In addition to causing insomnia, strange dreams, headaches, anxiety and depression, stress from the COVID-19 pandemic can also affect the menstrual cycle of women and girls - leading to delays or even missed periods.

"It is known that in stressful circumstances, you are very likely to see changes in the menstrual cycle. During this period I am receiving messages from patients telling me they have a lot of problems with their cycle," says Leah Millheiser, director of the Sexual Medicine Program. at Stanford Health Care, for Allure.

While experts say temporary changes, caused by stress, are relatively common, but it is important to be checked by a doctor if these changes continue.

The menstrual cycle is an indicator of the health of the whole body. But when do you have reason to worry and what actually happens when stress changes your cycle?

First of all, what is a "regular" cycle?

According to doctors interviewed by Allure, the normal duration of the menstrual cycle can vary from person to person, but is usually between 21-35 days.

Some people have changes every month, but delays of up to seven days may be normal. Worrying is when a person has a normal cycle and suddenly periods start coming to him every six weeks or every three months. In this case you should definitely consult your doctor.

How does stress change a menstrual cycle?

During the pandemic period women and girls may notice period delays, or bleeding between cycles. The emotional stress caused by the pandemic can trigger these changes.

The reason why stress affects the menstrual cycle may have to do with hormones. Stress causes cortisol levels to rise, which can affect the hormonal cycle, which is responsible for ovulation and perioids in girls and women.

However, delays in the cycle can also be a sign of polycystic ovary syndrome, thyroid or endocrine disorders, etc. Therefore consult your doctor to find out the exact cause.