to stay at home and has brought a drastic change in our lifestyle. Diets, sleeping habits, and workout routine have seen a major change. And, these factors are taking a toll on our metal health.

Women are now more stressed than before the lockdown. And, the cortisol hormone (stress hormone) has started reducing the level of chemicals responsible for the regulation of menstrual cycle. Coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown have created a panic and fear in people. Uncertainties about life is leading to an increase in stress level. And a prolonged exposure to a high level of cortisol is already associated with an irregularity in secretion of other hormones including the one responsible for the occurrence of timely menstrual cycle.

Additionally, an increased level of stress can potentially lead to an imbalance in the secretion of insulin that further increases production of leptin hormone. This chemical is known to bring changes in the ovulation and the occurrence of menstrual cycle. That is why women experience a delayed period, also known as oligomenorrhea. If persisted, stress can lead to various other problems like hair fall, acne, and weight loss.

Stress is the culprit behind various hormonal changes that can lead to other problems including PCOS in women. In case you are already suffering from this problem, it can get aggravated during the lockdown owing to the current pandemic.

So, what can you do to bring your periods back on track? According to doctors, you actually need to set a routine and follow it religiously. Eat healthy foods, sleep on time, and try to be happy as much as possible. Do not take stress unnecessarily.