Stress is a silent menace and the primary cause of many physical ailments, not the least of which is internal clock disruption. In fact, emotional stress is the second most common cause of late or missed periods in teenagers and can play a huge role in adverse effects on the cycles of more mature women as well. Just think how problems with your love life (or home life, school or work) impact every other facet of your everyday life. It is the classic mind-body connection.
Emotional or mental anxiety can negatively affect the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that regulates hormones -- specifically gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) -- for both ovulation and menstruation, according to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
If a woman's hypothalamus is impaired in any way, there's a distinct possibility her hormones won't manage ovulation properly. That can result in delayed or interrupted menstrual cycle.
One healthy option in overcoming the rigors of stress is to practice relaxation techniques, ranging from yoga to meditation.
Coming up, we'll consider a weighty question.