Stress is a common day to day experience for women in modern society. Some women handle stress well, others not, and as a result need support. Stress can be defined as changes or challenges that place a demand on the individual. These changes or demands could be positive such as a promotion at work or a marriage; or negative such as an illness or death of a spouse, parent or child. Both the positive and negative experiences challenge and task the individual. Stress can be a general day-to-day life experience or it can be a sudden situation.
Stress can affect the menstrual cycle. With some women this happens more often than others. Stress can cause more variability in the length of the menstrual cycle – sometimes they are long (See NFP and long menstrual cycles) but usually are shorter (See NFP and short menstrual cycles). Some women experience changes in the mucus sign. If a woman is having difficulty finding her fertile window she should consult with her NFP nurse. She should also work on managing her stress. Her spouse can be a big help with helping her manage stress.
A woman/couple can manage stress cycles by:
Being aware of stress and possible delay in ovulation.
Resuming intercourse only until confident that she is 3 full days past the peak day.
Finding positive ways of managing stress through proper exercise, diet, sleep, rest and relaxation, and prayer.