✅ Fact Checked
🧘 If you only got 30 seconds:
Can yoga delay periods? Balanced yoga practice is unlikely to affect your period negatively. On the other hand, research has shown that yoga can be effective at regulating irregular periods and reducing painful symptoms during menstruation.
Even so, intense and strenuous yoga training combined with chronic stress and drastic caloric restriction can delay your period and even cause a missing period, leading to exercise-induced amenorrhea.
1/3 How much delay in periods is normal?
Your menstrual cycle is the time between the start of your period in the given month and the start of the period in the following month. The average menstrual cycle lasts between 24 and 38 days.
Small variations in your menstrual cycle, when you have a 28-day cycle one month and a 25-day cycle the next are generally normal and in most cases, nothing to be concerned about. However, if you normally have regular periods, but this month your menstrual cycle lasts more than 38 days, you might want to check for pregnancy and consult your doctor.
If you have missed more than three periods in a row, you should see a physician. Periods may come back on their own, but if delays are persistent, a doctor — such as a gynecologist — should explore the possible causes.
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2/3 Does yoga affect periods?
There are many factors that can cause a delayed or missing period: too much stress, pregnancy, birth control, drastic weight changes, and exercise, including yoga.
In fact, yoga has the power to affect your period in a positive or negative way.
Research shows that yoga can help bring back and regulate the menstrual cycle. One study compared the effects of holistic yoga practice that included physical postures, chanting, and breathing to a general fitness program – brisk walking, leg raises, bended knee crunches, and nonyogic breathing. Participants were mainly teenage girls with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
According to research, yoga was significantly more effective in balancing hormone levels and de-creasing symptoms of PCOS. After 12 weeks of yoga, the teenage girls had fewer absent menstruation months as well as showed a reduced score for hirsutism responsible for excessive facial hair growth.
On top of that, practicing yoga can significantly reduce menstruation symptoms such as moderate to severe abdominal pain, breast tenderness, and abdominal swelling and bloating.
The reason why yoga might be so effective in bringing the period back and decreasing pain lies in its ability to regulate the autonomous nervous system, lower stress hormones, and promote relaxation.
On the other hand, excessive yoga, just like any exercise, can contribute to irregular periods.
3/3 How can yoga delay periods?
You can miss your periods or stop having them altogether if you exercise too much. This medical condition is called exercise-induced amenorrhea.
Exercise-induced amenorrhea is common in female athletes who are doing strenuous exercise paired with low caloric intake. When someone’s exercise expenditure causes them to use up their body’s normal energy reserves, this can cause problems. It shunts energy away from non-essential processes, like reproduction and growth, because your body doesn’t have enough energy to run your systems.
As a result of this stress on the body, the hormone levels change, and the ovaries stop getting signals from the hypothalamus. This means the egg doesn’t grow and ovulation doesn’t occur, leading to a missed period.
An interesting thing is that you don’t have to be a world-class athlete training for a marathon to experience exercise-induced amenorrhea. Practicing yoga can be enough to lose your periods.
How does yoga factor in delayed or missing periods?
Yoga can be a physically demanding practice. There are a lot of modern yoga styles that will make you sweat and challenge your muscles without offering sufficient time for relaxation and breathing practice.
If you’re a woman trying to lose weight by drastically cutting down calories and who has suddenly gone from zero physical activity in a past to an hour of strenuous yoga exercise every single day, you might experience exercise-induced amenorrhea.
The good news is that delayed and missed periods due to exercise-induced amenorrhea are usually a combination of several factors:
- intense exercise
- genetic susceptibility to loss of periods
- sudden weight loss coupled with caloric restrictions
- chronic continuous stress.
Thus, it’s highly unlikely that one loses a period simply from practicing strength-building yoga. Unless you’re also on a drastic weight-loss journey, there’s a high chance yoga won’t mess up your menstruation.
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Can yoga help my period to come early?
There are no guaranteed ways to speed up your period or make it arrive immediately or within a day or two unless you’re on hormonal birth control. Using birth control not only gives you a bit more control over your menstrual cycle but also can help you skip a period when needed without any health risks.
When your period is almost due, yoga might help you get your period early thanks to gentle movement and relaxation techniques. However, there’s not much scientific evidence that yoga practice helps induce periods.