Can Exercise Affect Your Periods

Updated on April 20, 2008
M.D. asks from Crowley, TX
6 answers

Hi moms! I recently started working out and it seems that my period is lasting much longer this month. Are the two related? I had my period this month and when I thought it was over I started spotting a little every few days. Just wondering if starting an exercise program can affect your normal cycle. I got the IUD about 6 months ago and thought my period would be slowing down by now! Thanks for the help!

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M.T.

answers from Dallas on

It is so funny that you ask this because I am 44 yrs old I have been working out on and off for a few years now, but since about 2 years ago until now everytime I worked out regularly I would get a heavier period. I don't wear an IUD or any type of contraceptive, so that isn't it. I guess cause of my age, weight and genes I have problems with skipping my period then it coming on like gangbusters are to be expected. But the crazy part is that I stop workign out and I skip my period for a few months or I get it and it isn't too heavy or heavy, but not insane. But then I work out and boy it is like the Hoover Dam to the point that I have to stop working out for the whole time which is usually 3-4 weeks of hemorraghing then it stops. I only get to work out for 2 weeks in a month, cause I get it for 3-4 weeks, it takes me weeks to get back into the groove and here I am again. Not sure if my experience is anything like yours, but maybe. I have seen a gyne and she said she could do a procedure to remove the lining of my uterus so that I wouldn't get my periord. But if she slips she could perforate my uterus and then forget it. So I deal w/it for now and hope the menopause will kick in soon. Would like to hear more about your issues. Glad to know I'm not nuts. I thought the working out, bleed to death thing was all in my head. BTW, stress has a lot to do with it too. Goin through a lot right now financially and lately we got a little help and poof it stopped that day. I don't think it was a coincidence.

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L.P.

answers from Dallas on

I have had my IUD for 3 years now (LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!) My periods beforehand were 7 heavy and painful days, when I got the IUD my periods went to 3-4 light to medium days. (AGAIN LOVE THAT!) but when I started to HARD CORE workout for a half IronMan there was a shift and change and I too had periods (Lighter spotting) when I consistantly worked out. I have the Merina IUD (With Hormones) but When I first lost 70 pounds and workout BEFORE my IUD but on BC Pills, I had a period from November to February and ended up having to take liquid Iron. (NASTY!) During those few months I only had a total of 2 weeks for a break from a period. The OB/GYN couldn't figure it out after I was on every pill (Including Seasonale) and he finally recommended an IUD, I AM GLAD HE DID! So YES stress on your body when you are starting a new physical routine can and will alter some of the other habits that your body has- it is a survival thing. Primative thinking is- "hey I don't need to get pregnant right now- things are changing" so your body has a way of preventing pregnancy by having periods, when you get set into a routine it does settle down and it could take as long as a year.
This is what my OB/GYN explained to me.

S.R.

answers from Dallas on

exercise can absolutly change your menstral. when i wgoing through basic training, i did not have a period at all, 3 months without it was WONDERFUL, but i questioned my drill sgt about it and she told me that it is typical, especially with how hard we worked out.
as far as the IUD, I have no idea how that works, what happens when you are on it, etc.
If your period/spotting continues I would recommend talking to your gyno about it. good luck

T.C.

answers from Dallas on

I agree, it sounds more like the IUD. Exercising should have the opposite effect - make your cramps/period much lighter and easier. Some women miss them completely. Exercise shouldn't make it heavier.

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B.G.

answers from Lubbock on

i love to exercise and it has the opposite effect on me. I can go 2 or 3 months without one, and then when I do have one it is short. I would check with the doctor about the IUD.

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L.M.

answers from Dallas on

usually when I'm working out, my cramps are almost nonexistent and sometimes a lighter period....never more....I'd question the IUD.