How Anxiety Affects Your Period: What You Can Do To Manage it

In the pre-menstrual phase, women experience a variety of emotional changes and physical symptoms. Anxiety affects your period, but can anxiety delay your period?

Anxiety and stress lead to the production of cortisol in the body which can cause delayed or light periods depending on how your body tolerates stress. In some cases, some people may experience amenorrhea (no periods at all) which can become chronic if the stress is sustained- Dr. David H Barlow.

There is a range of reactions to menstruation that is so wide that some people refer to this period as “the crazies” because it can leave you feeling slightly unhinged. Everyone experiences pre-menstrual symptoms in their own way.

Some experience minimal effects, while others might feel quite distressed by them. That’s why we’ve brought you this article on can anxiety delay period?


Can anxiety delay period?

Anxiety can delay your period due to Stress which leads to the production of cortisol which can delay or stops menstruation altogether. When a woman experiences high levels of anxiety, cortisol can be released into the bloodstream.

This disrupts normal hormonal processes, which can have a significant impact on reproductive health. When cortisol levels are high, your body can’t respond to regular cyclical hormonal changes as it usually would. This means your period might be delayed or disrupted, even if you usually have a regular cycle.

Additionally, high levels of anxiety and stress can cause irregular periods in some women. This is especially common in women who are already experiencing irregular periods due to other factors, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

Can anxiety delay period- Yes, cortisol produced during anxiety periods can cause a delay or stopping of menstruation altogether

How anxiety affects your period?

When you’re feeling anxious, it’s likely you’re not paying much attention to your period. But it’s important to note that anxiety can affect your period in a couple of ways.

  • The first is that it can cause your period to be delayed by a few days or even a week or two. This is common in people who are stressed or anxious.
  • The second way anxiety can affect your period is by causing you to miss it altogether. This is especially common in women who are suffering from severe anxiety. If you’re experiencing anxiety-related changes to your period, don’t worry. For most women, periods are fairly predictable and they come back after a few days or a week or two, even if they’ve been delayed.
  • In some people, the period may be longer than normal. This shows that different people react differently to anxiety. Cortisol, produced during periods of high stress and anxiety affects people differently.

In all these instances, you may need to talk to your doctor to rule out any other issues. This is because you may think that anxiety is the cause and you may be having a more serious condition.

Can stress affect your period flow?

Stress can affect your period flow in a couple of ways. It can cause your period flow to be a bit heavier than usual, which some women experience when they’re stressed. Stress can also cause your period to come later than usual.

If you’re feeling tense and anxious, it’s possible you’ve given your period less attention than usual. If you’ve been particularly stressed or anxious, it’s worth keeping an eye out for your period, just in case it comes later than usual.

If your period doesn’t arrive by the time it’s normally expected, it’s worth keeping an eye on it to make sure everything is okay.

Missed period due to anxiety, when will it come?

If you’ve been anxious and haven’t had a period, it’s possible you’re experiencing what’s known as amenorrhea. This is when you don’t get your period due to a variety of factors, including stress, diet, exercise, and more.

If you’ve been anxious and missed your period, it’s important not to worry. You can get a pregnancy test to make sure you’re not pregnant, and you can also keep a close eye out for your period.

If it’s been a week or two since you last got your period, it’s possible that the anxiety has delayed your period. In this case, your period will likely start to flow again soon.

If it doesn’t come after six weeks, it’s important to talk to your doctor about what may be causing it. This is because more than 6 weeks of missing the period is the amount of time it takes to classify a period as fully “missed”. Thus, talk to your doctor about a missed period to make sure everything is okay.

Thus, most of the people who have missed periods due to anxiety will get it in a few days’ time, however, for anxiety disorders the period may be delayed for months or not receive periods altogether for some time due to severe chronic stress.

Can stress make your period longer?

Anxiety and thus stress affect menstruation in a number of ways. In some people, stress causes the period to stop altogether while in others it causes a delayed or light period. However, as discussed below, depending on the individual, anxiety and stress can cause your period to last longer.

First, let’s make one thing clear: your period can last longer because of stress or anxiety. Anxiety can make your period longer or heavier or lead to mid-cycle bleeding Moreover, it’s possible that you’ll experience a heavier flow when you’re stressed, so it’s important to make sure you’re prepared.

A recent study shows that in female nurses there was an association between high stress and both anovulation and longer cycles.

It’s a good idea to have some extra pads and tampons on hand, just in case your period flow is heavier than usual. If you’ve been particularly stressed, it’s also a good idea to keep an eye on your period, just in case it lasts longer than expected.

What are the symptoms of pre-menstrual anxiety?

There are a variety of symptoms that can indicate that you’re experiencing pre-menstrual anxiety. The most common of these is anxiety itself. If you feel that your mood is becoming overly tense, worried, or anxious, it may be due to PMS.

Other common symptoms include:

  • Mood swings and irritability.
  • Feeling stressed or overwhelmed.
  • Difficulty sleeping.
  • Increased cravings (especially for sweets and carbs).
  • Headaches, cramps, and/or abdominal pain.

If you’ve been experiencing these symptoms and you have a regular menstrual cycle, it’s possible that you’re experiencing pre-menstrual anxiety.

What you can do to manage your period and anxiety together

If you’ve been feeling anxious due to your period, there are a few things you can do to take care of yourself. First, it’s important to keep hydrated.

Anxiety can cause you to feel thirsty, especially during times of increased anxiety, so make sure you stay hydrated. It’s also a good idea to get plenty of rest.

When you’re stressed or anxious, you’re likely to have less energy than normal, so make sure to rest when you need to. Finally, it’s important to remember that your mood is likely to fluctuate throughout your cycle.

Can anxiety medication delay your period?

If you’re taking an antidepressant, it’s important to keep an eye on your menstrual cycle, as it’s likely to be delayed. While antidepressants are very effective at treating anxiety, it’s important to remember that they will still cause side effects.

One of the common side effects of antidepressants is menstrual changes. They may cause your period to be late or delayed. If you’re experiencing a delay in your period due to antidepressants, it’s important to talk to your doctor about what may be causing it.

Generally, it’s recommended to wait at least a few months after starting antidepressants before you get your first period, as it can take time for your cycle to return to normal.


If you’ve been anxious, you may have noticed that your period has been a bit different than normal. It’s important to remember that these changes are likely due to the effects of the medication.

Anxiety can delay period or stop it altogether. This is because anxiety and stress leads to the production of cortisol also known as the stress hormone. The hormone affects different sections of the body including menstruation.

That said, it’s a good idea to keep a close eye on your menstrual cycle so you can talk to your doctor about any changes. When you’re managing both anxiety and a menstrual cycle, it can feel overwhelming. That’s why it’s important to make sure you take care of yourself.


Dr. David Barlow

David is a well-known researcher and author in the anxiety disorders area with extensive research on their etiology, nature, and treatment. He started the site to share his real-life experiences on the management of anxiety disorders with successful diagnosis and treatment being his motivation to write or review the content on this site.