Lost Your Period During Lockdown? This Might Be Why - Women's Health

Lost Your Period During Lockdown? This Might Be Why

#Pandemicperiods are a real thing. - by Meah Robertson

by | Sep 9, 2021

Many women have been noticing that their periods have been irregular, or even non-existent, since the start of the Covid-19 Pandemic. There are a few reasons for this, but the key reason is stress.

We’ve all been feeling it and it’s impossible to stay completely shielded from stress when it surrounds us.  Stress is closing in on us and impacting every area of our lives; mind, body, and spirit.  

For women on a natural ovulatory cycle (i.e., women not on the pill), the feedback from our brain to our ovaries is very sensitive. Our brains communicate with our ovaries via signalling and stimulatory hormones. These hormones mature a follicle in the ovary readying it for ovulation, then pop that follicle like a bubble to release an egg.  Then that popped bubble (the corpus luteum) goes on to produce progesterone prior to a period arriving, but we won’t get too technical here.

Stress & Your Period 

When our body is in “stress mode”, it sends all blood, energy, and nutrients to deal with that stress.  This stress response lights a fire of inflammation in the body.  Then, when our hormones try to communicate with our ovaries, they get blocked.  Inflammation and stress should come and go, however when we are in a prolonged stressful situation, our body changes by adapting to that chronic stress and inflammation.  Unfortunately, this means that our reproductive hormones get shunted way down on the body’s priority list.  This can lead to an irregular ovulatory pattern, or anovulation (no ovulation) for extended periods of time.  

Pheromones 

Women also release pheromones (hormones that we smell unconsciously) which let our tribe know when we’re ovulating and when a period has started.  These pheromones also enable women’s cycles to sync up which we find when women are working or living together.  Interestingly, this has been impacted by the pandemic as constant mask wearing (restricting our sense of smell), as well as living and working in isolation, means we’re not exposed to these subtle pheromones, which can contribute to our periods being out of whack.  

What can we do? 

Coming to grips and adapting to the world we’re living in right now isn’t easy. It’s been tough on our body, and our mind. Looking after your physical health means eating well (think clean natural foods), sleeping, moving our body through exercise/activity, drinking plenty of water, minimising exposure to chemicals and drugs (including alcohol and caffeine) and minimising stress. All these things will support mental health, too. 

To help bring your body back into balance, one of the most important things to do is to minimise stress – which we all know isn’t easy. Here are a few strategies that can help: 

  • Find things in your life that you can appreciate and create a gratitude list – dot points will do!   
  • Protect yourself from negativity. This may mean turning off the influx of news, from socials media, tv, apps, emails etc – the news stream can really take its toll!  
  • Practice self-love, and care whatever that means for you – maybe its reading, taking a bath, calling a loved one, putting on a face mask – whatever makes YOU feel good
  • Don’t hold onto stress and negative emotions, let them be released so your body can be free from them.  That may be having a big shower cry, journaling, venting by talking things out with a friend & trusted family member
  • Take a herbal supplement such as Fem21 (my own blend of 21 herbs that support your natural cycle) that can help to balance your hormones, naturally! NB: It’s always recommended that you consult a health practitioner first 

We all have choices on what we do with our time and energy. We are in control of our thoughts and mind – something that’s important to remember when so much of our life feels out of control. Come back to feeling empowered with the choices that you’re making each day and trust that this heightened stressful phase will pass. It’s a chapter of our lives, not the whole story.

Remember if you are experiencing any abnormality with your period to contact your health professional before anything else.

Meah Robertson is a Naturopath, mother of two & creator of Fem21, a herbal drink blend expertly crafted to help women regain control of their hormones. 

Recommended to you

8 Of The Best Exercise Shorts That Will Power You Through A Summer Of Movement

It’s official: Shorts Season is officially here. While lockdown has seen many of us realise that activewear is less something to be worn for a workout and more a uniform we choose to do any and all daily activities in, when the warmer temperatures roll around, that favourite pair of sweatpants and leggings sometimes don’t cut it. Sure, they might be a staple in any wardrobe, but the Aussie sun doesn’t listen to reason, no matter how comfortable or cute it might be. And when it comes to summer, working out in leggings can feel like being trapped in a sauna, the sweat pooling at your ankles and around the waistband – as well as those other areas we won’t mention here. 

But as we transition from leggings to shorts, it becomes clear pretty quickly that not all shorts are created equal, and certainly not all shorts are fit for a workout. Take it from us at Women’s Health HQ, we’ve been there, tried it and lived to see the consequences. From the shorts that look cute but ride up to show your undies on the run, to those that feel like being strapped into a harness that’s digging into your hip bones. Then there are the fabrics that can cause chafing – a big no – and those that basically shine a spotlight on any area you might be sweating. 

Thankfully, a number of brands are here to cater to your exercise needs with innovative materials, fabrics and sustainable options to see you through a summer of movement. Regardless of your workout preferences or daily activity, we’ve selected the best shorts that will ensure you feel good in your body, shorts that get you excited to embrace the day and attack it with energy, that make you want to get outside and enjoy the outdoors, whether it be walking, running, or socialising in the park. Here are our pick of the best bike shorts below. 

Nagnata

Uptown Biker, $240

What says summer more than a pop of orange and the sleek shape of these Nagnata biker shorts? With its mid-length and horizontal raised rib side detail, these are shorts you can wear both for a workout and out to meet the girls. Made in Australia with a technical knit fabrication, the double-layer jacquard provides gentle sculpting qualities for the body, making it an excellent choice for light to moderate fitness activities like yoga, pilates or barre. 

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.defineSlot(gamData.adUnit, [300, 250], 'gam_midarticle_pos2_2') .defineSizeMapping(gamData.sizeMap.midarticle) .setTargeting('pos', '2') .addService(googletag.pubads()); googletag.display('gam_midarticle_pos2_2'); });

New Balance

Q Speed Fuel Short, $70

We love the colour of these shorts from New Balance which are cut with a sleek, speedy look that also helps to elongate the legs. Featuring NB DRY moisture wicking fabric, these are the shorts you want for high intensity exercise or long runs, keeping you comfortable and dry. There’s also an interior brief for added comfort and a stash pocket to keep your essentials. 

All Access

Ultra High Rise Zip Front Biker Short, $78

Yes, the colour is amazing but the fit is equally sensational on these All Access shorts. For those who love a high-rise fit and wide waistband that holds you in at the waist, look no further. The sleek, shiny look offers mid-compression and the fabric is moisture-wicking, so you can stay comfortable even during your sweatiest workouts. 

Nike

Nike x Naomi Osaka Utility Short, $90

Few things are worse than heading out the door for a run and realising your shorts offer no pockets for those essentials you need. You’re left to hold your iPhone, keys, and anything else you might need in your sweaty palm. Thankfully, Naomi Osaka knows what we need when it comes to exercise shorts and these utility shorts from her collaboration with Nike offer all that and more with a relaxed fit and elastic waistband. 

Tracksmith

Session short Tights, $72

When it comes to bike shorts, you want to feel supported and held in but you also want to be able to breathe. These Tracksmith session short tights are exceptional in offering support while still ensuring comfort remains a priority. Forget about chafing, these shorts won’t ride up and down and the fabric offers more coverage and support against the body. 

Outdoor Voices

Relay 3” Short, $48

Who said summer shorts have to be boring? Outdoor Voices brings fashion-forward style and playfulness to their collections with fun prints and exciting colours. We love the relay 3” shorts for their ultralight, quick-drying fabric that also happens to be made from recycled polyester. But more importantly, we love the print and Poppy Swirl is as good as it gets. There’s even a hidden pocket for your valuables, too. 

Lululemon

Align High-Rise Short 6”, $69

If you’re familiar with the buttery-soft feel of Lululemon’s tights, you’ll want to get your hands on a pair of their shorts, too. Made with the same Nulu fabric that their tights are known for, these shorts feel weightless and super soft. They might be our go-to staple for any workout, but the feel is so second-skin that it’s hard to not wear them for every other activity, too. 

Spiritual Gangster

Seamless Biker Short, $112

These biker shorts from Spiritual Gangster move with you, thanks to a three-tiered compressive waistband that offers a flattering high waist that hugs you in all the right places, without proving constrictive. They offer medium compression but are built for all day comfort, and the colour is a true summer staple because, let’s face it, who doesn’t love tie-dye?