Symptoms of menstruation: what are the effects?

The menstrual cycle of a woman is not a long quiet river, and the hormonal variations will trigger a series of symptoms that will be visible throughout the menstrual cycle but also be the sign that the period is coming!

What are the common symptoms of menstruation?

It's important to remember that it's normal to feel somediscomfort in the days before your period and for a few days after your period begins. Here are some common symptoms that indicate that your period is coming... or has come!

Sore breasts

The influence of hormones can have an impact on the size and sensitivity of your breasts. Sore breasts during your period can be one of the signs that your period is coming. Discomfort in your breasts around the time of your period can also be a symptom of pregnancy, so it's important to monitor these things closely.


Another sign that menstruation is coming is the arrival of migraines or headaches. Indeed, at the beginning of the menstrual cycle, the prostaglandins released into the bloodstream can generate a headache. As well as changes inestrogen levels that can disrupt neurotransmitters that cause sleep difficulties, migraines and mood changes. Headaches during men struation when they recur are called menstrual migraines which can also cause vomiting and nausea.

Stomach aches

Pelvic pain is one of the most common discomforts of the menstrual cycle for women. Belly pain during men struation is described as cramps that are related to the contractions of the uterus as it drains blood from the endometrium. Stomach pain is one of the signs that menstruation is coming, but it can also be felt at the time ofovulation and a few days after the start of blood loss. Stomach pain during your menstrual cycles should not be a handicap and can vary from cycle to cycle. Another sign that menstruation is coming, related to stomach pain, is constipation because the digestive system is slowed down by the action of progesterone.

Chronic fatigue

Fatigue and menstruation, the classic combination! Indeed, when menstruation arrives, the levels of red blood cells and iron in the blood are reduced and decrease the supply of oxygen in the body. It is not uncommon to feel tired or short of breath. Beware of anemia, which is characterized by increased and lasting fatigue. Do not hesitate to consult a doctor as anemia is a serious menstrual symptom that needs to be treated.

Changes in the skin

One of the symptoms linked to the menstrual cycle is the appearance of pimples or"period skin"problems! When menstruation arrives, the drop in hormones, progesterone and estrogen, makes the skin thinner and more fragile. These hormonal variations can cause :

  • excess sebum
  • a more shiny and oily skin
  • the appearance of acne spots

Weight gain

Another symptom is weight gain during menstruation. Under the influence of hormones, some regulated women have cravings for sugar and fat. Make sure you keep a balanced diet!

Stress and anxiety

Anxiety and menstruation are often linked.Anxiety can affect the arrival of periods by slowing down their arrival or by accentuating the pain and symptoms of menstruation. Stress during men struation will have an impact on its duration, pain and the general state of the woman. It is therefore important to understand the reasons for her stress and to set up routines to learn how to control it: sleep, sport, relaxation and meditation for example.

Premenstrual syndrome: symptoms before menstruation

Premenstrual syndrome is a sign of thearrival of menstruation. Several phenomena occur a few days before the arrival of menstrual flow and generally disappear at the time of blood loss:

  • unusual fatigue and/or difficulty sleeping
  • stomach pains, diarrhea just before your blood loss and/or bloating
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • heavy, sore breasts

PMS is a strong sign that the flow is coming!

What are the symptoms of a woman's first period?

There are several signs that menstruation is coming for the first time! The first periods occur within two years of breast growth. In general, the following physical and psychological changes can be observed

  • growth spurts
  • weight gain
  • widening of the hips
  • elongation of the face
  • excess sebum on the skin and hair
  • skin rashes
  • sweating
  • development of the genitals and growth of the breast
  • white vaginal discharge
  • development of hair growth
  • changes in mood

What to do when menstrual symptoms impact your quality of life?

While one out of two women suffers from painful periods, 60% of 15 to 19 year olds are affected by menstrual symptoms. 20% even declare that they suffer from very painful periods that impact their daily life. 71% feel more irritable, 80% feel much more tired and 59% are not comfortable with their body.

Adopt a healthy lifestyle and exclude all bad eating habits. Exercise regularly and get enough rest. Try to limit stressful activities and consume less sugar, caffeine and salt.

If menstrual symptoms are having a major impact on your quality of life, don't hesitate to discuss them with a health care professional, such as your doctor or gynecologist.

Period Symptoms FAQ

What are the symptoms before my period?

There are several symptoms before your period. This period is called premenstrual syndrome or PMS. Symptoms often include bloating, water retention, diarrhea or constipation. The appearance of acne, a depressive state or increased fatigue. In the event of excessive symptoms, we recommend that you consult your gynecologist, midwife or doctor.

What are the symptoms during menstruation?

The different symptoms during menstrual loss can be pain or discomfort. There will be stomach pains, headaches, pain in the kidneys and in the lower back. Some people experience breast pain. Always refer to a health care professional if menstrual symptoms are disabling on a daily basis.

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Les informations issues des articles présents sur le site sont des informations générales. Bien qu’elles aient été relues par des professionnels de santé, ces informations ne sont pas exemptes d’erreurs, ne constituent pas des conseils de santé ou des consultations et n’ont pas vocation à fournir un diagnostic ou proposer un traitement. Ces informations ne peuvent, en aucun cas, se substituer à un avis médical et ne peuvent pas remplacer une consultation auprès d’un professionnel de santé. Pour toute question, nous vous invitons à consulter votre médecin.