Nausea during and before menstruation: a premenstrual symptom

Many women experience discomfort and disorders related to their periods. Some have nausea and vomiting before and during their period. But why?

Are nausea and menstruation related?

The arrival of menstruation is suggestive of various symptoms such as stomach ache during menstruation. How is nausea a symptom of menstruation?

Doctors don't really explain why or how menstrual flow and nausea are related, but it's likely that the significant hormonal changes that occur in our bodies create the urge to vomit in addition to PMS.

Why does menstruation cause nausea and vomiting?

Menstruation can cause nausea and vomiting. Hormonal changes with the drop in progesterone and estrogen can cause digestive problems. The main cause is pain. Indeed, under the effect of the close contractions of the uterus, the oxygen supply in the muscles is less important what causes a tightening of the zone and pains present in the lower part of the belly, the back and the thighs.
Some women may also experience nausea and digestive problems during ovulation.

An excess of prostaglandin

The important secretion of prostaglandin encourages and favors the contractions of the uterus which will be necessary to expel the unfertilized endometrium during the menstrual cycle. If the body manufactures a large quantity of them, the contractions of the uterus will be greater and more frequent and cause pain which is responsible for discomfort, pain and discomfort during the period!
In addition, prostaglandins are not necessarily present in the uterus and will sometimes end up in the digestive tract, resulting in transit problems, diarrhea and nausea.

A strong pain linked to menstruation

Different causes can cause pain during menstruation and can lead to nausea before and during menstruation:
Catamenial migraines are headaches that appear before menstruation and last until the 2nd or 3rd day of the period. They can cause dizziness, nausea and vomiting.
Stomach pains and aches accentuated by the insertion of a copper IUD. Indeed, the copper IUD encourages painful and abundant flows
Endometriosis can cause painful periods to the point of vomiting.

Is it normal to feel nauseous before your period?

When the urge to vomit appears in the morning and/or evening and is triggered a few days before menstruation, it is probably part of PMS. After ovulation, sex hormones such as estrogen levels drop in the blood and symptoms such as a bloated belly, stomach pain, sore breasts and nausea appear. They will disappear a few days after the blood loss occurs.
If the nausea appears in the morning, before the menstrual bleeding arrives, it is possible that you are pregnant. In fact, vomiting is a sign of early pregnancy. In this case, don't hesitate to take a pregnancy test if you don't have your period a few days after the potential date of the end of your cycle (amenorrhea).
Certain diseases such as endometriosis or ovarian diseases can also cause nausea and digestive problems. The same applies to menopause.

Beware of the risk of pregnancy

As we saw before, nausea can be one of the symptoms of pregnancy! Here are some other symptoms that are close to PMS that could alert you:

  • Constipation, bloating and flatulence,
  • Migraines and back pain,
  • Mood swings,
  • Cramps in the lower abdomen and legs,
  • Nausea and vomiting,
  • Significant fatigue.

An absence of menstruation or amenorrhea is also one of the major signs of pregnancy in women and should alert you! If in doubt, consult your doctor and take a pregnancy test.

How to reduce nausea during and before your period?

There are several methods to prevent this discomfort as menstruation approaches. Let's discover them together!

A healthy diet and good hydration

Overall, you should eat foods that you can tolerate during this menstrual period! Here are some diet tips to follow to reduce nausea:

  • Don't get up too fast on an empty stomach: snack on a small snack when you wake up when you get out of bed slowly
  • Avoid foods that are too rich, too fatty or dishes with sauce: prefer simple foods, such as pasta, rice, potatoes, nuts or healthy proteins
  • Don't eat foods that taste or smell too strong (spices, garlic...) and ventilate when you cook so that cooking smells are not too unpleasant
  • Drink regularly! Ginger infusions are also known to relieve the stomach

Bonus: peppermint essential oil

Peppermint essential oil is also known to soothe nausea, motion sickness and vomiting during menstruation in general. You can consume it orally on a small sugar cube: ask your pharmacist for the dosage adapted to your situation.

Taking medication

When nausea systematically leads to vomiting and does not stop when the stomach is empty, it is possible to have anti-emetic drugs prescribed. Some metopimazine-based medications are available over the counter for short-term treatment, but when symptoms persist outside of menstruation, it is important to seek medical advice, especially if symptoms are accompanied by fever. An adapted treatment, under the advice of your doctor or gynecologist, can help you get better.

Rest and limit stress

In general, take it easy and avoid shaking your stomach too much during your period! Stress is responsible for an increase in gastric acids in the stomach, which can cause ulcers, nausea, vomiting and bloating. High anxiety, a common symptom of premenstrual syndrome, can also lead to nausea. Avoid stressful situations as soon as possible to avoid reinforcing this condition. Focus on meditative activities, such as relaxation, and make sure you get enough sleep.

Nausea during menstruation FAQs

Why do I feel nauseous during my period?

Nausea is a common symptom of premenstrual syndrome and can even continue during your period. Uterine contractions and hormonal changes upset the natural balance of your stomach, which can then play tricks on you. These are the main causes of nausea.

How to get rid of nausea during your period?

Several methods exist to relieve these cramps and nausea such as adopting a healthy diet, which does not disgust you, taking anti-emetic medication for the most persistent cases. In general, rest, avoid stress and situations that can make you anxious. Take care of your health! If nausea is too disabling on a daily basis, consult your doctor who will help you find the potential causes of this disorder!

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