Fatigue during menstruation: how can you get back into shape?

Menstruation brings its own set of symptoms: between cramps, headaches and bloating, fatigue can also handicap women's daily lives. Theintensity of symptoms and the symptoms themselves vary from woman to woman. While it's normal to feel tired before or during menstruation, there are solutions to help you cope better. We tell you about them in this article!

Is it normal to feel tired during your period?

Many women feel tired as menstruation approaches. Don't worry, it's perfectly normal. Fatigue during or before menstruation is part of the premenstrual syndrome and menstrual symptoms suffered by women during their period. The degree of fatigue varies from person to person. Some feel so tired that they are unable to do the activities they want to do. For others, the fatigue will be less intense. In 2019, a study showed that on average 71% of women experience fatigue during their period, while 38% suffer from intense fatigue linked to blood loss.

Fatigue during menstruation: where does the loss of energy come from?

So where does this period fatigue come from? Why do many women suffer from this disorder? There are a number of reasons for this fatigue and lack of energy. It has to be said that menstrual pain doesn't help matters, and further accentuates fatigue by drawing on reserves.

A sharp, rapid drop in hormone levels

As menstruation approaches, women's hormonal levels change in a number of ways. Remember that the female menstrual cycle is made up of four phases in which hormones fluctuate. Before ovulation, during the follicular phase, there's a peak in estrogen and progesterone hormones. At this time, women are generally full of energy. On the other hand, before menstruation, hormone levels plummet, leading to fatigue, which some women experience as intense.

Iron or vitamin deficiency

You're likely to suffer from iron deficiency during your period, especially if it's heavy. Magnesium deficiency and iron deficiency (anaemia) can lead to a whole host of problems, including fatigue. Wearing a copper IUD can increase bleeding. If you're prone to heavy periods, talk to your gynecologist to find a more suitable method of contraception and reduce blood loss.

Restless, disturbed sleep

Before and during menstruation, sleep can be more restless and disturbed. Why might this be? Pain, nausea, bloating and, for some women, getting up in the middle of the night to change their sanitary protection, make rest more complicated and sleep less restorative. Disrupted sleep means period fatigue!

How can you get back into shape during your period?

Pre-menstrual fatigue is not inevitable: there are solutions to help you regain yourenergy and live better during this period. Remember that this is just one phase in your cycle. Accept your fatigue and give yourself the time you need to rest, without being too demanding on yourself or your health.

A healthy, complete diet

During premenstrual syndrome, in addition to fatigue, cravings are also present. Indeed, with fatigue comes a lack ofenergy, and the body tries to cope by eating more. It's important to maintain balanced meals, but not to eat more sugar than usual. On the contrary, a balanced diet rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals is recommended. To compensate for iron deficiency, you can eat lentils, green vegetables such as spinach or asparagus, or offal. For magnesium deficiency, dark chocolate, seafood and beans are excellent foods. Protein should not be overlooked either, as it promotes the production of hormones and enzymes. And don't forget to drink enough water!

Take dietary supplements too

If you feel very tired before your period, taking food supplements can be a solution. Food supplements are available to reduce PMS symptoms and counteract deficiencies. Consult your doctor for his or her opinion on the subject, and consider complementary treatment.

Regular, fun sports activities

Contrary to what you might think,physical activity is actually a good way to reduce fatigue during menstruation. Sport helps reduce and prevent premenstrual syndrome disorders such as bloating, stomach aches, pain and, of course, fatigue. Physical activity releases endorphins (the happiness hormone), which regulate mood and reduceanxiety, stress and fatigue. If you also suffer frominsomnia around the time of your period, physical exercise will help you sleep better.

Take time to relax and think about yourself!

It's normal to feel tired during your menstrual cycle. It's a natural mechanism that needs to be accepted, listened to and respected. Avoid stressful tasks, limit the use of screens in the evening before going to sleep, and read a book instead. You can also take up practices such as yoga or meditation.

FAQs on period fatigue

How can I get rid of period fatigue?

There are many ways of dealing with period fatigue. These include physical activity, a suitable diet and relaxation.

What causes intense period fatigue?

Hormonal changes in women are responsible for a host of symptoms, including fatigue - sometimes extreme fatigue - during or before the period. As menstruation approaches, estrogen and progesterone levels drop, leading to extreme fatigue. Fortunately, this doesn't have to be the case and there are solutions to counter this menstrual fatigue.

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