Human beings like many other animals undergo many transitions and events throughout their lifespan. Some of these mark the beginning or the end of a certain period of their life.

The beginning of menstrual cycle marks the beginning of fertility in women bodies.

After a girl receives her first period, if she engages in sexual activities with a man there is a high possibility that she might conceive and get pregnant.

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That time of the month

There are various things that affect the menstrual cycle in women and girls and they include climate, diseases, diet, exercise, stress and anxiety and drugs.

Most women have to endure the pain as a result of cramps and PMS associated with the periods. This inconveniences the woman or the girl by dragging her down. Some women may experience regular periods whereas others may experience irregular periods.

The situation gets worse for women under birth control drugs.

The question is, can exercise affect your period?

This article will help to explain whether the menstrual cycle can be affected by exercise.

The facts

In most women periods last for about three to five days and during this period your body shed uterine tissues and blood.

The first day of your menstrual cycle starts on the first day of your menstrual period. For most women, menstrual cycle lasts between twenty-eight to thirty-two days.

Typically, the menstrual cycle is controlled by one main hormone – oestrogen.

The hormone levels are high during the first half of your menstrual cycle to prepare you for pregnancy. The hormone facilitates the thickening of uterine walls in preparation for pregnancy.

Additionally, further hormone fluctuation during this period causes one of your ovaries to release an egg that travels to the uterus for fertilisation. If fertilisation of the egg does not take place, the oestrogen levels in the blood automatically reduce causing the egg to disintegrate marking the beginning of menstruation.

During the second half of the cycle, the oestrogen levels in blood continue to drop.

Since fertilisation of the egg did not take place and there is no implantation, the uterus begins to shed its outer walls that were previously thickened in anticipation for pregnancy.

Benefits of exercise

For many years, moderate physical activities have been known to improve various side effects of menstruation. The side effects that are improved include nausea, back pain, vomiting and cramps. These side effects are bound to occur in most women during menstruation period.

According to scientists and recent lifestyle news, the menstrual symptoms develop as a result of the uterine walls releasing prostaglandins hormones.

Boosting your feel-good hormones

Once released into the blood system, these hormones limit blood flow to the uterus causing painful uterine contractions. Engaging in moderate physical exercises helps your body in boosting blood flow to uterus hence improving its production of endorphins.

Endorphins are feel-good hormones that enable your body to counter the effects of the pain-inducing prostaglandins in most women.

Therefore, you should engage in moderate physical activities to facilitate a smooth running during the menstrual cycle by reducing and toning the various symptoms and side effects of the menstrual cycle.

So can exercise affect your menstrual cycle? Yes.

Cautions

can exercise effect your period_2Decreased caloric intake in combination with intense physical activities may cause your menstrual cycle to stop. This is a condition called amenorrhea, a condition most common in women athletes.

Although the condition is prominent in athletic women, it is also frequent in women and girls who engage in sports that emphasise slenderness such as gymnastics, figure skating and ballet.

Most women who suffer from this condition experience energy deficit in their body. 

Eventually, due to an energy deficit in the hypothalamus (your brain’s control centre), it begins to suppress the release of hormones that regulate and control ovarian function. Eventually, the ovaries are restrained from releasing an egg for fertilisation thus keeping you from experiencing a menstrual period.

Considerations

If you experience menstrual irregularities such as skipped periods as a result of exercising, ensure your pay your doctor a visit for a professional advice.

Also, prolonged amenorrhea leads to the depletion of calcium in the bones due to decreased oestrogen levels in the blood system. If this condition persists for a long period it may result in the development of osteoporosis, bone mass loss, broken or fractured bones.

The known treatment of amenorrhea involves decreased physical activities and increased caloric intake.

Therefore, during the menstrual cycle, women and girls should ensure they practise healthy dieting habits and incorporate moderate or minimised physical activities in their daily routine to facilitate a smooth running during the menstrual cycle.

Conclusion

It is every woman’s or girl’s dream to have a smooth menstrual cycle.

A combination of healthy dieting habits and moderate physical exercises can be the answer to a smooth menstrual cycle.

During this period, the body experiences massive hormonal fluctuation and development or loss of some body tissues and blood. Therefore, the body needs a lot of energy to take care of these activities during the menstrual cycle.

It is therefore very important to eat foods that are rich in calories and engage in activities like moderate physical exercise to facilitate the effective burning of these foods to produce energy.

Connect with Expert Daisy Grace

Reference:

– Consumer Health Digest, Menopause Center: Menstrual Cycle: What’s Normal & What’s Not 

– Lifestyle News

– Consumer Health Digest, Womans Health: Yoga you must try for your period cramps 

– Live Strong, Sports & Fitness, Exercise: How does exercising affect your period

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