July 26, 2010

Does Excessive Exercising Stop Menstruation

Posted in Category : Women's Health

A prolonged absence of menstruation during a woman’s reproductive years is known as amenorrhea. This does not include the absence of menstruation during pregnancy. There is a well-known link between exercises such as running and menstruation. Many women are of the opinion that their menstruation has stopped because they are exercising excessively. This is not correct because there are many female athletes who exercise intensely, but also experience regular periods. Another misconception is that menstruation stops in women who are too thin. Studies have not found any variations in body fat between female athletes who do and do not experience menstruation regularly.

The stoppage of menstruation is, however, associated with loss of nutrition, fluctuations in hormonal levels and increased stress. Amenorrhea commonly occurs in women who are anorexic. Amenorrhea may also occur in women without any eating disorders. There is a strong association between running and menstrual cycle irregularities. These irregularities occur more often in runners than in any other types of athletes. The amount of running a person performs also plays a major role. There may be menstrual problems in women who run more than 20 to 30 miles each week. These problems are more apparent in women who run approximately 40 to 60 miles each week. The menstrual cycle is known to resume when mileage is lowered. However, it should not be assumed that all menstrual changes are linked with exercise. The cause of the problem could only be identified through a proper medical examination. Women who experience cessation of periods must consult a doctor. Depending on what the doctor says, exercise should or should not be continued.

Some women athletes may perceive amenorrhea to be advantageous since they do not have to deal with the problems and discomfort of running during periods. However, absence of menstruation is definitely connected to health problems. One of the main health problems arising from this is calcium loss from the bones. This could contribute to bone problems such as stress fractures and osteoporosis. Amenorrhea could also affect a woman’s ability to become pregnant. Women will find that running actually enhances mood and relieves the physical symptoms of menstruation. Tampons are known to provide more comfort than sanitary pads and it is advisable to carry an extra tampon during long runs. Good hygiene is important during periods and hence it is advisable to change tampons or sanitary pads before and after a run.