Tuesday 6 April 2021

Marla Ahlgrimm: Does COVID Mess With Your Period?

Marla Ahlgrimm

If you’ve had the coronavirus, you may have noticed changes in your menstrual cycle. Marla Ahlgrimm explains that, like other viruses, COVID-19 does have an effect on the parts of your body that control your period. 
But, how? Marla Ahlgrimm explains that stress, both physical and mental, are the most likely culprits. When you get sick, the hypothalamus pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis is affected. With prolonged stress, the HPA is no longer as efficient producing progesterone and estrogen, both vital sex hormones that affect the menstrual cycle. 

Further, increased cortisol levels wreak havoc throughout your entire system. The combination of a suppressed HPA and stress means that women recovering from the coronavirus often experience missed periods. Despite the inconvenience and the concern, Marla Ahlgrimm says that not having a period during times of great illness is an evolutionary and biological response. 
The human body is deeply conditioned to avoid pregnancy when a woman is not in her prime. This is why we experience menopause after our bodies are no longer perfectly conditioned to bear children. Marla Ahlgrimm says that menstrual cycle disruptions are the body’s response to being sick, which is perhaps the worst time for a woman to become pregnant. 
Marla Ahlgrimm
According to Marla Ahlgrimm, stress and hormone changes are not the only reason for a skipped cycle. She notes that it’s crucial to consult your healthcare provider if you have experienced any disruption to your menstrual cycle. This could be an indication of pregnancy or another, more serious health condition. 
Not all women will experience a menstrual cycle disruption. But, for those that do, fear of being pregnant during a pandemic will only add to the stress. For those wanting to get back into a regular cycle after an illness, Marla Ahlgrimm suggests eating healthy, exercising, and taking steps to mitigate stress, such as doing yoga or socializing with friends.


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