can intermittent fasting affect my period

Can Intermittent Fasting Affect My Period?

Written by Andrew Brewer. ⚕️Reviewed and fact checked by our medical team.

can intermittent fasting affect my period

If you’ve missed your period, it can be due to a long list of reasons, including intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting changes your metabolism and endocrine system, which can directly affect your menstrual cycle.

For both men and women, fasting affects the hypothalamus, which is the part of the brain that regulates hormones. The hypothalamus is the control center in the brain for the endocrine system.

When a woman fasts, her hypothalamus might send different signals to her endocrine system, which changes the hormone levels in her body and affects when she has her period.

Intermittent fasting isn’t right for everyone, but there are many health benefits. There are several different methods of intermittent fasting. Some are more extreme than others and may be more likely to affect your period.

Key Takeaways

  • Intermittent fasting can affect the endocrine system, which controls hormone levels in the body, including those that regulate menstruation.
  • Women who fast for long periods and reduce their caloric intake drastically may experience decreased progesterone levels, which can reduce the chances of ovulation.
  • Other factors such as stress, menopause, and underlying health conditions can also affect menstruation, and it’s important to seek medical advice if experiencing changes in the menstrual cycle while fasting intermittently.
  • While intermittent fasting has many benefits, there is no evidence to suggest that fasting promotes fertility, and it’s crucial to provide your body with adequate nutrients, especially if trying to conceive.
  • It’s always best to talk to your doctor or gynecologist before starting any new dietary practices or fasting regimes.

The Endocrine System and Your Period

The endocrine system is a complex system in the human body that controls all your hormones. It affects all body functions, including sleeping, eating, growing, urinating, and menstruating.

The hypothalamus is the center of the endocrine system. When you fast, your hypothalamus responds by sending different signals, or hormones, that control bodily functions. For women, their menstrual cycle can be one of the bodily functions most affected by intermittent fasting.

How Fasting Affects Your Body

Fasting can help promote weight loss, help control blood sugar levels, and reduce inflammation in your joints.

Intermittent fasting also affects your hormones and can help stimulate the release of human growth hormone (HGH), which is needed for cell repair, strength, and muscle growth.

Another beneficial effect of intermittent fasting is autophagy, which means “self-eating.” Your body absorbs dead and damaged cells during autophagy, which cleans your system and keeps it healthy.

Fasting also activates beneficial gene expressions that can help lower your cholesterol and make you resistant to diseases like Alzheimer’s and cancer. It can even upregulate the anti-aging gene, which can reverse the effects of aging.

Calorie Restriction and Your Period

There are a lot of benefits of intermittent fasting. Still, if you overdo intermittent fasting and reduce your caloric intake drastically, your hypothalamus will send a message to your body to lower progesterone levels. In turn, decreased progesterone levels will reduce your chances of ovulation.

Women who fast for long periods need to make sure that they are getting a balanced diet and providing their bodies with adequate nutrients.

Other Health Conditions That Affect Menstruation

Several health conditions can affect your period. If you are fasting intermittently and it’s affecting your period, you could still have underlying problems, which you shouldn’t ignore.

Don’t hesitate to get a pregnancy test, especially if you’re sexually active. Intermittent fasting is not recommended for pregnant or nursing women because your caloric needs are increased when you’re eating for two.

Other factors which you shouldn’t rule out include stress and menopause.

Can Intermittent Fasting Boost Fertility?

There is no evidence that fasting promotes fertility. Even though there are many health benefits associated with intermittent fasting, there haven’t been enough studies to determine if fasting makes women of childbearing age more fertile.

If you’re trying to conceive, you should provide your body with adequate nutrients above all else. Don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor or gynecologist if you have questions about what’s right for you regarding fasting.

Regular Fasting for Optimal Health

If you’re a woman using intermittent fasting to control your weight, get tested regularly for pregnancy if you skip a menstrual cycle.

Using a fasting app can help you keep track of all of your health issues in one place. Intermittent fasting applications are perfect for women who are concerned about intermittent fasting affecting their periods.


  • Can intermittent fasting affect my menstrual cycle?

Yes, it’s possible. Intermittent fasting can lead to changes in hormones, including insulin and cortisol, which can affect your menstrual cycle.

  • How does intermittent fasting affect hormones?

Intermittent fasting can cause an increase in cortisol, which can affect the production of hormones like estrogen and progesterone. It can also lead to insulin resistance, which can cause changes in menstrual cycles.

  • What are the potential menstrual cycle changes from intermittent fasting?

Some women may experience irregular periods or even missed periods while intermittent fasting. Others may have heavier or longer periods.

  • Are there any specific types of intermittent fasting that can affect menstrual cycles?

There’s no specific type of intermittent fasting that’s more likely to affect menstrual cycles. However, calorie restriction can potentially impact your hormones and menstrual cycle.

  • Can intermittent fasting affect fertility?

Yes, intermittent fasting can affect fertility in some women. Irregular menstrual cycles can make it more difficult to conceive.

  • Is it safe to do intermittent fasting if I have menstrual irregularities?

It’s best to talk to your healthcare provider if you have menstrual irregularities or concerns about intermittent fasting. They can help you determine if it’s safe for you to do.

  • Can I still do intermittent fasting if I’m trying to conceive?

If you’re trying to conceive, it may be best to avoid intermittent fasting until you’re pregnant or have talked to your healthcare provider. Maintaining a healthy diet and regular menstrual cycles can help increase your chances of getting pregnant.

  • How can I minimize the potential impact of intermittent fasting on my menstrual cycle?

You can try to minimize the potential impact of intermittent fasting on your menstrual cycle by gradually easing into it and ensuring you get enough calories and nutrients during your eating periods. It’s also important to listen to your body and stop fasting if you experience negative symptoms.

Andrew Brewer

Andrew Brewer

Andrew Brewer started to give people the guidance that he never received when he was first starting. His goal is to make your goals achievable and to offer you only the best fasting apps that the internet has to offer. You're not on your own - Andrew and the entire family of reviewers at are here with you every step of the way!