Can Stress Cause Bleeding or Affect Your Period


Can stress cause you to bleed? Well lets face it if you’ve been following our page you know that stress can pretty much lead to everything. Stress 100% will affect your period. Stress tends to cause irregular periods or irregular bleeding because it will alter the hormone levels in the body. Nowadays most women, and even men, have some type of hormonal imbalances going on. Lets talk about stress, your period, and things you can do to help.

Stress and the Menstrual Cycle

Stress levels across the world are higher than they’ve ever been. In fact, I didn’t realize how high my own stress was until someone said “Krista how stressed are you?” My reaction without thinking was “are you talking about my perceived stress or actual stress?” As I looked at my friend it hit me. We are so stressed out now that we can’t even tell how stressed we are and that’s an issue.

For women the added stress, whether it be psychological stress or physical stress is going to raise your cortisol, which is one of your biggest stress hormones. Cortisol is a hormone made by your pituitary gland. It is a hormone that was designed to be excreted under stressful conditions to keep you alive. Ie when a lion is chasing you, you want cortisol to get away. However, now we are so stressed out at work, home, school, etc that majority of us suffer from chronic stress (long-term stress).

For anyone that has chronic stress it will lead your adrenals to fatigue out, and lead you to being tired. For women high levels of cortisol are found with high levels of salivary alpha-amylase. This is a relatively new finding, but now medicine is starting to see that high levels of alpha amylase will indicate a dysfunctional autonomic nervous system (ANS).

The ANS is the part of your nervous system that regulates things like respiration, digestion, sexual arousal, and importantly the menstrual cycle. So to break it down. You stay stressed, you raise your cortisol, you raise your alpha amylase, you cause  dysfunctional adrenal glands and ANS, which leads to fatigue and cycle issues.

Conditions That Cause Abnormal Bleeding

Uterine Fibroids
A doctor holding a model of the uterus that has several fibroids in it. Fibroids often times will cause abnormal bleeding

These are non-cancerous growths within the uterus typically in women in the child-rearing ages. Common symptoms include heavy periods, longer periods, period cramping, pain during sex, and bleeding or spotting between periods.  They are still unsure of what causes these to grow, but majority of women with fibroids have high levels of oestrogen.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)

PCOS is becoming increasingly popular and is also a lot trickier than most conditions. It used to be you weren’t diagnosied with PCOS unless you were overweight, high levels of testosterone, high estrogen levels, excessive body hair, and the inability to lose weight. However, there are four different types of PCOS. The types are Insulin-resistant PCOS, Pill-induced PCOS, Hidden PCOS, and the one induced by stress is inflammatory PCOS. I’d almost bet if we conducted a study we would find that high cortisol levels triggering pcos is actually the primary cause for most of them.

With four different types of PCOS, the symptoms are all over the place. Bleeding specifically you can have heavy menstrual bleeding, light periods/bleeding, or no periods. You can be significantly obese or be thin especially when dealing with the inflammatory induced PCOS.

Thin Lining of the Uterus

The uterine lining being too thin is normally due to high estrogen or can be due to hormonal imbalance. This will cause abnormal bleeding, irregular bleeding, as well as pain during menstruation.

Narrowed Fallopian Tubes
model of the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. 3 important structures that can alter the menstrual cycle.

This will lead to painful periods, pain during sex, heavy bleeding during your period, as well as bleeding between periods. Problems that narrow the fallopian tube are also one of the most common causes of infertility in women. This can also lead to an ectopic pregnancy. The most common conditions that lead to narrowed fallopian tubes are endometriosis and Pelvic Inflammatory Disease.

Cervical Cancer

This type of cancer used to be the most common cancer in women, but was recently put in second due to breast cancer. This means it is something we definitely need to watch for. The symptoms vary with abnormal vaginal bleeding between periods, bleeding after sex, vaginal bleeding after menopause, pelvic pain during sex or even just day-to-day pelvic pain.

Endometrial Hyperplasia

This is a precancerous condition that has thickened abnormal uterine lining. This will often lead to heavy / excessive menstrual bleeding or vaginal bleeding after menopause. It’s important to seek medical advice early on with this condition to prevent it from becoming cancerous.

Hormone Imbalance

This will be the major cause of any condition that will cause either excessive bleeding, breakthrough bleeding, or stopping of the menstrual bleeding especially when it involves your reproductive hormones. This can also lead to longer or shorter cycles. There are so many different hormonal changes that take place that we’ll have to talk about all the different ones in a different blog.

Weight Gain
A woman standing on a scale monitoring her weight. Weight gain or loss in excess can cause abnormal bleeding.

Being overweight or obese will trigger a hormonal balance. The more body fat you have the more oestrogen you will produce. Oestrogen is a hormone that helps to regulate your menstrual cycles. If you have too much oestrogen in your body it can lead to a heavy flow period, a low flow period, or the stopping of your period completely. This hormone can also make it to where your period comes more frequently than it should.

Weight Loss

If you have sudden weight loss or excessive weight loss it can cause your period to stop completely. Weight loss is good for the body, but when done too quickly becomes a stressor on the body and slows the efficiency of your cycle.

Women Taking Blood Thinners

These will help to slow the body’s ability to make clots. If you have high cholesterol or have been diagnosed with heart issues it is likely your doctor put you on an anticoagulant. Most women taking these will say that their periods become extremely heavy and can become a big concern that requires other medications to slow the bleeding.

Women Taking Birth Control Pills

A lot of women are put on birth control pills to help regulate their abnormal bleeding issues. It’s one of the first steps doctors will try to help regulate your system. It is important to know that if you are in those first few months of taking your hormonal birth control, you can have light bleeding or spotting throughout the month. This should stop after 3-4 months of taking the hormonal contraceptives. For some women unfortunately it can also cause heavy or excessive bleeding. If this is you, you need to reach out to your doctor immediately to evaluate the medication you are on.

As you can see there are a lot of conditions that can lead to abnormal menstrual cycles. The underlying cause of your irregular cycle can be evaluated by your healthcare provider whether that be your OBGYN, functional medical doctor, naturopath, chiropractor, etc is up to you. It is a good idea to reach out to someone that can evaluate your hormonal changes and overall physical health to determine what is causing the abnormal bleeding. The best way to start is running some blood tests and hopefully, a saliva cortisol test to get you started. Some of the above conditions require medical attention quickly to ensure your health, so don’t wait too long to see what’s going on!

Treatment Options and Life Style Changes

Many different conditions can be the cause of your bleeding, but one of the primary factors we’ve seen today is being under a lot of stress. Whether your stress is emotional stress, physical stress, or psychological stress. You’ll have to consult your doctor for more specific treatment but here are a few options you can try at home to start rebalancing your system.


This is one of the best ways to help regulate your stress levels. It works as a stress reliever because it will boost your endorphins aka your feel-good hormones. As long as you aren’t overdoing it this will help to lower your cortisol levels. Even if all you can do is a light walk every day it will have an impact on your stress levels. “Movement is life”

Dietary Changes

The US obesity rate determined by the CDC was 41.9%. Being that our weight has a dramatic impact on our hormonal balance of the body one of the best things we can do is decrease our weight. The best way to achieve weight loss is through dietary changes. Since Salivary alpha-amylase is high in women with stress avoiding foods that are high in starch will help to down-regulate this hormone. Sticking with your meats and veggies is the best option, but avoiding starches, soy, and other foods high in estrogen boosting foods will help a lot.


This allows you to spend a small amount of time focusing on your breath, being still, and being calm. These are 3 big components we just never spend time on. You’d be surprised how much a ten minute meditation can change your mood.

Decreasing Screen Time

Unfortunately, we live in a world that is dominated by screen time. Whether it is your computer, phone, tv, ipad, etc. Decreasing screen time alone has been shown to decrease symptoms of depression, anxiety, stress and even brain fog.

Cortisol Manager

Alright lets face it. We all live in a busy world and sometimes changing our lifestyle is hard. What’s something you can add in without changing anything in your dail routine? Taking cortisol manager helps to naturally regulate your stress hormone. While it won’t get rid of any of your stress it helps your body to manage it. Click here for the link to order Cortisol Manager.

NET First Aid Stress Tool

I am a NET practitioner and while this tool isn’t as good as seeing a NET practitioner it will help to down-regulate the stress that is currently going through your body at times of stress. Click here to go to the NET website and learn this technique.


Your menstrual period is a huge part of your life, reproductive health, mental health, and physical health. The impact of stress on your menstrual cycle is tremendous. Taking a few small actions every day to help regulate all of this can change your life!

Take a look at What is a Stress Reaction and How to Decrease Symptoms for a better understanding of stress and more things you can do to help. The Best Crystals for Anxiety, Depression, and Stress will also give you a few more options to naturally help your stress levels.

Similar Posts