Can Running Start Your Period

As an avid runner, I understand the concerns and curiosity around how exercise, specifically running, can impact the menstrual cycle. Many women wonder if engaging in regular runs can kickstart their period or if it can affect the regularity of their cycle. Let’s explore the relationship between running and menstruation to gain a better understanding of this topic.

Understanding the Menstrual Cycle

The menstrual cycle is a complex process controlled by various hormones in a woman’s body. The cycle typically lasts between 21 to 35 days, with the average being around 28 days. It involves the shedding of the uterine lining, which results in bleeding (period), and is influenced by hormonal fluctuations.

Impact of Running on Menstrual Cycle

Engaging in regular exercise, including running, can have an impact on the menstrual cycle. Running helps to regulate hormone levels, reduce stress, and maintain a healthy body weight, all of which can contribute to a more regular menstrual cycle. However, excessive exercise, such as long-distance running or intense training, can lead to disruptions in the menstrual cycle.

Effects on Hormones

When we run, the body releases endorphins, which can affect hormone levels. This release of endorphins can help reduce stress, which in turn can positively impact the menstrual cycle. However, excessive physical stress from prolonged, intense running can lead to a decrease in reproductive hormones, potentially causing irregularities in the menstrual cycle.

Body Weight and Menstruation

Running is an effective way to manage weight, and maintaining a healthy body weight is essential for regular menstrual cycles. However, excessive exercise without adequate nutrition can lead to a drop in body fat, which can disrupt the production of hormones necessary for menstruation.

Factoring in Individual Differences

It’s important to recognize that the impact of running on the menstrual cycle can vary from person to person. Some women may experience a more regular cycle when running, while others may notice irregularities or changes in their flow. Factors such as genetics, overall health, and stress levels all play a role in how running affects the menstrual cycle.

Managing Menstruation and Running

For women who run and experience discomfort during their period, there are ways to manage both running and menstruation. Wearing comfortable and absorbent menstrual products, staying hydrated, and listening to your body’s signals are important when running during your period. It’s also crucial to be mindful of any changes in your cycle and seek medical advice if you notice significant irregularities.


In conclusion, running can have both positive and negative impacts on the menstrual cycle. Regular, moderate running often supports a healthy menstrual cycle by reducing stress and maintaining a healthy body weight. However, excessive or intense running can lead to hormonal imbalances and irregularities. Ultimately, each woman’s experience with running and its effects on her menstrual cycle is unique, and it’s important to pay attention to your body’s signals and seek professional guidance if needed.