Winter is Coming
Although not as daunting as the winter in Game of Thrones, winter still causes many changes in our bodies. Seasons change and that usually causes people to get sick, so if it affects our health, does it also affect our menstrual cycle?
How did winter affect Cersei Lannister’s cycle?
Cersei Lannister was one of the many strong and influential women from Game of Thrones, from the house of Lannister, who (spoiler alert) deserved a better ending.
Winter is coming is a phrase associated with Game of Thrones, it's the motto of the House of the Stark that highlights the importance of constant vigilance.
Fangirling aside, let me address the question, how did winter affect Cersei Lannister's cycle?
Well, I don’t know the answer to that question, but it didn't stop her, and it shouldn't stop you.
In winter, our blood vessels compress, consequently there is a narrower pathway for blood, and it leads to increased period pain.
That is only one of the many changes that occur, in the menstrual cycle due to winter.
Effects of Winter on your Menstrual Cycle
The days are getting shorter, gloomy and dull, so your mood swings will likely be more extreme. You might be more sensitive during your period. Premenstrual and period tension is way worse during the winter.
A paper published in 2011 discovered that there was increased frequency of ovulation and reduced cycles by 0.9 days during the summer. This pattern was also demonstrated in women who lived in warmer climates compared with those that lived in colder temperatures.Ovarian activity is greater in summer vs. winter in women living in a continental climate at temperate latitudes; sunshine is a factor that influences menstrual cycle. This was established by studying women and meteorological data in Russia, and it concluded that women have more FSH (Follicle stimulating hormone) secretion also during the summer.
Sunshine helps us produce vitamin D, which controls our dopamine production that keeps us happy and content, in turn it reduces our mood swings.
Obviously during the winter, we stay indoors more, and eat more, which has effects on Premenstrual tension. Since we aren’t moving around, it can have adverse effects on cycles that were earlier manageable.
In my personal experience, in the months I workout less, by workout I used to go cycling or take a walk, I never experienced any pain at all, compared to the months I didn't where it became unbearable. However, where I love currently the temperatures go below 5 degrees. So it's hard for me to move around. Additionally, I DESPISE THE COLD, mostly because i’m never really cold but my mom, worried about my health, covers me in jackets and sweaters. I also love the summer season, it's my favourite time of year.
Furthermore, due to the cold season, many more people indulge in all things warm and cozy which is great for period pain. The lifestyle changes that occur during the changing seasons are also a chief factor in the changing patterns of your menstrual cycle.
How do I make myself feel less blah?
A simple solution would be to move around and exercise as it increases our dopamine levels. But it's cold outside! So try and do some workouts from the comfort of your home. Getting a move on may be more beneficial than you think, it also reduces period pain. So don’t get lazy because of the season change, like i mentioned lifestyle changes can take a toll on your cycle.
On the other hand don't forget to curl up in your sheets and take rest. The best thing you can do to prevent heightened pain is to drink enough fluids and eat well. Try to sustain your non-winter lifestyle as much as possible.
Stay safe and Stay warm!
Written by: Triya Ghosh
Graphics by: Ananya Choudhury