Why Do You Feel Nausea Before a Period?

Why Do You Feel Nausea Before a Period?

Have you ever felt bloated and nauseated before your period? If yes, you are not alone and millions of women across the world feel the same. It is normal if you are feeling it. However, not all females experience it.

This pre-period nausea is not really a matter of concern. The reason why you get this has many answers. For examples, it could be due to cramps, pain, upset stomach, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and sometimes pregnancy.

It is normal if you are feeling off and on nausea. But the severe symptoms may indicate an underlying condition called endometriosis. PMSing is chiefly responsible for making you feel it. It may surprising but 20% to 50% of the women experience PMS and all its symptoms including nausea at least a week before their period.

In this article, you will read about the possible causes and treatments that you experience before the period.

Is it normal to feel nausea before your period?

There are many people around you who are active to share myths. These myths involve simple things in a complicated way. For example, nausea before the period is associated with internal damage, inflammation, malnutrition and what not.

However, nausea and all other symptoms that may include a headache, fatigue, muscle pain, bloating, constipation and other. It means nausea before the period is normal. Feeling the signs of nausea before period may look like a regular thing for some women. For others it is unusual and it makes them panic.

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Any symptom, whether it is nausea or not if it shows up all of a sudden represents an underlying medical condition. If it is gradual and shows up every time, it is not a serious thing.

Remember the following things to notice and report to the doctor immediately if any of these hit you.

  • Feeling nausea for the very first time, which was never felt before.
  • Digestive issues that make swallowing hard.
  • Weight loss
  • Irregular pattern of vomiting
  • Dehydration
  • Dizziness
  • Worsening of these symptoms

These signs may not tell you what is the problem inside your body. But if you see any of them, it is the time to seek medical help. Only a qualified doctor can check and diagnose you in a better way.

What causes this nausea?

Feeling nausea before a period is mostly caused by PMS only. Rarely there could be any other thing that may cause it. If you are not sure why are you feeling it, it is better to speak to a doctor. Especially if your symptoms are unusual or they are interfering with everyday activities, you must seek assistance.

The common causes for nausea before a period include the following.

1- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)

The most common reason behind nausea before a period is PMS. But nausea is not the only reason behind it. The other symptoms such as headache, dizziness, diarrhea, fatigue, bloating, body pain etc also occur.

It is not yet sure that why women feel these things while suffering from PMS. But only a few women feel it and others do not experience it at all. The highly discussed factors for explaining PMS include the following.

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  • Serotonin levels 

Hormones make a huge impact. Serotonin is a neutrotransmitter that is directly linked with mood enhancement. Changes in serotonin cause mood swings. There is also evidence to suggest that serotonin levels are usually low before the period. It means it is highly risked to feel mood swings.

This low serotonin also cause stress, depression, anxiety, irritability and other symptoms.

  • Nutritional deficiency

If you are not eating well and are absolutely not eating healthy, you are more likely to experience the symptoms of PMS. Low calcium and magnesium intake make the symptoms go worse.

  • Endocrine disorders

The human endocrine system is responsible for regulating the hormone levels. If there is a problem in it, it is mostly linked with thyroid disease, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), diabetes, blood pressure or any other condition which is risky for PMS symptoms.

  • Hormonal shifts

You may not know but estrogen and progesterone are on peak when you ovulate. It is because these hormones have role to determine and prolong a pregnancy. When the period naturally begins, both these hormone level decline.

That is why women going through PMS symptoms experience nausea either before the period starts or when it actually begins.

  • Genetics

Genetics also play role to experience these effects. Although there is no research on those specific genes that may link with PMS and they are passed on to next generation.

2-Premenstrual dysphoric disorder

This premenstrual dysphoric disorder or abbreviated as PMDD is an extreme version of PMS. It has more severe symptoms of PMS that typically includes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea too.

3- Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a painful disease. It occurs when the tissue similar to the tissue that lines the uterus develops but instead of inside, it grows outside of it. In this way it sticks to other body organs nearby i.e. ovaries and fallopian tubes.

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Endometriosis is sometimes asymptomatic in women. For the rest it varies. The characteristic feature of endometriosis is extreme pain and intense bleeding during a period and sometimes it even lasts throughout the month. Somehow, endometriosis is also a primary cause behind infertility.

Not just the nausea, in endometriosis women also feel gas, bloating, stomach pain, constipation, diarrhea and much more.

4- Pregnancy

Nausea and vomiting are always associated with a pregnancy. It is true that pregnancy signs typically have nausea in it but the symptoms start to appear before a woman misses her period.

When the egg is fertilized and gets itself implanted in the uterus, the body of the woman starts to produce human chorionic gonadotropin hormone (HCG). It is majorly responsible for causing nausea in morning that is sometimes called morning sickness.

This is the same hormone that shows up in home based pregnancy tests and those, which you get done from a laboratory, calling a pregnancy test.

5- Any underlying illness

Well, all that you experience when suffering from a pre period nausea is not always related to menstruation. There are other factors that also contribute to it. For example, the food intake is a highly affecting factor.

If anything is causing food poisoning in you, food allergies, food sensitivity or other related conditions, you may also feel nausea. Sometimes overeating also causes nausea that most of the times end with vomiting.

How to manage nausea?

If you always experience this nausea before period and feel better after the period starts or finishes, you should definitely go to a doctor only if the symptoms go out of the hands.

Talking to a doctor will relief you and it will tell you about any underlying cause, if it applied. The treatment for nausea depends upon why are you feeling it. Once the responsible agent is highlighted, it is easier to manage it.

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A few things that help for reducing the symptoms of nausea are as follows.

  • taking anti-nausea medication that are available over the counter (Gravol, Pepto-Bismol)
  • Improve the food intake to check any item which makes you sick (food sensitivity or allergy)

If you think that this nausea before a period is due to an underlying medical condition, your doctor may recommend the following.

  • Birth control pills; using these pills is helpful for regulating hormones. These medicines also work best for endometriosis, PMS and PMDD.
  • Surgery; The surgical removal of endometrial tissue that grows outside of the uterus.
  • Antidepressants; the serotonin regulators i.e. medicines that are reuptake inhibitors or SSRIs.

The final word

Nausea is a communal premenstrual sign. For most women who experience nausea before a period, the symptoms can be managed by using the simple, over-the-counter medications. Even this is only required in case of severe symptoms. Also avoid taking such foods that may trigger it.

However, if your nausea is not improving even with these tips and simple medicines and it is getting worse, it is better to get yourself checked by a qualified doctor. Talk and discuss your problem to come up with an effective treatment plan.



The author is a Medical Microbiologist and healthcare writer. She is a post-graduate of Medical Microbiology and Immunology. She covers all content on health and wellness including weight loss, nutrition, and general health. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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