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Nausea before your period

15 Jan, 2023

Nausea before your period

Nausea before the period is unfortunately part of everyday life for many women. This is also known as premenstrual syndrome (PMS). PMS can become a real torment for affected women. In the following, we will explain what other symptoms premenstrual syndrome can cause besides nausea before your period, and how you can alleviate your symptoms.

Nausea before your period - the most important facts at a glance

  • It is estimated that more than three quarters of all women experience symptoms like pre-menstrual nausea.
  • Other symptoms of premenstrual syndrome include headaches, digestive problems and mood swings.
  • Premenstrual syndrome is thought to be caused by hormonal fluctuations and other factors such as an unhealthy lifestyle.
  • If you have regular PMS symptoms, it makes sense to see your gynaecologist, who can also decide on treatment measures to be taken.
  • Exercise, a balanced diet and stress reduction can very often help to reduce symptoms such as pre-menstrual nausea.
  • Depending on other symptoms, nausea can indicate not only that menstruation is coming, but also that you are pregnant.

What symptoms does PMS cause?

Pre-period nausea is just one symptom that can occur in women suffering from PMS. In addition, premenstrual syndrome can cause a number of other symptoms. These can basically be divided into physical and psychological problems.period pants

Symptoms such as nausea occur between two weeks and three days before the period. It is estimated that more than three quarters of all women are affected, although the actual symptoms and their severity can vary considerably from woman to woman.

Typical physical symptoms that women with PMS may experience before their period include:

  • Nausea
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea
  • Bloating 
  • Hot flushes 
  • Headaches
  • Back pain
  • Circulatory problems
  • Skin blemishes
  • Painful or tense breasts

Many women with PMS also suffer from changes in their appetite. While some women can hardly get anything down before their period, others have regular bouts of ravenous appetite. In addition, an increase in body weight is not uncommon.

Typical psychological symptoms that can occur in women with PMS are, for example:

  • Listlessness
  • Concentration problems
  • Tantrums
  • Inner restlessness
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep problems 
  • Sadness
  • Depressive moods

In some women, the mood swings that occur can sometimes be so severe that they cause considerable problems with the people around them. However, they have nothing to do with a classic mental illness. They are simply triggered by fluctuations in hormone levels and disappear of their own accord shortly before the onset of menstruation.

What causes pre-menstrual nausea and other PMS symptoms?

It is not yet clear exactly why women suffer from premenstrual syndrome. However, it is assumed that the symptoms such as nausea are triggered by the interaction of various factors.

Above all, the female sex hormones are likely to play a decisive role in this context. These are subject to fluctuations during the cycle, which can trigger fluid and electrolyte shifts, among other things, which could be at least partly responsible for the complaints associated with premenstrual syndrome.

Another possible trigger of PMS may be certain substances that are produced when the hormone progesterone is broken down.  In addition, disorders of the nervous system, an underactive thyroid gland and low melatonin levels are suspected of causing PMS in women.

Apart from that, the individual lifestyle also contributes to triggering complaints such as nausea before the period and other symptoms typical of premenstrual syndrome. These include excessive stress, an unhealthy diet, too little exercise and regular consumption of alcohol and cigarettes. 

Do you have nausea before your period?

If you regularly suffer from nausea before your period and other unpleasant symptoms, we recommend that you see your gynaecologist. She can talk to you about your symptoms and examine you.

If necessary, other examinations can be carried out in addition to a gynaecological examination, for example to check whether you have endometriosis or an underactive thyroid gland. In addition, blood tests can help to detect abnormalities in your hormone levels or increased levels of inflammation.

Period underwearWhat can help with pre-menstrual nausea and other PMS symptoms?

Whether treatment is necessary depends on the results of the tests and the severity of the PMS symptoms. If the symptoms are very severe, antidepressants or classic painkillers may be used. If premenstrual syndrome causes you to have a lot of water retention, you may need to take a diuretic.

Apart from that, sometimes a dietary supplement with certain minerals like iron and magnesium can help to counteract symptoms like pre-menstrual nausea. Your gynaecologist will of course be able to advise you on this and tell you which measures she thinks make sense in your case.  

What you can do yourself to relieve pre-menstrual nausea 

In addition to any medical treatment you may need, there are a number of things you can do yourself to relieve pre-menstrual nausea and the other symptoms associated with your pre-menstrual syndrome.

The main thing is to change relevant factors in your lifestyle. If you have been under a lot of stress lately, you should try to cut down on your workload and make sure you get enough sleep.

Also, try to be more active in your daily life. In many cases, regular exercise can help reduce symptoms like pre-menstrual nausea. In addition, your diet plays a very important role in keeping your cycle normal. Make sure you eat a balanced diet and avoid unhealthy foods and foods that are high in salt.

You can also try using a hot water bottle, hot tea or various medicinal herbs, such as monk's pepper, to counteract your premenstrual syndrome.

Nausea before your period or pregnancy?

Some of the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome are similar to those that can occur in the early stages of pregnancy. For example, nausea, mood swings or sudden attacks of ravenous appetite.

Of course, you know best whether pregnancy is theoretically possible for you. Regardless of this, there are some symptoms that make it easy to distinguish early pregnancy from premenstrual syndrome.

Apart from severe exhaustion, these include a slightly elevated basal body temperature and the typical morning sickness, which is considered the sign of pregnancy par excellence. At the latest, if your period does not come despite symptoms such as nausea occurring beforehand, you can be fairly sure that you are indeed in different circumstances and will soon become the mother of a hopefully healthy baby.