Good Housekeeping South Africa|March - April 2020
FOR MOST OF US, knowledge of our hormones and gynaecology is basic at best: periods and how not to get pregnant. But that is it. ‘We need to start learning about this stuff, and from a younger age, so we feel comfortable talking about it,’ says Dr. Larisa Corda, a fertility expert, obstetrician, and gynaecologist. Both she and Dr. Anita Mitra, who runs the Gynae Geek blog, are on a mission to get women informed and empowered.
Q ‘DOES STRESS MAKE PMS WORSE?’
DR MITRA Most likely, yes. Stress can make periods more painful and can also make PMS worse. The main stress hormones are cortisol, adrenaline, noradrenaline, and insulin – and they all interact with your female hormones. I call this the brain-vagina axis! Stress can stop you ovulating, make your period come earlier or later, and make it heavier or lighter. Short bursts of stress aren’t bad for us, but when stress goes on and on, it can affect your cycle. Stress can also come from things such as overexercising, too much caffeine and yo-yo dieting. I often ask women, especially those trying to get pregnant, ‘Do you need to relax more?’ That could be achieved via meditation, which is shown to be effective for stress. But if that’s not for you, more downtime – such as going for a walk without taking your phone along or sitting in silence – could help.
Q‘ SHOULD I INVEST IN A FERTILITY APP?’
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March - April 2020