Period fatigue is the tired feeling women sometimes get before or during their period. This affects up to 90% of women, according to research. Many factors can contribute to this phenomenon, including insomnia and hormonal changes.
What causes period fatigue?
It’s hard to pinpoint what might be contributing to your period fatigue because many factors may be at fault which includes:
1.Hormonal changes: During menstruation, your body experiences changes in hormone levels that can leave you feeling tired, Mandal says. During a typical 28-day cycle, oestrogen rises for two (2) weeks, then drops sharply after ovulation, staying low for the weeks before and during your period.
2.Blood and associative iron loss: Additionally, the blood loss during your period can contribute to fatigue due to a loss of iron. If you have heavy bleeding or you’re already prone to lower iron levels, this may result in temporary anemia.
3.Dehydration and stress: Lifestyle factors, including dehydration and stress can also contribute to period fatigue, Mandal says. While these are general causes of fatigue — not specific to your period — staying well hydrated and reducing stress during your period could help combat fatigue, Mandal says.
Ways to combat period fatigue.
1.Get extra sleep: It’s best not to fight your feeling of fatigue; try to get the extra sleep your body is craving. “In general, getting some extra shut-eye always helps with feeling better,” she says. It’s important to block more time for sleep — or a daytime nap — since your sleep can be interrupted by Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS) symptoms or the need to use the bathroom. Aim for more than the recommended 7 hours each night.
2.Try to de-stress. Irritability is a symptom of PMS, but managing stress levels can help keep period fatigue at bay, Mandal says. “Managing stress can help avoid high cortisol levels, which influences other hormones in the body and can lead to fatigue,” she says.
3.Exercise. Getting exercise can give you a boost of energy, Mandal says. A 2014 study found that, specifically, aerobic exercise like running can help with PMS-associated fatigue.
4.Snack smart. Eating whole foods and avoiding processed foods can help reduce symptoms of PMS, including fatigue. “Eating clean, natural foods helps to avoid further hormonal disruptions,” Mandal says. “You are what you eat.”
5.Consider birth control. If period fatigue is having a big impact on your life, you can talk to your doctor about a hormonal birth control option, Mandal says. “For some women, oral contraceptives may make the symptoms of fatigue and PMS less severe. [They] can help with heavy bleeding which can lead to iron deficiency and help with some of the emotional symptoms of PMS.”
Although fatigue during your period is sometimes a sign of an underlying health concern, usually it’s nothing to worry about.
“It is relatively common to experience fatigue before and during your menstrual cycle,” Mandal says.
Learning how to manage your symptoms can help you feel better during your period, and your doctor may be able to provide guidance.