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Episode 11 - What is stress & how does it effect your menstrual cycle?

Show Notes

Episode number 11 has just been released and is available for you to listen.


In this episode I am talking about stress – what is stress and how does it affect our menstrual cycle. Listen in to the episode to hear my expanded view on what stress actually is because I believe that we are living in much more constant stress than we realise. I mean, any time we are not living who we truly are, not honouring how we feel, over-riding what we naturally sense in life and about life and anytime we simply don’t listen to the communication from our body – this is a stressful situation for our body. We may be so used to it that we don’t even realise that this has become our normal.

So I broaden our view on stress, talk about how it affects the delicate communication between our hormones and how this then gives us the symptoms in our menstrual cycle that we tend not to like very much, like PMS or period pain or heavy bleeding to name a few.

One thing I wanted to point out is that I mention how stress can delay ovulation – well in truth, this is not the case. Ovulation will always be on time. ALWAYS. Because your body is simply responding to the quality that your body is in. It is doing exactly what is being called for according to how you are living and it is communicating that to you. Like I always say, we are not at the mercy of our hormones, they are at the mercy of us.

These are the topics I discuss in this episode -

  • What is stress and how does it affect your cycle?

  • What is stressful for one person may not be stressful for another, however there is a biological response that is the same for everyone.

  • Cortisol levels are a typical way of measuring stress in our body.

  • Fight of Flight response and the sympathetic nervous system

  • Rest and digest response is our parasympathetic nervous system

  • Many of us are in the fight or flight mode more often than is needed. Our body thinks we are needing to survive.

  • The menstrual cycle is one of the first casualties of constant stress

  • Stress can result in PMS, Irregular periods, heavy periods, acne, absent periods.

  • What is stress? Is it more than we realise?

  • Have we accepted low-grade stress (or even high-grade stress) as normal?

  • From young we learn to live according to want the outside world wants us to be rather than from the inside-out.

  • Lack of self-worth, not feeling enough and being critical with ourselves is a stress on our body.

  • How does stress affect our menstrual cycle?

  • We can see the effects of stress on ovulation by checking our cervical mucus and basal body temperature

  • Ovulation may be delayed and cycles may be long or absent. None of this means there is anything wrong with your body. Ovulation is in fact on time and not delayed because your body is simply responding to the quality that your body is in. It is doing exactly what is being called for according to how you are living and it is communicating that to you.

  • Stress effects our hormones and the production of oestrogen and progesterone.

  • Our behaviours that result from stress, can compound the effect of stress on our menstrual cycle. I give an example of my choice to indulge in dairy products which exacerbated my period pain.

  • Effect of stress on progesterone – supports us with stress; calms us and supports sleep; soothes mood.

  • Stress increases inflammation and decreases immune system. Progesterone decreases inflammation and supports the immune system. Yet stress also reduces progesterone. So, it is a viscous cycle!

  • We need a marker of what normal actually is…because a lot of the time, our normal is our body under stress. This is the power of the Stillness and Cycles Program, to support women to get a sense of what their true normal actually is and then how to adjust life to live closer to this marker, rather than to a marker of stress that they may not have even realised they were living by.

  • Sleep is super important. It is not just about shutting down the body. It is about having a rejuvenated and restorative rest to support our body.

  • Our circadian rhythm is governed by our pineal gland, which governs the rhythms in our body including our menstrual cycle.


Related Blogs:

Looking for support to manage and deal with the effects of stress?

Book a FREE 15 minute consult with Sara to find out more.

FREE eBook:

As mentioned in this episode, 'Ovulation - your introductory guide to fertility awareness & knowing when you ovulate' is available now for FREE on the website for you to download - for a limited time (at the time of recording this).


And check out the website for the upcoming course 8 week course, formalising what I have been doing with women for many years. 'Cycle Wise Woman' is for you if you are interested in getting to know your cycle and the principles of FAM, putting it into practice and using it as a method of contraception, to achieve pregnancy and/or to simply know your body much more intimately. We could all do with more of this!

Please note: The information in these podcasts is of a general nature for educational and informational purposes. It is not intended to be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease, health concern, or illness and cannot substitute for the advice of a medical or health care professional. By engaging with this material and any other material distributed by Follow your Flow, you are acknowledging that you are solely responsible for any decisions you make regarding your health.


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