With the Holiday season coming in quicker than we can blink an eye, our schedules are so full that we feel stress beginning to take over our body. Whether it be trying to prepare our turkeys before Thanksgiving dinner or trying to get all of the gifts under the tree in time, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and panicked during this time of the year. As we approach the busy season and one of the most stressful times of the year one question lingers in the back of your mind, can stress affect my menstrual cycle? The answer, yes!

Stress can not only change your menstrual cycle it can also delay your period. This happens because of the way it disturbs your hormonal patterns. Your hormonal cycle is like a domino effect. If a part of your cycle doesn’t occur when it should, the following parts do not receive the proper triggers and it continues to affect the following stages. Here are 5 different ways that stress can have an effect on your period/menstrual cycle.


1. Delays Your Ovulation

When it comes time for you to ovulate and you are experiencing an increased level of cortisol, which can be caused by stress. In fact, the increased level of cortisol can actually prevent or delay your ovulation.

2. Interferes With Your Bodies Insulin

As we said, stress can cause a higher cortisol level and it interferes with your blood sugar which, in the end, affects your period/ovulation.

3. Changes Your Period Timing

Stress can cause an imbalance in your Hormones as well when it occurs post-ovulation. If stress takes place after ovulation and your cycle it can possibly cause spotting, a period that is out of the norm, and even an early period.

4. Your Period Can Go On A Vacation

As strange as it sounds, your period can go on a vacation. Even with the slightest bleed, a period that is not on schedule may not even be considered a “period”. This means you may have had some bleeding, but your bleeding didn’t come with ovulation. But in turn with this event, your uterus still needs to shed as usual which is why the bleeding occurs.

5. It Can Lower Progesterone

Stress is a hormone, also known as “cortisol”, prevents progesterone production and can lower your progesterone levels. This puts your body in a state of shock which means that it uses your Progesterone to create more cortisol in response to the stress.


As crazy as it sounds, the way your body reacts to stress is more than just a feeling of being overwhelmed and the occasional breakdown. Your body reacts to stress in many different ways, one being your menstrual cycle. If you have any questions or concerns about your ovulation or missed periods be sure to contact the professionals at Antheia Gynecology and schedule your next appointment today.