The Five Questions You Should Ask Yourself If You Miss A Period
Have you ever missed a period and asked yourself, "Am I pregnant?" While this is definitely a valid question to ask, there could be other reasons why you missed a period. And if you are not sexually active, then there definitely are other reasons why you aren't flowing.
After years of learning more about my menstrual cycle and how to manage it, I developed a list of questions I ask myself every time I notice a change with my period. I refer to these questions as the 6 S's:
- Stress: How has my stress levels been since my last period?
I think it's fair to say that we've all experienced some level of stress since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Did you know that stress can affect your menstrual cycle? In fact, your body secretes the hormone, cortisol, when you experience stress. Cortisol can upset the hypothalamus, a part of your brain that regulates your period, resulting in a light period, delayed period, or missed period. If you are experiencing high levels of stress on a daily basis and it's affecting your menstrual cycle, I encourage you to see a doctor who can provide you with solutions so you don't experience a hormonal imbalance due to missed or irregular periods. I also suggest you set aside time every day to do something that makes you feel good and lowers your stress level, such as watching a funny TV show, meditating, drawing/coloring, journaling, exercising, or going for nature walks.
2. Sleep: Am I getting enough sleep every night?
Did you know that you have a body clock? Our circadian rhythm, also known as body clock, regulates when we go to sleep and awake each day. Most of our body clocks align with the sun; as the sun rises, we wake up and start our day, and as the sun sets, we unwind and go to sleep. Our circadian rhythm can change throughout the lifespan, starting from infancy. Those who experience sleep disorders or work night shifts may also have different circadian rhythms. When our sleep schedules are off, this can affect our brain and it's secretion of critical hormones responsible for the regulation of your menstrual cycle, possibly causing a late or missed period. If you are having difficulty sleeping, I highly encourage listening to jazz or nature sounds on low volume or meditating before you go to sleep.