Menstrual Cycle & Diabetes: Can Diabetes Affect Your Period?

As we know, diabetes is a disease of the hormones. As such, when a person is suffering from diabetes, the different hormones of the body tend to deviate from the normal functioning causing different types of complications in the patient’s body. One such complication specific to that of women is the menstrual cycle. Women get largely affected by even a small deviation caused in hormones and the monthly periods is no different. Diabetes can largely affect the women’s menstrual cycle while any deviation in the regular menstrual cycle in a healthy woman can help doctors predict diabetes.

In this article, we shall study how type 1 and type 2 diabetes tends to affect the periods or the monthly menstrual cycle in a woman. So, join in for the article “Can Diabetes Affect Your Period?”

Table of Contents

Relationship Between Blood Glucose and the Hormones Causing Menstruation

It is known that the hormones estrogen and progesterone are responsible for the menstrual cycle in women. What many people do not know is the fact that both these hormones interact with the main hormone insulin as well. Sometimes, these hormones make the body more resistant to insulin and results in the increase of the blood glucose levels during or just before and after the monthly cycle. Besides, progesterone is known to give rise to your hunger. Hence, during periods, if you have diabetes, diabetes management becomes all the more difficult as you tend to eat more.

Why is There an Increase in the Blood Glucose During Periods?

As seen above, just a few days before and after getting the periods, the hormones, estrogen, and progesterone lead to resistance of the body towards insulin. This effect is however temporary in nature and is known to stay for only a few days. Having said that, it is imperative to know that the fluctuation in blood sugar during diabetes is not the same for all women. While a few women might experience an increase in the blood glucose levels, there are others who experience a drop in the level of glucose. As such, you need to consult an endocrinologist as to how the situation should be dealt with.

Menstrual Cycle and Diabetes

How Does Type 1 Diabetes Affect Your Menstrual Cycle?

If you are a woman who suffers from type 1 diabetes, the condition can affect your menstrual cycle in more ways than you might have expected it to.

Following are the ways in which the menstrual cycle is affected due to diabetes:

  • Girls with type 1 diabetes start their periods usually a year or so later than the ones who are not diabetic.
  • Girls with diabetes experience more days of menstruation or periods as compared to those who are healthy.
  • Girls with type 1 diabetes are believed to have longer menstrual cycles.
  • Menopause or the condition in which the women stop menstruating occurs earlier in the case of type 1 diabetic women as compared to the women who do not suffer from diabetes.
  • All different types of infections, such as vaginal and yeast infections are more common in women with diabetes.
  • Type 1 diabetic women also have increased chances of getting various problems in periods, such as heavier bleeding,dryness of the vagina, amongst other problems before the age of 30.
  • Diabetes also reduces sexual arousal in women which hinder in the process of reproduction.

How Does Type 2 Diabetes Affect Your Menstrual Cycle?

Type 2 diabetes is also known to affect the menstrual cycle in a woman in similar ways as type 1 diabetes. The chances of heavier bleeding, irregular menstrual cycle, various types of infections, etc.are known to be more common in women in type 2 diabetes.

The difference between how type 1 and type 2 diabetes affect the menstrual cycle in women is the fact that while in the case of type 1 diabetes, menopause starts earlier as compared to that in the healthy women; in type 2 diabetes the condition is known to start at a later date usually than in a normal healthy person.

Managing Menstrual Cycle When You Are a Diabetic Woman:

Having seen the way in which diabetes affects the menstrual cycle of a woman and vice versa, it is important that a woman who suffers from diabetes knows how to manage the same, particularly just before and after getting her periods. Following are some valuable tips and insights:

  • Apart from monitoring the blood glucose levels, it is imperative that a woman monitors and keeps a track on the menstrual cycle as well. Irregularities in the menstrual cycle of a woman are usually indications of hormonal changes. As we know, diabetes is a hormonal disease and as such, if the periods which a woman is getting is irregular, it might indicate that she is suffering from diabetes.
  • Women should also regulate and trace the pattern in which the blood sugar of the body fluctuates during, before, and just after getting periods. Monitoring and then being able to control adequate levels of blood sugar is very important.
  • In order to get rid of and avoid the complications related to type 2 diabetes such as bloating, willingness to eat food at all times, experts suggest indulging in regular physical exercise.
  • There are high chances that women with type 1 diabetes might need more insulin just prior to getting their periods. Hence, women should remember to consult their endocrinologist for want of more insulin just a couple of days prior to getting their periods.
  • Besides, due to fluctuations in the blood glucose levels just before getting the periods, women might experience an increase in the feeling of nausea and vomiting. in such circumstances, ibuprofen is recommended by experts.

We hope that the above post has been helpful in increasing your knowledge as to how diabetes might affect the menstrual cycle in women. Although diabetes does affect the monthly cycle, it is important to know that the effect may be different in some women as compared to others. Usually, there is an increase in the level of blood glucose at the time of periods in diabetic women, but cases of low blood sugars have not been unheard of!!

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