Can Hep C Mess Up Your Periods?
I wish more women knew how hep C can mess up their periods. Not once did anyone ever link my low estrogen or my menstruation problems to liver problems. After having a rough time my whole life, my liver failed and I finally got tested for hepatitis C. Let’s talk about this, ladies.
The liver rules our hormones
Not only does our liver work closely with estrogen metabolism, it is actually one of the major sites for our hormones to be activated. That includes our sex hormones, thyroid, adrenal, cortisone, and other hormones. In fact, our liver is working hard to filter everything in our body, and that includes estrogen. That is one reason why women experience hepatitis C differently than men do. We can end up with hormonal imbalances.
Of course we know that hep C is connected to our periods. That's because a woman’s body is designed to create life, we have a monthly cycle. From day 1 of our period, there is a delicate balance of estrogen released, along with progesterone. All of this is beautifully designed to create a lining in our womb where a sperm and egg can meet and plant new life. With the proper support, and 9 months time, a child is born.
Every girl knows that Day 1 of the menstrual cycle is when estrogen and progesterone are at their lowest. The body is getting ready to signal the egg to start the journey. More and more estrogen is released, creating the menstrual lining. The follicular stimulating hormone or FSH started telling the ovary to get an egg ready.
Around day 12 to 14, estrogen levels increase even more and luteinizing hormone or LH tells to egg to head out. Now progesterone and estrogen keep lining the uterus. If her egg gets fertilized, the period starts. Estrogen and progesterone levels slow down and the cycle starts again.
Hep C messing up the periods
Here are some ways that hep C can mess with your periods:
Infertility Issues - When this pattern is interrupted because the liver is inflamed, the ovaries may not get the signal to release the egg. Month after month, a woman may experience no pregnancy. That happened to me.
Heavy or Light Periods - Because every woman is different, her liver filters according to her health. If you have a heavy cycle one month, and light the next, it could be because of hep C. Talk to your doctor about getting tested and treated.
Pregnancy - This doesn't mean you can't get pregnant with hep C. Many women DO give birth to healthy babies while they have the virus. For some, like me, it can be difficult.
Estrogen Dominance - Again, think about what happens when the liver is burdened because of liver disease. a woman may begin the process of perimenopause early, or have Pre-Menstrual Syndrome or PMS.
Early Menopause - In my case, my periods went from heavy to scant. For a while, I had 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off. Then they would abruptly stop for months.
Can hep C mess up your periods?
Yes. Sadly, if you are having problems with your cycle, it could be from a hormone imbalance caused by hepatitis C. I kept telling my gynecologist that something was wrong. It's one of the many losses that women have to deal with, especially with long-term liver disease from hep C.
What dietary changes have you made to better manage hep C symptoms? (Select all that apply)