Beautiful weather we're having, right? As we thrive in the warmer months, you might notice a few changes. In addition to noticing the environmental changes like longer days and warmer nights, have you noticed any physical changes? Your skin might be darker from sunbathing or maybe you're more in shape from being able to exercise outdoors. While these are all changes you might experience, you might notice another change - this time, with your period.
Some women could spend their entire life with a consistent period. Regardless of whether they're stressed, sick, or traveling, their period occurs like clockwork. For millions and millions of women, this is not the case. While your period is an intricate system, it can most certainly be affected by something as fickle as the weather! How?
While the weather certainly affects your period, let's talk about seasonal effects first! When looking at it, your period is typically affected by stress and exercise. Out of the two, stress is definitely the one that affects you more seasonally. In professional matters, you might feel the weight of stress the same throughout the year. In personal matters, many people feel the pressure during the colder months, i.e. the holidays.
While the holidays are definitely "the most wonderful time of the year," it is also the most stressful time of the year for some. Stress is definitely linked to your period in that an increase can lead to late or even missed periods!
Exercise is another seasonal factor that works in conjunction with the weather. During the winter months, you're more likely to stay indoors and exercise less. When the seasons' change and the weather get warmer, you can count on being more active.
Rather than catching a ride down the street, you'd be more likely to walk. Instead of talking yourself into driving to the gym like you might do in the winter months, you'd probably opt for a run. While women who exercise regularly can expect fewer symptoms that are associated with their period, they can also expect fewer chances of heavy or irregular bleeding.
Now that we've covered the seasonal effects that weather can have on your period, let's talk about the direct effects. Sun exposure, which definitely varies between the summer and winter months, can play a role in your menstrual cycle. According to a study published in Gynecol Endocrinol, the excess sun in the summer months leads to increased hormones which are a major player in how your menstrual cycle works. According to the study, the excess sun in the summertime caused an increase in FSH secretion, an increase in follicle size, the sac that houses the eggs in the ovaries, and a decrease in the menstrual cycle. By proving that ovarian activity is greater during the summer months, the study was able to show that the changes in weather do in fact affect your menstrual cycle.
Millions of women use apps to track their period so they never have any surprises. Many women even track their period so that they know when they're ovulating. Now the weather is just another factor you can add to your ever-changing cycle!