Diabetes can cause unusual changes to a person’s menstrual cycle. Likewise, hormonal changes that occur during the menstrual cycle can affect a person’s diabetes condition. How can diabetes affect the menstrual cycle? Check out the answers below.
Effect of diabetes on the menstrual cycle
People with diabetes may have an increased risk of experiencing irregular or unpredictable menstrual cycles. Type 1 diabetes shouldn’t affect the regularity of your menstrual cycle or the heaviness of your periods. That said, menstrual irregularities can sometimes occur with this condition.
Menstruation can start at any time during puberty, but the average age is 12 years. Type 1 diabetes should not affect the age at which a person experiences their first menstruation. However, according to a 2013 report in the journal Diabetes Care, there have been few reports of first periods in people with type 1 diabetes.
Nonetheless, as long as the person is not underweight and able to manage type 1 diabetes well, they will not experience a delay in starting their period.
People with type 2 diabetes have an increased risk of anovulation (lack of ovulation). This occurs when the ovary does not release an egg into the fallopian tube. At this time tejradi, a person will not experience menstruation.
Although the risk of anovulation is higher in diabetics, not all diabetics will experience it.
Irregular menstrual cycle can increase the risk of diabetes?
There may be a link between irregular menstrual cycles and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. A 2020 large-scale study in the journal JAMA Network Open involving 75,546 women investigated the possible link between menstrual cycle dysfunction and the development of type 2 diabetes.
The study found that people who experienced long or irregular menstrual cycles in their teens and adulthood were more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who experienced regular menstrual cycles.
According to the researchers, hormonal imbalance may play an important role in the link between irregular menstrual cycles and the development of type 2. Long and irregular menstrual cycles are a strong indicator of elevated insulin levels (hyperinsulinemia). This can trigger a chain of events that ultimately worsens insulin resistance, a condition in which the body is unable to use insulin to effectively control blood glucose levels.
In this study, some of the other risk factors for type 2 included:
- Are overweight or obese.
- Not physically active.
- Low quality diet.
- Also Read: Obese people are at risk of developing diabetes, here’s the reason
The link between glucose, insulin, and the menstrual cycle
During the menstrual cycle, hormonal changes can affect insulin and blood glucose levels. After ovulation, a person enters the second half of the menstrual cycle, which is called the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. This phase is characterized by an increase in the hormone progesterone.
Elevated levels of progesterone can cause temporary insulin resistance, which experts refer to as luteal phase insulin resistance.
A 2013 study in the journal Diabetes Care involving six women with type 1 diabetes found that blood glucose levels were higher during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle.
Additionally, some people with type 1 diabetes may experience lower blood glucose levels at the start of their periods. They may need to change their insulin intake. Blood glucose levels usually return to normal after menstruation is over.
Diabetes and PCOS
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a condition characterized by an imbalance of reproductive hormones. People with PCOS have higher levels of androgen hormones, which can prevent ovulation.
Some of the symptoms of PCOS include:
- Irregular periods.
- Weight gain or difficulty losing weight.
- Excess hair on the face or body.
- Thinning hair on the scalp.
- Darkening of the skin around the neck, breasts and groin.
- Skin tags in the armpit or neck area.
According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people with PCOS often have insulin resistance, which increases the risk of type 2 diabetes. This risk increases even more if the person is also overweight or obese.
More than half of people with PCOS develop type 2 diabetes by the time they reach 40 years of age. People with PCOS can reduce this risk by maintaining a moderate body weight through dietary adjustments and regular exercise.
Regular and predictable menstrual cycles are important indicators of health. Therefore, a person should contact a doctor if they experience irregular menstrual cycles or any unusual changes in their menstrual cycle.
See a doctor if you experience the following symptoms:
- No menstruation for more than three months.
- Heavy menstrual periods with large blood clots that last 5–7 days.
- Bleeding between menstrual periods.
If you have diabetes and find it difficult to control your glucose levels during certain phases of your menstrual cycle, talk to your doctor. You may need to track your blood glucose levels over the course of your menstrual cycle in order to detect any patterns in your overall health.
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