How Obesity Affects Your Monthly Periods


The two reasons why women worry about their weight is their health and appearance. Besides low self-esteem, being obese or overweight can lead to other health risks like cancer, heart disease and other complications. However, you may be surprised to know that obese or overweight can impact your reproductive health. It can lead to the irregular menstrual cycle, pregnancy issues and infertility. How does this happen?

Obesity and menstrual cycle

How does obesity affect your menstrual cycle? Studies indicate that in the case of being overweight or obese, losing just 5% of body weight can improve fertility hormone levels and outcome which would directly affect and support cycle regularity. Obesity has been tied to menstrual disorders or irregular bleeding. It can also make women go for months without ovulating.

Obesity and hormone production

Women depend on progesterone and estrogen hormones to regulate their menstrual cycle.  Hormones help in building the endometrium, which shed when fertilization doesn’t take place. Obesity affects estrogen production, which interferes with the formation of the endometrial lining. Research suggests that weight loss or gain could cause hormone level alterations leading to amenorrhea. Every woman’s cycle is different, but most of them fall somewhere between 21 to 35 days. If yours is outside of this timeframe, it may be, in part, due to obesity or weight gain.

Obesity and menorrhagia

Sometimes menorrhagia (heavy menstrual bleeding) is caused by fibroids and hormonal imbalance. But is your weight behind your heavy or prolonged bleeding?  If you are experiencing  diagnosis of menorrhagia, you may find relief by losing weight.  Ask your medical professional what they feel would be an appropriate goal weight for you to achieve and how.

Obesity and amenorrhea

There is a possibility that the diagnosis of amenorrhea is caused by being overweight as well. Amenorrhea is a menstrual condition where you experience no menstrual periods or missed periods. Weight gain or being overweight can trigger changes in your menstrual cycle. However, your periods can be normal again if you manage your body weight.  Studies show that during menstruation, women tend to crave for carbohydrates and foods high fat. However, managing a healthy weight is one of the most cited and easy-to-adopt remedies to irregular, heavy or no period at all.

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