Your Irregular Period: Is Stress the Reason? - Cannabotech CBD Questions & Answers

Your Irregular Period: Is Stress the Reason?

While there can be many probable causes for irregular periods, you should consider the stress you have been experiencing in your personal or professional life.

Anju Mobin - Writer for Cannabotech
By Anju Mobin
Joel Taylor - writer and editor for Cannabotech
Edited by Joel Taylor

Published February 4, 2023.

Previously, your menstrual cycle may have been like clockwork, but now it happens unexpectedly. It's natural to get concerned when there is a noticeable change in your menstrual cycle length or intensity of the period, and it's good that you've decided to try and understand the cause.

While there can be many probable causes, one important factor to consider is whether you have been experiencing abnormal levels of stress in your personal or professional life.

Irregular or missed periods are a common occurrence when you have been exposed to significant stress for an extended period of time (1).

Symptoms and their severity can vary, resulting in:

  • More intense pre-menstrual symptoms
  • More painful periods
  • Change in cycle length
  • A complete pause of the menstrual cycle

Understanding These Hormonal Changes

When you are stressed, you experience a temporary increase in the hormone known as cortisol which, in turn, stimulates a fight or flight response, helping you manage the stressful situation. But chronic stress keeps cortisol elevated for longer periods (2). This can lead to unwanted consequences, such as irregular periods.

Stress suppresses the hypothalamus, a brain structure that is responsible for controlling the pituitary gland, an essential gland that regulates the production of hormones from the thyroid, adrenal glands, and ovaries (3).

Ovarian dysfunction affects oestrogen production, disrupting ovulation and the menstrual cycle, resulting in irregular or missed periods.

Manage and Lower Stress Levels

You should seek medical attention if irregular or missed periods are a frequent occurrence.

While many of life's major events are beyond your control, you should learn how to manage and lower your stress levels. Engaging in hobbies you love, meditation, and regular exercise can all help reduce stress.