Can zoloft affect your period? (7 tips to regulate your periods) 

This blog will answer the question, “Can zoloft affect your period?”. By the end of this blog post, we will be able to understand how zoloft causes menstrual problems and affects your period. Here, we will also talk about some tips that can help normalise menstrual issues. 

Zoloft is an antidepressant which belongs to the class of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, SSRIs. These agents are known to cause some irregularities in the menstrual cycle. Many women have experienced this, while being on zoloft.

Can zoloft affect your period? 

Counseling is Key to a Healthy Marr... x
Counseling is Key to a Healthy Marriage

Yes, zoloft can have an impact on your monthly cycle. It can affect your flow, the number of days your periods last and the intensity of menstrual cramps. 

How does zoloft affect the menstrual cycle? 

SSRIs cause hormonal and other function alterations. It is common for women to notice differences in their monthly cycle. This can include physical symptoms, like tiredness, cramps, or tenderness, or can include emotional symptoms, like mood swings, agitation, or irritability.

This can also include the symptoms of menstruation itself, like changes in flow cycle, quantity of flow, frequency of flow, or even lack of flow is also experienced.

If your menstrual problems are caused by a condition called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), the use of antidepressants might actually help. 

What does research suggest? 

A 2012 research was based on comparative study. A total of 1432 women were included in the study. The sample was divided into two groups: the antidepressant group, consisting of 793 women and the control group, with 639 women in it. 

The menstruation disorders were checked through gynaecological data. Results showed significantly higher prevalence of menstrual disorders in the antidepressant group (24.6%) than the control group (12.2%). 

The incidence of antidepressant induced menstruation disorder was found to be 14.5%. Hence, the study concluded that menstruation disorders were frequently observed in women taking antidepressants and that it appears to be associated with the use of antidepressants. 

Delayed menstruation is also a symptom of depression 

Delayed period is itself a symptom of depression. This is because a stress hormone, called cortisol, is primarily responsible for making changes in a woman’s body when she is exposed to stress or depression.

When cortisol levels rise in the body, it affects hypothalamus. It is an organ in the brain that plays an important part in regulating the reproductive system. Because of this increased amount of cortisol, the function of the hypothalamus is affected.

It results in either delaying ovulation, or stopping your periods altogether. Other hormones could also play a role here which can mess up a woman’s monthly cycle.

Other medications responsible for menstrual problems

Not just zoloft or other antidepressants, there are plenty of medicines out there which can negatively affect your monthly cycle. These include:

  • Hormonal birth control 
  • Hormone replacement therapy 
  • Warfarin (Coumadin) 
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen.
  • Thyroid medications 
  • Epilepsy medications like valproic acid
  • Chemotherapy 

Medical conditions that affect your menstrual cycle

There are several other health conditions that can result in menstrual irregularities. These include:

  • Uterine polyps and fibroids, which are small non-cancerous, often called benign, tumors in the lining of the uterus. 
  • Endometriosis, a condition which occurs when the endometrial tissue starts to grow outside the uterus. 
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which is an infection that affects the female reproductive system. 
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which is associated with small fluid-filled cysts (sacs) that may form in the ovaries. 
  • Premature ovarian insufficiency, a condition with malfunctioning ovaries. It often results in delaying or stopping your periods.

Other serious conditions include: 

  • Medical conditions, such as bleeding disorders, hypo or hyperthyroidism, or pituitary disorders that affect hormonal balance.
  • Endometrial (Uterine) cancer 
  • Cervical cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Complications associated with pregnancy, including miscarriage. 

When to see your doctor

You should contact your gynaecologist immediately if you experience the following symptoms:

  • Heavy bleeding during periods
  • Bleeding during or after sex
  • Bleeding during pregnancy
  • Dysmenorrhea 
  • Extreme menstrual pain and discomfort
  • Chills and fever
  • Unusual vaginal discharge
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Abnormal hair growth
  • Pimples and acne
  • Unusual discharge from nipples

Such side effects should be reported as soon as you can and you should get yourself thoroughly checked. Your healthcare provider may stop zoloft, if need be. But again, one important thing to mention here is that everyone is affected differently by medications. 

Don’t think that you will definitely suffer from such problems just because you’re reading about it or someone else reported it. Every single human body is different. You and I have different physiological makeup. Drugs will affect us differently. 

Tips to get regular periods naturally 

There are some ways, or say lifestyle changes, that can help regulate your periods:

Maintain a healthy weight 

Try to maintain a balanced healthy weight. Women who are overweight are most likely to suffer from zoloft induced delayed periods as compared to those who have a normal BMI. Similarly, those who are underweight are more susceptible to gynaecological side effects.

When women are overweight and obese, it often disturbs their hormones. The hormonal disturb can cause gynaecological complications and can result in irregualr periods, polycystic ovary disease, early menopause etc. 

Do yoga

Yoga is known to relieve symptoms associated with menstrual problems. A study, which included 126 participants to monitor the relationship between yoga and menstrual health, concluded that 20-40 minutes of yoga, as part of normal routine, can lower hormonal levels which cause irregular periods. 

If you are starting just about now, you can seek help for your local gym or can find beginner yoga moves on the internet that you can easily do at your home.

Make exercise a part of your routine 

Exercise can help regulate your periods in so many ways. First, it will help you reach your ideal body weight, in accordance with your height. Exercise is actually a part of the treatment plan for Polycystic ovaries syndrome (PCOs), which can also cause period related problems and can also make you gain weight. 

A 2021 study showed that exercise can benefit you in the treatment of dysmenorrhea (painful periods caused by excessive uterine contractions) by reducing the intensity and duration of pain associated with the menstrual cycle.

Add some ginger to your diet

Ginger appears to be beneficial for a variety of menstrual problems. It has anti-inflammatory and soothing properties. A study conducted in 2014 included 92 women with heavy menstrual bleeding. It concluded that daily ginger consumption helped them with menorrhagia (heavy and prolonged menstrual bleeding). 

Cinnamon 

Cinnamon is also known for providing comfort during not-so-easy menstrual cycles. Research suggests that cinnamon can help regulate menstrual cycles and is an effective treatment option for women with PCOS. 

It has also shown to decrease nausea, vomiting, menstrual pain and bleeding in women experiencing dysmenorrhea. 

Enjoy juicy pineapples

Pineapple is known to be a popular home remedy for providing relief from menstrual problems. Bromelain, an enzyme present in pineapple, has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. It can make the lining of your uterus soft and can regulate your periods. 

Make sure you have enough vitamins

Studies show a link between vitamin D deficiency and irregular periods. A 2014 study shows the benefits of vitamin D in the treatment of PCOs associated menstrual irregularities. 

Vitamin B is also associated with period regulation. Make sure you have a fair share of every vitamin as they all manage our basic physiological functions. In case of deficiency, supplements are preferred to replenish the vitamins first, then it is advised to manage their levels with diet. 

Conclusion

After this blog, we can definitely come up with a conclusion that zoloft can cause menstrual irregularities in some women. Several factors can contribute as well, like if you already have PCOs or if you’re obese, you’re more likely to suffer from zoloft induced menstrual issues.

Although, research has confirmed that zoloft can affect your periods but it doesn’t mean it always will. People get different side effects, as our bodies react differently when they are exposed to medications. 

FAQs: Can zoloft affect your period 

Can antidepressants cause irregular periods?

Yes, antidepressants can cause irregular periods. SSRIs cause hormonal and other function alterations. It is common for women to notice differences in their monthly cycle.

If your menstrual problems are caused by a condition called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), the use of antidepressants might actually help. 

Can Zoloft make your period come early? 

Yes, zoloft can make your periods come early and can cause heavy bleeding. It can also delay it or decrease the flow. There’s no way to say for sure how it will affect you, as it varies from person to person. 

Can depression affect your period? 

Delayed period is itself a symptom of depression. This is because a stress hormone, called cortisol, is primarily responsible for making changes in a woman’s body when she is exposed to stress or depression.

When cortisol levels rise in the body, it affects hypothalamus. It is an organ in the brain that plays an important part in regulating the reproductive system. Because of this increased amount of cortisol, the function of the hypothalamus is affected.

It results in either delaying ovulation, or stopping your periods altogether. Other hormones could also play a role here which can mess up a woman’s monthly cycle.

Can sertraline cause bleeding between periods?

Yes, sertraline is associated with heavy menstrual bleeding, along with other SSRIs which have higher degree of serotonin uptake inhibition.

What should you not take with Zoloft?

Do not use zoloft with any irreversible monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). Concomitant treatment is highly contraindicated due to the risk of serotonin syndrome with symptoms like agitation, tremor and hyperthermia. 

Do not use zoloft with pimozide. Combining these medications can increase the plasma concentration(availability of a drug in the blood) of pimozide to much higher levels. It can result in life-threatening arrhythmia.

Zoloft also interacts with tryptophan, St. John’s wort, meperidine, tramadol, cimetidine, and warfarin. Use of Zoloft during the 3rd trimester of pregnancy can cause adverse effects in the newborn. 

Does zoloft help with periods?

Zoloft is useful for the treatment of premenstrual dysphoric disorder, including symptoms like mood swings, irritability, bloating, and breast tenderness. 

References 

Was this post helpful?

[Sassy_Social_Share type="standard"]