For women suffering from uterine fibroids, periods can be stressful enough on their own. What we sometimes forget is to take into account how stress in general affects the menstrual cycle. Heavy bleeding and period pain can be symptoms of fibroids, so for those already dealing with this, it’s important to consider how can you keep stress at bay in order to keep periods more manageable.
How does stress affect your periods?
Cortisol is the hormone that your body produces to deal with all kinds of stress. But cortisol can throw off your body’s proper production of progesterone and estrogen, both key hormones in keeping your reproductive system running evenly.
While it isn’t entirely understood what leads to what in this “cycle” of events, it has been shown that stress can potentially suppress your menstrual cycle for a while. That may seem a welcome prospect for those suffering from pain during their periods, but there’s also the possibility that tension could make periods even more painful.
How does stress affect PMS?
Stress and PMS seem to follow a sort of phenomenon of “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” in that while premenstrual syndrome can cause stress, stress can also worsen the symptoms of PMS.
An article reported that stress in the two weeks preceding a period correlates to far higher rates of depression, sadness, crying spells, body aches, bloating, lower back pain, cramps and headaches. Add this premenstrual list to the period pain and heavy bleeding experienced as fibroid symptoms by many women and it’s a recipe for a real challenge.
How can I manage stress?
In most cases, medication isn’t necessary. There’s one fantastic method to managing stress, with only very positive side effects… exercise! You’ll feel better, look better and your PMS should calm down with a few lifestyle changes.
Get out and walk more. There’s nothing wrong with starting small. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park farther from your destination and walk the rest of the way. Take your dog out for a few more walks and, if you feel you need an excuse, just tell everyone that the dog needs to get out. Maybe your neighbor’s dog needs to get out? For those who are not animal lovers, grab a friend as a walking partner. You’ll help keep each other on track.
Go to the gym. Some people feel more inclined to exercise if they feel a monetary investment has already occurred. Find a gym that is conveniently located and where you feel comfortable. Take out a short membership (many offer one free trial month!) for starters. Try to work a chunk of time into your routine schedule toward the goal of overall self improvement. Speak with the trainer and start small, seeing what works best and most safely for your needs and your body.
Choose a sport. Think back to your days in school. Surely, there must have been at least one active game that you liked. Was it volleyball? Tennis? Football? Chances are somewhere in your area there is a team or group that gets together to play on some sort of regular basis. Join up.
Certainly, the ways of becoming more active are innumerable. Think out of the box, choose a few options, leave room for tweaking and get going!
You can do it!
Stress, PMS and fibroid symptoms are all tough. It’s a heavy package to carry. Why not try to leave some of that package aside, lessening stress, thereby lessening PMS? You have only a better quality of life to gain, with more time and energy to enjoy the good stuff.