**Stress and Amenorrhea
-Amenorrhea is the absence of menstruation, often defined as missing one or more menstrual periods.
-Consult your doctor if you've missed at least three menstrual periods in a row, or if you've never had a menstrual period and you're age 15 or older.
-Amenorrhea can occur for a variety of reasons.
-Some are normal, while others may be a side effect of medication or a sign of a medical problem.
-Mental stress can temporarily alter the functioning of your hypothalamus — an area of your brain that controls the hormones that regulate your menstrual cycle.
-Ovulation and menstruation may stop as a result.
-Regular menstrual periods usually resume after your stress decreases.
-Not having periods when your peers are having theirs can be stressful, especially for young people who are transitioning into adulthood.
-There’s everyday stress, and then there’s period-skipping stress.
-What makes them different?
-What kind of stress causes your body to skip a period? (Pandemics, perhaps?)
-There are many levels of stress ranging from a bad hair day to pandemics that shut you in your home for months.
-How stress affects your menstrual cycle is based on your unique brain and body.
-Stress causes a production of the hormone cortisol.
-Lighter stress may have lesser impacts, and heavy stress may have more dramatic impacts that last longer
-The higher your cortisol levels, the more likely you are to have missing or irregular periods
-Stress is personal — what’s cortisol-inducing to one woman may not be to another.
-Tune in to your body to figure out what your stress triggers are, then work diligently to tamp them down.
**The Relaxation Response
-The relaxation response is the rest and digest part of the nervous system.
-It basically undoes the work of the stress response after a stressful situation.
-The relaxation response happens when we feel safe, nurtured or taken care of.
-It can block effects from your body’s response to stress.
-This is good for your mental and physical health.
**Effective Relaxation Techniques
-The most effective relaxation technique is one that works for you!
-Different relaxation techniques will help different people at different times.
-What works for you this week, may not work next week.
-But it might work again next month.
-Our needs vary and so it’s important to have a toolbox of relaxation techniques to help you on a regular basis.