Can Your Weight Affect Your Period?

8 December 2023  |  Admin

Yes, absolutely, your weight can affect your period and how your menstrual cycle behaves.  Maintaining a healthy weight and minimising weight gain is one of the best ways of keeping your periods regular.

Whether you’re shedding pounds or gaining them, these changes can indeed shake things up in your cycle. When your weight fluctuates significantly, it can cause shifts in the regularity, duration, and characteristics of your periods.

Here's how your weight can affect your period:

Shop Control Period Pants

1. Significant Weight Loss / Low Body Weight

When someone experiences significant weight loss or maintains a consistently low body weight, it can lead to conditions like amenorrhea—essentially, your menstrual periods can stop altogether.

Eating disorders such as anorexia, losing too much weight or excess exercise can all impact your cycle. Famously many young gymnasts didn't have periods due to a combination of low body weight and excess exercise.

This absence is typically due to reduced oestrogen levels, which are crucial for regulating your cycle.

2. Obesity

On the flip side, being overweight or obesity can bring about its own set of period challenges. It often leads to insulin resistance and spikes in certain hormones like insulin and androgens. These hormonal shifts can cause irregular periods or even disrupt ovulation, leading to anovulation which means that an egg is not released during the menstrual cycle.

3. Oestrogen Production

Surprisingly, your body fat—yes, that adipose tissue—plays a role in producing oestrogen. Changes in body weight can affect how fat is distributed, which directly influences oestrogen levels. Remember, oestrogen is a key player in steering the ship of your menstrual cycle.

"I ordered 3 x Full Brief Period Underwear - Feeling Comfy for my mum, and 3 x Feeling Cosy - Bamboo Period Shorts for myself. My mum has used hers for a month for overnight incontinence with no problems or leaks. That design is very affordable and is fantastic value. She loves that they look almost identical to underwear she already owns, so these don't make her “feel old”.

As an unpaid carer, I was hesitant to pay these prices for myself when cheaper alternatives are available. However, I will be a returning customer. 1 pair did tear after the first wash, not on the seem unfortunately, which is such a shame, but they all still serve their intended purpose. I can wear them all night with no leaks, and they're very comfortable period pants.

I also appreciate the variety in designs, because I lost my femininity with weight gain but felt comfortable in myself wearing the boxer style." Tea, Trustpilot

What Other Factors Affect Your Period?

While weight does wield considerable influence, it’s not the sole player in the period game. Other factors can also tango with your cycle:

1. Diet

What you eat matters! Certain foods can sway the heaviness or duration of your periods. Check out our blog on how food impacts your cycle for more info.

2. Lifestyle

Your lifestyle choices can throw your cycle off-kilter. Excessive smoking, heavy drinking, or drug abuse can also tinker with the regularity of your periods.

3. Contraceptives

Different contraceptives such as birth control pills, the hormonal coil and contraceptive implant can affect individuals differently. Many of these affect changes to their menstrual cycles. For example many women with a hormonal coil fitted find that their periods stop altogether.

4. Travel

Jet-setting can sometimes lead to menstrual irregularities. Learn more about how travel might affect your period in our dedicated blog.

5. Stress

Ah, stress—the ultimate disruptor. High stress levels can often cause changes in the regularity and flow of your periods.

Shop High Waist Pants

6. Postpartum

After giving birth, your body undergoes significant changes. Our postpartum/maternity pants are designed to provide comfort and support during this unique phase.  Find out more about maternity knickers and postpartum undies in this article.

"I have hated pretty much every period from 13-39. Having had 2 children in short succession my periods are now so heavy I have bled through everything I own. In final desperation I wanted to try reusable to see if it would have any benefit on my periods. I haven’t noticed an improvement yet like some mention but I am blown away by these pants. My first period I haven’t had any leaks, I am not damp or uncomfortable. Just feel fresh and clean! I have put on a bit of weight and found the boy shorts a little tight around the thigh and the high waisted more comfortable. I am shouting to everyone I know about these pants and will be buying more." Olivia, Trustpilot

7. Health Conditions Impacting Periods

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

PCOS is a common hormonal imbalances disorder among women of reproductive age. It can cause irregular periods due to imbalances in reproductive or sex hormones, leading to small cysts on the ovaries. Irregular or absent periods are a hallmark of this condition.

Thyroid Disorders

Both hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) and hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) can also wreak havoc on your hormone levels and therefore your menstrual cycle. They can cause irregular periods, heavier or lighter flows, or even amenorrhea in extreme cases.


Endometriosis is a painful condition where tissue similar to the uterine lining inside the uterus grows outside the uterus. It can lead to heavy bleeding, severe cramps, and irregular periods.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

PID is an infection of the female reproductive organs. It can cause irregular bleeding, spotting, or even lead to the absence of periods due to its impact on the fallopian tubes and uterus.


Uterine fibroids are noncancerous growths in the uterus that can cause heavy menstrual bleeding, prolonged periods, and irregular cycles.

Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (POI)

Formerly known as premature menopause, POI involves the loss of normal ovarian function before the age of 40. It can cause irregular or absent periods, similar to menopause.

Other Systemic Diseases

Certain systemic diseases like diabetes, celiac disease, and autoimmune disorders can also impact menstrual regularity and flow due to their effects on hormonal balance and overall health.

Understanding these medical conditions and their potential effects on your menstrual cycle is crucial. If you suspect you might have any of these conditions or experience significant changes in your period, it’s important to consult a your GP for proper diagnosis and guidance.

Your weight is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to understanding your period. It’s a complex symphony of factors that all contribute to the monthly rhythm. Understanding these connections can empower you to take better care of yourself and your menstrual health.  Remember, understanding your body is a journey, and we’re here to support you every step of the way.

If you've got questions about switching to reusable period protection, please do contact us. Our team chat pee, poo and periods all day long and nothing is TMI! Alternatively, if you'd like to find out more about reusable period products, check out these helpful articles:

Top 6 Reusable Sanitary Pads

Reusable Period Products & Toxic Shock Syndrome

Are reusable pads safe?

How to prevent leaks on your period

The best pads for heavy periods





About the Author: Helen Rankin founded Cheeky Wipes, the original reusable wipes kit back in 2008 after disposable wipes caused her eczema to flare up. 4 kids later, internal period protection such as tampons or menstrual cups were no longer an option for her and she went on to develop their range of 'Simple Reusables' to include period pants and reusable sanitary pads.

The Company was recognised for their hard work in developing environmentally friendly products with the Queens Award in Enterprise for Sustainable Development in 2021.

Cheeky Wipes logo
Search icon Account icon Basket icon0