Her Secret Battle: Trauma and The Menstrual Cycle

By Gabrielle Ayoub, Licensed Cognitive Behavioral Psychotherapist


We all know that trauma can affect thoughts, emotions, and behavior, but not many are aware of its impact on physical health. Experiencing a traumatic event can take a significant toll on your body, causing issues such as insomnia, weight loss or gain, and digestive problems. Additionally, trauma is often behind various hormonal imbalances.

One specific trauma-induced issue that affects only women is disruptions in the menstrual cycle. The female reproductive health is strongly connected to their mental health. It is therefore important for us to highlight the importance of both body and mind when it comes to trauma in women.


How Can Trauma Affect My Menstrual Cycle?


The stress response from experiencing trauma can disrupt a woman’s hormonal balance that controls her menstrual cycle:

– Late Periods
– Early Periods
– Missed Periods (Amenorrhea)
– Menstrual Pain (Dysmenorrhea)
– PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome): mood swings and physical discomfort one to two weeks before menstruation.
– PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder): A severe form of PMS that can cause intense depression, anxiety, and irritability before periods.


How Do I Cope with These Irregularities?


– Seek help from a gynecologist: they can evaluate hormonal imbalances and other physical health issues, and can prescribe medications to regulate menstrual cycles and reduce PMS and PMDD symptoms.

– Seek help from a psychotherapist: they can help process trauma and reduce its impact on the body.

– Take up stress-reducing activities.

– Maintain a healthy Lifestyle: a balanced diet, regular exercise, and adequate sleep.

– Seek emotional support.

– Try mindfulness and bio-feedback.


A woman’s mental well-being can significantly impact her menstrual cycles, and conversely, a healthy menstrual cycle can point to overall well-being. As soon as you prioritize your mental health, you will be on the fast-track to mind-body harmony.



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