Have you ever felt that the change in your periods could be due to the hot weather? Well, if you think that, you’re not wrong. There are actually a host of factors that can affect your menstrual cycle, including the temperature rise. How does hot weather affect menstruation? Well, seasonal shifts, especially heat, can make your period abnormal or worse.
How does summer affect your period?
Blaming the season for a change in your menstrual cycle is right because external factors can easily influence the menstrual cycle and hormones. This can result in an irregular period.
Dr Thejaswini J, Consultant-Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospitals, Electronic City, Bengaluru, tells HealthShots how hot weather can affect your period.
According to her, “Hot weather does not impact your menstruation directly, but it certainly affects your lifestyle and stress levels, which in turn can aggravate period-related symptoms.” When your period coincides with a heat wave, the combination of fluctuating hormones and sweltering heat can make your period harder to deal with.
Besides hormonal change, this is how summer can make menstruation worse:
On a hot day, wearing sanitary pads can be very uncomfortable. In fact, you may experience more weariness and dehydration. This can cause symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) such as headache.
2. Period acne
Period acne will also worsen as a result of persistent perspiration and hormonal changes. As a result, you may feel more sluggish and irritable.
Hot weather or increased humidity in the air makes you vulnerable to yeast infections due to the excessive growth of bacteria.
All of above mentioned elements will likely raise stress levels, which in turn will lead to fluctuations in levels of estrogen and progesterone that regulate periods.
So, this is how excessive heat can have an impact on menstruation.
But there are certain steps you can take to regulate your periods in the summer:
1. Measures to decrease stress
Your stress levels in the summer will be high, which will impact your hormone levels. Try engaging in light yoga, meditation, or exercise to stay relaxed.
2. Stay hydrated
“On your period, you will be dealing with decreased energy levels due to fluctuating hormones. Add to that, the additional sweating on a hot day can lead to dehydration, which will increase fatigue. Therefore, it is important to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day,” says Dr Thejaswini.
3. Personal hygiene
This is crucial, as sweating during periods can make you a breeding ground for infections. These infections can hamper your cycle as well. Wear loose and clean cotton clothes and undergarments. Change your pad or tampon every 4 to 5 hours, even when the flow is less. Take frequent baths.
4. Avoid caffeine
Remember to stay away from caffeine, carbonated drinks, and other junk food. The preservatives in these can hamper your menstrual cycle.
5. Focus on a healthy diet
Dr Thejaswini suggests consuming foods like dark green leafy vegetables, bananas, avocados, sweet potatoes, and bananas. Sticking to fresh fruits and veggies can help you deal with constipation during your periods, which usually feels worse in the summer.