It’s that time of the month again and your periods have arrived, or maybe they haven’t? Every woman will experience their periods differently, but in order for your periods to be regular, they should come every 21-35 days. Sometimes, however, you may find that they are a bit late or perhaps they don’t come at all. Did you know that your weight can have an effect on the cycle of your period and this is what can cause the disruption?
Before we go ahead with this article, we want to clarify that all women are beautiful no matter their size, and in no way are we here to discriminate a person’s weight.
Throughout this article, however, we are going to discuss what estrogen levels are, how excessive weight gain can cause estrone, how losing too much weight can put stress on your body, and how maintaining a balanced weight that you feel comfortable with can help your menstrual cycle.
How Estrogen Actually Works
First things first, before we delve into how your weight may be affecting your periods, you first need to understand what estrogen is and how it works.
Estrogen is one of the female sex hormones that is produced by the ovaries after getting signals from your pituitary gland and hypothalamus. Awesome, but how does it help your body?
Estrogen’s job in the body is to build a nice, cushiony uterine lining which is called the endometrium. Then, when the time comes, it will nourish a fertilized egg. When the fertilization doesn’t take place, however, then a woman’s body will shed the lining. This process is called a period.
Every woman’s estrogen levels are different, meaning that their menstrual cycle will also be different. However, most still fall between 21-35 days. Your weight could potentially be causing problems with your estrogen level, therefore causing your period to be late or missed altogether.
How Weight Gain Can Affect Your Period
Before we get started in providing you with information regarding how weight can affect a woman’s menstrual cycle, we want to clarify again that we are in no way encouraging women to lose weight or discourage their bodies. All of you are beautiful!
Weight gain can have an effect on a woman’s estrogen by making it go into overdrive. All women and men have fat cells in their body, but in some women, basic cholesterol in these fat cells can change into a weak form of estrogen that is commonly known as estrone.
Maria Arias, a gynecologist at Atlanta Women’s Specialists in Georgia states that they become:
“Little estrone-making factories, which have an estrogenic effect on glands.”
This added estrogen can either make some women bleed more than usual or prevent them from getting their period at all. Some doctors have described estrone symptoms as mimicking pregnancy by which the period stops.
Eventually, you should get a period and when you do it is possible that it will be heavy and go for longer due to a buildup of blood over a period of time.
How Weight Loss Can Affect Your Period
Gaining weight isn’t the only factor to affect your period, rather losing excessive weight quickly or losing too much weight can also affect a woman’s estrogen levels.
Losing too much weight can put added stress on your body which can affect your hormone levels and even disrupt your menstrual cycle. The body doesn’t like stress at the best of times, but when it is related to weight loss it can cause your body to have fewer periods or even go longer periods without ovulating.
Women who are severely underweight may experience no periods at all. This could be due to the effects of suppressing the hypothalamus, which can lead a woman’s body to stop making estrogen, and therefore stop their period.
Can My Period Cause Weight Gain?
So, we know that gaining weight and losing weight can do to a woman’s period, but what about your period causing you to gain weight? The question is – does it?
Maria Arias states that:
“The menstrual cycle isn’t the cause of weight changes, it’s just a bystander.”
This means that no, a woman’s menstrual cycle does not directly impact weight loss or weight gain. However, sometimes it may feel like it does, and that is normal. Common symptoms of the period can be feeling bloated, changes in appetite, or the intense craving for food.
The Benefits Of Maintaining a Balanced Weight For Your Periods
Let’s make one thing clear before we move ahead – a balanced weight does not mean we are encouraging you to gain or lose weight, and we are not saying you should change your body. A balanced weight is where your weight stays the same or close to and doesn’t fluctuate up or down in a short period of time.
A balanced weight can help you kick your body into gear and can help regulate your cycle (21-35 days). You may or may not have read about a ‘BMI’ and how that can help you determine your ideal weight. We want to clarify that the BMI testing and results are not always accurate, and don’t take in a number of factors into consideration.
If you aren’t sure what your balanced weight might be or whether or not your weight is affecting your periods, then an option might be to keep a diary of your periods and their regularity, as well as your current weight. If you experience any changes in your cycle, you can backtrack over the information you have and see if it has anything to do with weight.
Before you go, we want to remind you that in no way should you feel pressured to change your body or your weight and that all women are beautiful no matter their size. This article was written to provide women with information regarding how weight can affect your periods and isn’t encouraging anyone to change who they are.
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