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Four Effects of Caffeine on a Woman’s Menstrual Cycle

My Doctor Finder
July 21, 2017

Can’t go a day without a sip of your favorite coffee? If yes, you should be aware on how your daily dose of caffeine affects your cycle.

Severe dysmenorrhea is present during a woman’s menstrual cycle. It can affect and interfere with one’s daily activities. However, dysmenorrhea can be prevented by avoiding certain types of food. Some of the food that should be avoided are coffee, chocolates, tea, soft drinks, and energy drinks because they all contain caffeine which ­­­­­­may aggravate menstrual symptoms. Listed below are some of the effects that caffeine can do to our body.

  1. Worsened PMS symptoms
  • With caffeine consumption, premenstrual symptoms such as cramps, headaches, breast tenderness, bloating, mood swings, fatigue, and irritability are more likely to become worse. Since caffeine is diuretic in nature and has oils that may bring intestines inflammation, it can further contribute to cramps. In addition, caffeine can increase blood pressure and heart rate which can lead to a number of problems.
  1. Heightened anxiety and mood changes
  • Caffeine heightens blood pressure, heart rate, and stress levels in the body which can restrict blood vessels. This causes an increase in one’s anxiety levels and mood shifts. Also, women are generally more sensitive than men because it takes more time for a woman’s body to expel caffeine.
  1. Missed or irregular cycles
  • Caffeine intake may cause shortened or irregular cycles. Caffeine restricts blood vessels that reduces uterine blood flow, thereby leading to a decrease in menstrual bleeding.
  1. Hormonal effects
  • Caffeine affects the body’s number of hormones. It inhibits adenosine, a hormone which calms the body causing a disruption in sleep cycles and increasing anxiety. Caffeine also increases the hormones, adrenaline and cortisol, which keep our natural levels of stress balanced. Lastly, caffeine can increase dopamine levels which results in that “low” feeling that occurs when the buzz of caffeine wears off.

Ladies, always remember to avoid food and drinks that are high in caffeine during your period. Try and switch those cups of coffee for glasses of water for it can help prevent the excruciating effects of a menstrual cycle.

References: Hickson, A. (2013). The Effects of Caffeine on a Woman's Menstrual Cycle. Livestrong. Retrieved from http://www.livestrong.com/article/96768-effects-caffeine-womans-menstrual-cycle/. ; Menstrual Cycle Calculator. How Does Caffeine Affect Your Period? Retrieved from https://menstrual-cycle-calculator.com/how-does-caffeine-affect-your-period/.