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  • Justice for My Jewel

Is it possible for a change in weather to affect a woman’s menstrual cycle?

A sure sign that the weather is about to change is the holidays getting closer and closer. The leaves begin to change colors as Fall comes along and, for some of us, there’s a blanket of snow on our yards every year during the winter. For some, cold weather may be ideal but for others cold weather can be dreadful. As the seasons have begun to change this year, have you ever stopped to think about how the change in weather may have an effect on menstrual cycles for women? While it may not seem likely for something like a change in temperature to impact your menstrual cycle every month, there are in fact some direct factors when examining the seasons changing.

The first and most common factor to think about when discussing the change in weather is stress! Yes, that’s right stress. Think about it, as the holidays approach you tend to become a bit more overwhelmed than usual. With all the hustle and bustle of shopping, tending to family matters, traveling and a slew of other things; stress can cause women to not get their menstrual cycles or to get them irregularly.

When are you more active, during the summer or during the winter? More than likely, you’re most active during the summer. It’s warm outside and you’re far more likely to be willing to get up and venture out of the house. The colder it gets, the more inactive you might become! When you’re less active, this can make for a less manageable period. Cramps and PMS can be made worse due to lack of exercise and the “holiday diet.” An unhealthy Body Mass Index or BMI can affect any woman’s cycle. According to Dr. A. Nicky Hjort, M.D., OBGYN, the average American can gain up to three to 10 pounds during the winter months.

A study in Gynecol Endocrinal, a medical journal, found that a lack of sunshine can change the length of menstrual cycles. In general, sunshine or a lack thereof is a factor that influences the menstrual cycle. The same study reported that “when comparing the summer to the winter, there was a trend towards increased FSH secretion, significantly larger ovarian follicle size, higher frequency of ovulation and a shorter menstrual cycle.” In every season, it was found that an increased amount of [exposure to] sunlight can lead to a shorter cycle length for women.

Specifically, when it comes to changes in temperature and our bodies, a sudden climate change (weather it be from hot to cold and vice versa) has the ability to change any woman’s menstrual cycle. This is due to the body’s inability to regulate. A change in weather varies the body’s metabolic rate which leads to hormonal inequity and an overall change in menstrual cycles.

The seasons change year around and so do our bodies. While the weather doesn’t necessarily have a direct or immediate effect on a woman’s menstrual cycle, there are things that can be taken into consideration when the temperature drops or warms up. Have you noticed any changes with your body?

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