Are heavy periods making you feel blue?
January 21st is known as Blue Monday. Typically falling on the third Monday of the year, it is considered to be the most depressing day of the year[I] due to factors such as the weather, debt levels, failing New Year’s resolutions and low motivation.[ii] So you may be feeling blue today, but if your low mood is ongoing you should consider whether your heavy periods are negatively impacting your mental health.
Chances are you may have heard, even in jest, someone asking if a woman is in a bad mood because of her period. We all know how frustrating this can be, but is there any truth to it? Can periods really cause bad moods and impact our emotions?
There is some evidence to show that the fluctuation of hormones during the menstrual cycle can influence a woman’s mood, making us feel irritable – but these premenstrual symptoms (known as PMS) usually start two weeks before a woman’s period.[iii] However for women suffering with heavy periods, the impact of the excessive bleeding can affect their mood beyond normal PMS, with 69% stating that they feel depressed because of their heavy periods.[iv]
In fact, heavy periods can really impact wellbeing and quality of life.[ii] This can include emotional challenges such as depression or moodiness, high levels of anxiety or feeling a lack of confidence.[ii] Not to mention paranoia about changing sanitary products and the fear of bleeding through clothes.
On top of the direct emotional challenges, the social stigma against talking openly about periods has, not surprisingly, further impacted the quality of life of women with heavy periods.[v] Check out our Talking Heavy Periods guide to learn more about the best ways to describe periods and common language used to discuss the symptoms of heavy periods.
If you find yourself struggling with your health (mentally or physically) because of your heavy periods, visit your GP who will be able to provide more information on the various treatment options available. Visit our ‘Your GP page’ to help you plan for your GP appointment.
[i]Holidays Calendar. Blue Monday (2018). Available at: http://www.holidayscalendar.com/event/blue-monday/ Last accessed December 2018
[ii]Daily Star. Blue Monday 2018 is TODAY: Why is it the most depressing day of the year? (2018). Available at: https://www.dailystar.co.uk/real-life/672677/When-is-Blue-Monday-2018-January-what-is-depressing-day-depression-debtLast accessed December 2018
[iii]NHS Choices. Periods (2016). Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/periods/fertility-in-the-menstrual-cycle/ Last accessed December 2018
[iv]Data on file: MISC-05659-GBR-EN Rev 001
[v]Gupta JK, Daniels JP, Middleton LJ, et al.; on behalf of the ECLIPSE Collaborative Group. Southampton (UK), 2015. Health Technology Assessment, No. 19.88. NIHR Journals Library. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK321928/ Last accessed December 2018