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Can Working Out Delay Your Period?

Working out keeps our heart healthy, improves our mood and energy levels, helps maintain our weight, reduces our risk from disease, and helps us rest at night. What’s more, it can also help improve uterine cramping, nausea, vomiting and back pain during the period. However, some women may experience delayed period after working out, so is there a relation between working out and your period?

Can Working Out Delay Your Period?

Yes, rigorous working out can delay your period. Typically, a woman’s normal menstrual cycle is 21 to 28 days. During a normal cycle, the level of estrogen increases, while the lining of the uterus thickens, and an egg begins to mature in one of the ovaries (ovulation). The mature egg then leaves the ovary at the midpoint of your cycle and travels through the fallopian tubes into the uterus. If you do not get pregnant, the thick lining in the uterus will begin to shed, then your period comes. Although regular exercise helps keep our bodies healthy, hard strenuous exercise can disrupt and delay a normal cycle.

How Can Working Out Delay Your Period?

On one hand, rigorous training and exercise can reduce the production of estrogen which is needed to complete a cycle. On the other hand, exercises may put too much pressure on the body, and in this case, your body may shut down some unnecessary functions to save energy for survival. Menstruation is a function that manages reproduction, which is not so important for your body in this survival mode, therefore the body may stop it from functioning normally, causing a delayed or missed period.

How to Go Back to Normal Menstrual Cycle

Can working out delay your period? The answer is yes! So how to deal with a delayed period caused by working out? In some cases, reducing the physical activity may be all that is needed to restore the menstruation cycle. However, in order to increase your energy reserves, you may also need to increase your caloric intake. When your body begins to receive the necessary calories for normal daily functions, your menstrual cycles should return to normal.

If reducing exercise and increasing your calories aren’t working, you may want to discuss with your healthcare provider the possibility of taking birth control or hormone pills to help bring your menstrual cycles back to normal.

Other Factors That Can Delay Your Period

1. Stress

Stress can lead to changes in the level of many hormones, and affect the part in your brain which is responsible for regulating your menstrual cycle. If stress affects you for a long time, you may also experience sudden weight loss or weight gain. All these factors can contribute to a delayed period.

2. Abnormal Body Weight

Women who have low body weight or who are obese may experience abnormal periods. Abnormal low body weight that is 10 percent lower than the normal body weight may cause the body to stop ovulation. Obesity can make the hormonal levels fluctuate, causing problems such as delayed, light or infrequent menstrual periods.

3. Polycystic Ovary Symptom (PCOS)

PCOS is a disorder that causes an increased production of the male hormone called androgen. As a result of this, cysts may form on the ovaries, which can make these ovaries stop ovulating, causing a delayed or missed period. 

4. Birth Control

You may see irregularities in your menstrual cycle when you start or stop using birth control. The birth control pill contains synthetic hormones that prevents ovulation. When you quit taking the pills, it may take as many as 6 months for your period to become normal again.

5. Chronic Diseases

Can working out delay your period? Yes, it can. However, a delayed period can also be the result of some chronic diseases. Diabetes is one of the diseases, because poorly controlled diabetes can lead to changes in blood sugar, which can affect hormones that control menstruation.

Besides, celiac disease can also affect the cycle. It is an intestinal inflammatory disorder triggered by gluten, and it can affect your ability to absorb nutrients, which in turn may cause delayed period, early menopause, secondary amenorrhea and infertility.

6. Early Menopause

Many women enter menopause around the age of 50. However, if a woman has menopause symptoms around the age of 40, it is considered as an early menopause. It means that her supply of eggs is winding down, and this usually results in missed and delayed periods.

7. Thyroid Issues

The thyroid regulates the body’s metabolism and hormone levels. When there is something wrong with the thyroid, the hormone levels will be changed, causing absent or delayed periods, or very frequent and heavy periods along with more cramps.

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