The lockdown has been tough on people emotionally and mentally.

People are stuck indoors all day, sometimes miles away from the people they love most.

But what is it doing to us physically?

Dr Shree Datta, a gynaecologist with Intimina, tells the Mirror what impact the lockdown is having on women’s menstrual cycles and periods.

She explains that while it’s only a short amount of time, many women are seeing a change – some for the better, and some for the worse – while others are simply using this time to track their periods better.

Shes says: “This has been very variable, but certainly lockdown has provided women with more time to log and review their periods.

Dr Shree Datta

“In some cases, women have reported a change in the frequency of periods or the duration, but this may be transient.

“For some women, staying at home may have had a positive influence on their periods but there may be many other factors which are influencing this.

“Given lockdown has been for a relatively short amount of time overall, it’s unlikely to have a long-term impact in itself on women’s menstrual cycles.

“However, any changes you have made to your lifestyle and diet during this time may affect your periods, if maintained for the longer term.”

While there are no specific lockdown period worries to look out for, it could also be a chance to keep a better eye on what’s going on down there.

Woman holding sanitary towel and tampon in her hands

Dr Datta said: “Red flag signs which I’m always on the look out for as a Gynaecologist include irregular periods, a change in the heaviness of periods and bleeding in between periods or after sex.

“If these occur regularly, it may be your body’s way of highlighting a possible polyp or fibroid for example, which you would benefit from getting checked over by a specialist.

“If your periods are becoming more painful, I would also encourage women to seek advice.”

Even though many GP services aren’t doing face-to-face appointments at the moment, Dr Datta stressed that it’s still possible to get medical treatment.

She said: “Right now, there is a lot of support available remotely – for example, through telephone consultations right through to virtual appointments. Now’s a good time to seek medical advice, even if remotely initially on the health problems you’re aware of and plan for how these can be managed.

“If in doubt, contact NHS 111 or your GP in the first instance.

“And remember that whilst hospital have certain sections to treat COVID patients, we are still seeing plenty of other patients with other problems.”

From May 18 to June 14, INTIMINA will donate £5 from every menstrual cup sold on  intimina.com  to the charity Freedom4Girls to help in the fight against period poverty. 

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