Obesity can throw your hormones out of whack, may affect your periods

Being overweight or obese can lead to problems in your periods as it affects your hormones. Here's what you need to know.
Arushi Bidhuri Published: 20 Oct 2022, 10:15 am IST
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Obesity may be one of the worst predictors of an impending health problem. Being overweight or obese can put you at a higher risk of several health problems, today we’re going to talk about the toll it can take on your reproductive health. That’s right!

Dr Aparna Govil Bhasker, bariatric and laparoscopic surgeon, Saifee, Apollo Spectra, Namaha and Currae Hospitals, Mumbai, shares that women who are obese are more likely to experience heavy bleeding and irregular periods. Read on to understand the link between obesity and your periods.

obesity and periods
How obesity affects your periods? Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Does obesity affect your periods?

Being obese or overweight can fiddle with your periods and lead to problems. “It is often linked to irregular periods or anovulatory cycles, which is when one’s period may completely stop. A woman’s period could come early or late. The flow could be heavier or lighter than normal,” explains Dr Bhasker. She further explains that obese or overweight women become insulin resistant, which can lead to polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), one of the most prominent reproductive problems found in young women.

For the unversed, PCOS is a common hormone problem that leads to the formation of small cysts in their ovaries. It can lead to increased levels of luteinizing hormone, leptin, insulin, estrone, triglycerides, and very low-density lipoproteins, which can lead to other problems like infertility, she points out. Obesity may lead to heavy blood flow during periods due to the increased inflammation of the lining of the womb (uterus). Obesity also increases your chance of miscarriage, birth abnormalities, and premature birth, avers the expert.

Being underweight can also lead to period problems

Not only obesity but being underweight can also impact your menstrual cycle. It happens due to a complicated connection between your ovaries and brain.

“Ovulation happens through changes in hormone levels, and menstruation is caused by further hormonal changes. Anything that disrupts this relationship can hamper ovulation. You may skip periods if you are underweight,” says the expert.

The doctor advises people to maintain a healthy weight. There are also other things you need to follow to keep your hormones in check and diseases at bay.

underweight and periods
How being underweight affect your periods? Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

How much bleeding is normal during periods?

“Heavy menstrual bleeding means losing more than 80 ml of blood in every cycle or when the periods last for more than seven days at one time is heavy bleeding. If you need to change the sanitary pads every 2 hours, are bleeding through your clothes, or are passing clots more than 2.5 cm in size then it is imperative to speak to a gynaecologist without wasting any time,” advises Dr Bhasker.

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About the Author

Arushi Bidhuri is a journalist with 7 years of experience in writing, editing, and conceptualizing story ideas across different genres, including health and wellness, lifestyle, politics, beauty, fashion, and more. Arushi has a strong connection in the industry that helps her write concise and original stories as she believes in working towards writing pieces that can enlighten people. ...Read More

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