Menstruation. It’s the darkest part of the month for any woman. To get a better understanding of what makes menstruation so awful, we decided to reach out through social media and see if there are any behavioral patterns to blame.
Thanks to Facebook ads, and online questionnaire software Survey Monkey, we were able to target our demographics and include 2,000 young women between the ages of 18 and 29, all from the US.
In the study, there were two groups of participants—1,000 each—and two surveys. In the first survey, group one were asked to type in a large text box the top three behavioral patterns they noticed affected their menstruation the most.
Meanwhile, in a different survey, group two were instructed to checkmark which of the following affected their menstruation: work anxiety or stress, smoking, exercise, caffeine, antidepressants, and antipsychotics.
After analyzing the data from group one, we determined that work anxiety, caffeine, and smoking were the three biggest factors that affected menstruation the most.
Based on the results, a whopping 98% of participants placed anxiety or stress originating from their workplace, as one of their three factors that made menstruation worse.
Caffeine was typed by 78 percent of participants, and lastly, 69 percent wrote down smoking cigarettes or tobacco.
Also, alcohol, smoking marijuana and consuming fatty foods, were all factors in which less than 15% of participants wrote down as one of the three factors, but are worthy mentions.
Moreover, in analyzing group two, of the 1,000 participants, it was determined that 951 checked work anxiety or stress, 897 checked caffeine, 745 checked smoking, 510 checked exercise, 193 checked antidepressants, and only six checked antipsychotics, as the factors that affected their menstruation the most.
Why Work Anxiety, Caffeine, & Smoking?
There’s a reason why these three factors came out on top.
Let me explain: Stress in the workplace can result in excessive worriedness or anxiety, and even depression. If you ignore these stressors, it can take a huge toll when it comes to the menstrual cycle. So learn to restrain your stress, don’t let it control you.
Caffeine, especially soft drinks, may help worsen your cramps and irritability. It can also make it difficult to sleep at night, often causing dreadful episodes of insomnia.
And lastly, smoking. It is one that many overlook, and for many reasons, but how does it affect menstruation?
Smoking can affect estrogen level, testosterone level, progesterone level, and other hormones that play a crucial role in the development of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). For some, it also increases the chances of combining smoking with alcohol, which would likely make your period a lot worse.