Can Night Shift Affect Periods

A good night's sleep is of value for pregnant women. But with strenuous work-hours and shift work, sleep can quite a luxury for all. 

Night-shifts are detrimental to reproductive health. Not only can you face issues by working nights during pregnancy but the baby can have issues during birth as well.

Upon evaluation, Dr. Jill Rabin, chief of ambulatory care from Long Island Jewish Medical Center says- " for those women seeking pregnancy, a healthy, regular routine is paramount "

In recent studies, British researchers went on to analyze all reports on shift work and reproduction between 1969-2013.
The result from 1,19,000 women states that 33% of them had a higher risk of menstrual issues. 80% of them also faced infertility issues. 

Not to forget, many women had to face the pain of miscarriages, losing their children on the day of delivery. 

A study had been carried out, investigating how working nights had any adverse effects on menstrual characteristics, and also the link between shift work disorder (SWD) and menstruation.  

The test had female nurses from the Norweigian Nurses Association, who were all below 50 years of age, with a history of 0 histories of hormonal pill intake or pregnancy.

 15% of the nurses reported having irregular menstruation  while 39% faced SWD. 

As menstruation works alongside your hormonal activity, a stressful work environment can be detrimental for your age, falling negative on the rates of pregnancy. 

A study including Taiwanese nurses reflected that night-shift workers experiencing shorter menstruation cycles than longer night-shift workers. 

Shorter and brisk period cycles can be problematic for someone wishing to conceive a baby shortly, as t can tumble the ovarian cycle patterns. 

If you're aiming for a night-shift job, reading this report can help you fortify or rethink your decision. The following ways show how night-shift affects a woman's menstruation and fertility. 


Sleep Pattern Changes

Lack of sleep can be detrimental to all our health. Night shift working women can develop Shift Work Disorder, which includes insomnia and as well as sleep apnea, which is a well-known issue among pregnant women.

Insomnia has relations to menstruation cycles as lack of sleep can affect the period cycles, delaying and shortening them entirely. 

Menstruation can also affect ovulation as the body does not receive enough timely rest and nutrition. 

According to the International Classification of Sleep Disorders, insomnia diagnosis reports state that executive sleepiness or lack of any has a direct bond with regular work schedules than overlap the usual time for sleeping. 

In the case of fertility, as a woman can have multiple issues if their menstruation faces dire changes from the lack of sleep. On the other hand, if a person decides to take on night shifts during early pregnancy, it can be an issue during the second trimester as the body might become weaker. 


Urination and Period Issues for Menstruating and Pregnant Women

Women all over the world do not have the same lifestyle and financial backgrounds can be very different.
While some of us, including you, have a choice to take on night-shifts or leave them as per our comfort, it can be the only path of income for many. 

Women are working in circumstances that do not allow them to take on day-jobs. In poverty-stricken areas, women and small girls face monetary issues, leading them to work in sweatshops with minimal pay and poor working conditions.  

In many parts of the world, women do not have the benefit of maternity leaves and have to work day or night shifts while carrying their baby inside. 

In such cases, urination and changes can be an issue. 

For menstruating women, changing clothes or pads when dirty is a problem and can lead to physical adversaries. 

For pregnant women, frequent visits to the toilet at night is a must. If not possible or allowed, it can make the woman ill. 


Hormonal Issues

Your body produces hormones which help in the menstruation cycles as well as fertility. During menstruation, if the egg does not fertilize, the hormonal levels drop while the uterine walls shed, leading to period. 

During pregnancy, hormonal production and behaviors are erratic, leading to untimely hunger pangs, mood swings, aches and more. 

In many ways, both these situations can be stressful for women

To add to it, when you opt for night-shifts, the lack of sleep can increase your stress levels, which in turn can lead to menstruation irregularities and even poor reproductive outcomes. 

Pregnant women working in night shifts can deliver babies with low birth-weight, which is unhealthy for the newborn. 

Lack of sleep leads to stress, which can affect an adult woman in various forms, halting their regular cycles and fertility rates, even leading to miscarriages for many. 


Caffeine Intake

For many people, late-night work means a cup of coffee. Coffee can give that boost of energy you need to keep your eyes open and concentration at max.

Meaning, night-shift work calls for regular caffeine intake. Now coffee is a no-no for pregnant women. 

Caffeine can increase the need to urinate and also make you feel dehydrated. Not to forget, if you ingest too much coffee, it can lead to high levels of anxiety as well as blood pressure

A restless pregnant woman might feel sick after a while, because of caffeine intake. 

Hence, night shifts for coffee drinkers and pregnant women are detrimental to their health. 



Night-shifts can direly affect pregnant and menstruating women. If it's the only source of income, it's advisable to check with a doctor beforehand to take the necessary steps.



Related blog: Missing your period for the 3rd month? You might be facing Amenorrhea

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