3 ways exercise can affect your menstrual cycle.

January is the time where we like to hit the ground running when it comes to exercising. It’s great for the mind and body on so many different levels, but did you know that it could also be connected to the ups and downs of your menstrual cycle? Here’s a closer look at how exercise can affect your menstrual cycle and periods.

1.Relieve PMS symptoms and cramps

Exercise is just one of the things that may just relieve those aching symptoms so many women experience around that time of the month. We know the feeling of wanting to crawl up into a ball for the week but getting your heart pumping might just give you the boost you need. Read more on relieving PMS here.

2.Induce period

Cycle irregularities are more common than you might think, and period delays can be caused by numerous reasons. One major factor that tends to cause irregularities is stress. Exercising will not only reduce stress levels but may just be the movement and circulation your body needs to get that flow going.

3.Keep the balance

Exercising takes a lot of energy, and although it hosts many benefits excessive exercise can also take a toll. If body mass drops very low it may cause a loss of ovulation and periods. Similarly, an increased level of body mass can cause cycle irregularities. It’s all about keeping the balance right.

Sources: 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3748549/

http://www.empowher.com/menstrual-cycle/content/3-ways-exercise-affects-your-period?page=0,1

http://www.md-health.com/How-To-Induce-Your-Period.html

5 things that can cause an irregular cycle

One of the best things about Natural Cycles is that you get to know your body and your cycles. The more data and the longer you use Natural Cycles, the better the app gets to know you. We’re all a bit irregular but with Natural Cycles you will find out exactly how irregular your cycles are and how your cycles compare with other Cyclers. This is useful information for you to know because you will get a better overview over your cycles and mood, and at the same time you will know when your period will be due. If you want to plan a pregnancy in the future it might be even more useful to know more about your cycles and when you ovulate.

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Except for the natural irregularities that every woman has, we’ve listed 5 things that may cause an irregular cycle:

 

1. Stressful / irregular lifestyle

Hard training, significant weight loss or weight gain, stress and traveling can result in irregular periods.

 

2. PCOS

Around 5-10% of all women experience irregular periods due to polycystic ovarian syndrome. In women with PCOS, the ovaries make more androgens than normal, which affects the development and release of eggs during ovulation. Therefore, women with PCOS often experience anovulatory cycles where ovulation does not occur. This means that the hormone progesterone is not made and without progesterone, a woman’s menstrual cycle is irregular or absent. Read more about how you can use Natural Cycles with PCOS here.

 

 

3. After hormonal contraception.

If you have recently been on hormonal contraception, it is likely that your cycle will be out of balance and irregular. It is very individual for how long your cycles will be irregular but some of our Cyclers have experienced irregular cycles up to a year.

 

 

4. After pregnancy

Even though pregnancy isn’t the same as being on hormonal contraception, the hormones from the pregnancy have a similar effect on your cycle to start, it can be irregular a while before it stabilizes.

 

 

5. Endometriosis

Endometriosis is where the lining of blood is also found outside your uterus. Areas that are most commonly involved are your ovaries, bowel or the tissue lining your pelvis. 10% of women worldwide have endometriosis – that’s 176 million worldwide. What it can cause  is irregular and very painful periods. Read more about endometriosis here. 
Let us know if you have any questions and read more about irregular cycles and Natural Cycles!
Best
The Natural Cycles Team