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Can Stress Affect Your Menstrual Cycle?

Can Stress Affect Your Menstrual Cycle?


Stress MAY affect your menstrual cycle.

Several academic studies have concluded that stress may play a role in the function of the menstrual cycle.

Stressful Incarceration and Menstruation

In a study published in the 2007 issue of Women’s Health Issues, the authors set out to measure the association of stress levels associated with incarceration with menstrual irregularity. Recording the menstrual cycles of incarcerated women under the age of 45 with stressful experiences including physical abuse, stressful living conditions, and the like, the study concluded that 33% of the women reported menstrual irregularities, while 9% reported amenorrhea (90 days since the last menstruation).

Stressful Work Conditions and Menstruation

A 1999 study published in the Journal of Epidemiology examined the relationship between psychological stress at work and menstrual function. Stressful work conditions were measured as high demand with low control.  Two hundred and seventy six women participated in the study that concluded that working women in stressful jobs had double the chance of a shorter cycle length.



Allsworth, PhD, Jenifer E. . “The influence of stress on the menstrual cycle among newly incarcerated women.” Women’s Health Issues 17.4 (2007): 202-209. Print.

Fenster, Laura. “Psychological Stress in the Workplace and Menstrual Function.” American Journal of Epidemiology 149.2 (1999): -. Print.


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