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Can Infection Stop Menstruation?

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Can Infection Stop Menstruation?
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The menstrual cycle is a natural and complex process controlled by the female hormones responsible for regular bleeding. It is a delicate interaction of hormonal changes in the female body. Although menstruation might be unpleasant and comes with uncomfortable symptoms, it is crucial to female reproductive health.

A skipped period might come as a relief, but it is a cause for alarm. In most cases, a delayed period is due to pregnancy, so a delayed or missed period might not bode well for sexually active women who are not ready to conceive. 

However, pregnancy isn’t always the cause. A late or missed period can signal an underlying health condition. 

Various health conditions affect this natural process of menstruation, and infection is a potential factor that can muddle the process and cause irregularities. A complex relationship exists between menstruation and infections, and different infections impact the body differently. But can infection stop menstruation?

This article discusses the relationship between infection and ceased menstruation and explores the mechanism behind this belief. By providing a clearer understanding of the effects of infection on the menstrual cycle, this article highlights whether or not infection can stop menstruation.  

Understanding the Menstrual Cycle

Menstruation is a female cycle that occurs when the endometrium (uterus lining) sheds. This cycle occurs throughout a woman’s life monthly, and typically starts at 12 years. For each cycle, the endometrium thickens to accommodate a fetus by increasing estrogen and progesterone levels. When fertilization doesn’t occur as it should, the endometrium sheds, along with the mucus and blood from the cervix, which consists of the blood of menstrual flow.

On average, a menstrual cycle lasts 28 days, but the length can vary, especially during the first two years when a woman sees her period. Some cycles may be as long as 35 days or as short as 21 days. You should speak with a doctor if you experience anything outside these parameters.  

Can Infection Stop Menstruation? -Infections that Affect the Menstrual Cycle

Can infection stop menstruation?
Can Infection Stop Menstruation? 4

Infections in females are more common than you think and hurt the reproductive tract. The earlier you notice the symptoms of infection (especially during menstruation), the better. The symptoms of infection during menstruation manifest differently. However, common signs and symptoms of infection during menstruation include:

  • Difference in vaginal discharge. These include changes in odor, texture, and color of the vaginal discharge. Vaginal discharge with a foul smell and a green, grey, or yellow (thick) texture is a sign of infection.
  • Vaginal/abdominal discomfort, pain, and soreness.
  • Increased and heavier bleeding. Infections like pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) can lead to unusually prolonged and heavier bleeding.
  • Irritation, itching, and swelling of the vulva.
  • Painful burning sensation while urinating or having sex.
  • Fever with flu-like symptoms.

These symptoms can be quite challenging to recognize, making it difficult to get the proper treatment they need. Therefore, you must first identify the infection you’re dealing with. 

Yeast Infection

Yeast infection or vaginal candidiasis is a fungal infection that affects the vaginal area and is caused by an overgrowth of the fungus candida. Yeast is a type of fungus, and candida is a particular type of yeast. A healthy vagina has a balanced (friendly) bacteria and yeast level. When the yeast and bacteria levels in the vagina become unbalanced, i.e., when the natural vaginal PH or flora changes or gets muddled, the yeast overgrows rapidly, leading to yeast infection. 

Common symptoms that manifest in the vagina and vulva include severe itching, irritation, thick lumpy white discharge, redness, swelling, pain, discomfort, and disruption of the menstrual cycle.

Can yeast infection stop menstruation? 

No scientific evidence shows that a yeast infection can delay or stop your menstruation. So, if you experienced a yeast infection and delayed period, it’s most likely a coincidence. However, in the days before menstruation, high estrogen levels can build up and cause the candida to overgrow. 

Factors Contributing To Yeast Infections

  • Use of certain steroids, antibiotics, and birth control pills like oral or hormonal contraceptives.
  • Unmanaged or uncontrolled diabetes
  • Pregnancy
  • Weak immune system
  • Unprotected sex with an infected partner
  • Wearing tight or wet underwear, scented tampons, or vaginal deodorant
  • Douching

How can I prevent Yeast Infections?

With a few lifestyle changes here and there, you can reduce the risk of a yeast infection: 

  • Change sanitary pads or tampons every 6-8 hours
  • Avoid douching. Douching kills the bacteria that control fungus
  • Limit the consumption of sugary and spicy food. They help yeast thrive in the body
  • Always wipe front to back
  • Keep the vulva clean and dry
  • Avoid tight underwear. Wear breathable or loose underwear and clothes.
  • Avoid scented tampons and feminine deodorants.
  • Change out of wet clothing as soon as possible.
  • Use water-based sexual lubricants
  • Control your blood sugar levels if you have diabetes.

It is worth noting that yeast infection symptoms share similarities with other conditions. To this effect, consult a doctor or healthcare provider to make sure you are treating the right condition.

Can Infection Stop Menstruation?
Can Infection Stop Menstruation? 5

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) occur when bacteria enters the urethra during (unprotected) sexual activity. UTIs are common among women who are of reproductive age and sexually active. Although the opening of the urethra is right in front of the vagina, UTIs do not directly impact your reproductive organs or menstrual cycle. 


Can UTIs stop menstruation? 

As the name implies, UTIs only affect the urinary tract. It may extend into the upper urinary tract and cause a kidney infection, which is even more terrible. Nevertheless, UTIs do not delay or stop your period. 

UTIs are painful and can cause burning and induce stress. So, if it seems that a UTI is delaying or messing with your period, it may be that the actual cause is stress (from the infection) rather than the infection itself. A 2015 study found that high levels of stress are associated with menstrual irregularities. Similarly, a review also revealed that stress impairs the ovarian/menstrual cycle. 

How do I prevent UTIs?

  • Drink plenty of water. This will cause you to urinate, expelling the bacteria from the urinary tract before an infection occurs.
  • Urinate after sex.
  • Avoid douching and using sprays, deodorants, or powder on your genitals.
  • Wipe from front to back. This will prevent the spread of bacteria from the anus to the vagina and urethra.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is an infection of one or more of a woman’s upper reproductive organs, including the ovaries, uterus, and fallopian tubes. PID is often caused by common STDs, such as gonorrhea and chlamydia, and other non-sexually transmitted infections. If left untreated, scar tissue and pockets of infected fluid can develop in the reproductive tract, permanently damaging the reproductive organs. Depending on its severity, PID may or may not affect a woman’s menstrual cycle.

Common causes of PID

  • Sexual activity at age 25 or younger
  • Multiple sexual partners
  • Untreated STIs
  • Unprotected sex with an infected person
  • Regular douching
  • A history of PID or STIs
  • Insertion of an intrauterine device (IUD). This small increased risk is limited to the first three weeks after a doctor inserts it in the uterus.

How can I prevent PID? 

  • Protected sex. Use condoms (the right way) every time you have sex. 
  • Test regularly for STIs
  • Avoid douching
  • Ensure your sexual partner is tested and infection-free 
  • Stick to one uninfected sexual partner.

Bacterial vaginosis (BV)

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) occurs when there is an imbalance between the natural beneficial and harmful bacteria in the vagina. It is not a sexually transmitted infection (STI), but it does increase the risk of contracting an STI like chlamydia.

BV is a common cause of unusual vaginal discharge, discomfort, and pain in the vagina. When the bacteria levels are balanced, the vagina remains healthy. The good bacteria (lactobacilli) outnumber the bad bacteria (anaerobes), but when too much bad bacteria grows, it creates an imbalance and results in BV.

Causes of BV

  • Multiple sex partners
  • A new sex partner
  • Douching
  • Low level of lactobacilli bacteria
  • Unprotected sex

How can BV be prevented?

  • Avoid douching
  • Wipe from front to back
  • Stick to one (or few) sex partners
  • Protected sex. Use latex condoms or dental dams.

Other Factors That Cause Irregular Menstruation 

Usually, your menstrual cycle occurs every 28 days, but it can range between 21 to 35 days. On average, the menstrual cycle length is 29 days. If your period varies slightly from cycle to cycle, your period is regular. Irregular menstruation includes;

  • A period cycle occurring in less than 21 days or more than 35 days.
  • Unusual heavier or lighter bleeding.
  • Periods longer than seven days.
  • Three or more periods missed in a row.
  • Severe cramps, nausea, or vomiting during menstruation.
  • Bleeding or spotting between periods or after sex.
  • Using more than one sanitary pad or tampon in one hour.

Several factors affect irregular menstruation, ranging from lifestyle choices to medical conditions. A study outlined some factors that contribute to irregular menstruation as thus:

  • Eating disorders (bulimia or anorexia nervosa)
  • Too much exercise
  • Under secretion or over-secretion of the thyroid hormone (thyroid dysfunction)
  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Hormonal birth control pills
  • Asherman’s syndrome (scarred uterine cavity). 
  • Perimenopause
  • Elevated levels of the prolactin hormone, which is produced by the pituitary gland, produce milk.
  • Elevated levels of the cortisol hormone, which the body produces in response to stress (Cushing’s syndrome).
  • Late-onset congenital adrenal hyperplasia (problem with the adrenal gland)
  • Hormonal intrauterine devices (IUDs)
  • Medications like those for epilepsy or mental conditions.

Medical and lifestyle factors that can affect menstruation include:

  • Endometriosis. The abnormal growth of the endometrial tissue, which grows outside the uterus. It can cause severe abdominal pain, cramps, and abnormal bleeding.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). This is when the ovaries produce androgens (a type of hormone) in large quantities. Androgens delay or prevent ovulation which leads to irregular menstruation.
  • Primary ovarian insufficiency. This occurs in women under 40 whose ovaries don’t work correctly, causing irregular or missed periods.
  • Thyroid or pituitary gland disorders 
  • Bleeding disorders
  • Uterine cancer or ovarian cancer
  • Significant weight loss or gain
  • Stress
  • Miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy.
  • Surgery, scarring, or blockages in your uterus, fallopian tubes, or ovaries.

Health Conditions that Stop Menstruation

  • Pregnancy.
  • Menopause
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
  • Amenorrhoea
  • Premature ovarian failure
  • Genital tracts defects
  • Pituitary gland dysfunction


Menstruation is important in a woman’s life, as it signals good reproductive health. Infections can mess with the menstruation cycle. Although certain infections can temporarily disrupt and delay menstruation, no scientific evidence shows that infection can stop menstruation completely. Thus, the answer to the question, “can infection stop menstruation?” is NO. 

If you notice any drastic change in your menstrual cycle or have missed your period three times in a row without being pregnant or experiencing menopause, Talk to an Expert Gynaecologist on KompleteCare. 


Nagma, S., Kapoor, G., Bharti, R., Batra, A., Batra, A., Aggarwal, A., & Sablok, A. (2015). To Evaluate the Effect of Perceived Stress on Menstrual Function. Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research : JCDR, 9(3), QC01.

Edozien, Leroy C. Mind over matter: psychological factors and the menstrual cycle. Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology 18(4):p 452-456, August 2006. | DOI: 10.1097/

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Claire Essi

Claire Essi is a health researcher and freelance health content creator. As a health and wellness junkie, she enjoys all things related to quality lifestyle and healthy living.

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