Many women experience early light menstruation in their cycle, and it is important to be aware of possible causes, including exercise. Vigorous exercise can lead to changes in your hormones affecting your cycle length and flow. This can be a concern, but the many benefits of regular moderate exercise far exceed the cons.
Your menstruation is the result of the natural cycle of ovulation where your ovaries release one egg into the uterus for possible fertilization. As part of the preparation, your uterus builds a lining to cradle the egg. If you do not become pregnant, this lining is shed; this is your period.
Tracking Your Cycle
Every woman's hormone cycle is different in the length, time in between, moodiness and flow. If you are concerned about what is normal for you, track the length, flow and any pain. The Mayo Clinic provides an online guide to help you learn how to chart your cycle to see irregularities. The hormones that guide your cycle can be affected by stress, eating habits, exercise and other factors.
The benefits of a regular, customized exercise routine outweigh the cons. Strength, greater balance, weight control and an overall sense of well-being can come with a regular workout. If you are new to exercise, it is possible to see light spotting as exercise directly affects the hormone cortisol, among others. This hormone is excreted by the adrenal glands in reaction to stress and the body's need for greater endurance. This hormone goes on to affect the amount of estrogen and progesterone in your system, resulting in an adjustment of your cycle. If midcycle, this could cause spotting. In the most extreme cases, vigorous exercise by young female athletes such as swimmers, ballerinas and gymnasts can lead to delayed menstruation.
While moderate exercise is safe, it is important to watch for other potential warning signs in your cycle. If your period stops for 90 days, is less than 21 days or more than 35 days apart, bleeds heavily midcycle, is highly painful or extends past seven days, consult a doctor.
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