There’s a long list of symptoms associated with menstruation, from food cravings to mood swings to pain. But is fatigue one of them? And most importantly, should you be worried if you lose your energy right before your period?
To help you get a better understanding of what’s normal and what isn’t during your menstrual cycle, we asked our experts at The Ashford Center about what your tiredness might mean.
Each month, the uterus prepares itself for possible fertilization. During this time, the lining of the uterus thickens so a fertilized egg can attach itself to it.
The lining is what enables the egg to continue growing. If no eggs are being fertilized, part of the lining is flushed out. Your uterus creates a new lining that’s meant to keep the fertilized egg alive.
The process of growing and shedding a new lining involves hormonal fluctuations throughout the cycle, some of which can cause tiredness.
There are many reasons why you may experience fatigue before your period. Some of these reasons aren’t under your control, but others, such as anemia, can be mitigated.
Right before your period, your estrogen drops. Estrogen impacts serotonin — which is a neurotransmitter used to create melatonin, the sleep hormone.
As a consequence, your melatonin levels drop as well. This can shorten your sleep cycle shorter and lead to less restful sleep.
When you ovulate, your body temperature rises. To maintain a higher temperature, your body raises its energy demands. As a result, you’ll burn more calories at rest.
Interestingly, during this time, many women tend to experience their cravings, too.
Some women lose a lot of blood during their periods. This can cause a deficiency in red blood cells.
Anemia is a condition in which cells don’t get enough oxygen as a consequence of not having enough red blood cells. With less oxygen, your cells undergo stress, causing fatigue.
Sometimes, it’s not just one change in the body that causes fatigue. For example, if you’re bloated, experiencing mood swings, and constantly hungry, you may feel depleted as well.
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) with serious symptoms.
Period fatigue is normal, but when it’s severe enough to interfere with your ability to focus and stay present during the day, you may need to take a trip to the doctor’s office. Contact us to schedule an appointment and find out what could be causing your fatigue.