Most people worry about weight gain for two main reasons, their appearance, and health. Aside from affecting one’s self-esteem, too much weight will increase the risk of developing conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and others.
So, can weight gain affect your menstrual cycle? The simple answer is yes, body weight can also have an impact on your reproductive health which includes your menstrual cycle. Keep reading to know more.
All women of reproductive age have a 28-day menstrual cycle which involves a rollercoaster of emotions and cyclic hormonal changes. The cycle commences with the start of bleeding to indicate that you’re not pregnant, yet.
However, you might not have this experience every month if something interrupts your cycle. For instance, you could realize that your period is late and yet you are not pregnant. This can happen for a number of reasons, but weight gain is the main one.
If you find that you have gained a lot of weight in recent months, then this could affect the regularity of your period. Estrogen is the female hormone that plays an important role in the thickening of the uterine wall in order to make it ready for the attachment of a growing fetus.
If you are obese or overweight, the excess fat is stored in adipose tissue throughout the body which ramps up the production of estrone, a type of estrogen. The excess estrogen will cause hormonal imbalances and result in irregular or heavy periods.
Your menstrual cycle can get back on track for you to either have a normal period or get pregnant if you lose even five percent of the body fat. This will happen because fewer fat cells secrete fewer hormones, which is one of the main causes of abnormal or irregular periods.
It is also worth mentioning that being overweight could affect your cycle if you are struggling with issues related to PCOS or Polycystic ovary syndrome.
This is for the simple reason that women who have PCOS seem to be more resistant to insulin. Once you reduce the number of fat cells which produce hormones to block ovulation, the seriousness of your irregular periods might be lowered as well.
The menstrual cycle has a delicate balance, hence it’s always good to know that gaining or losing a significant amount of weight or even excessive exercising can have an impact on your hormone production, especially estrogen.