Period Fatigue: Causes, Treatment & Prevention

Extreme Tiredness Before or During Periods

by Saima
Period Fatigue

Period fatigue represents the symptoms of extreme tiredness before or during the woman’s menstruation cycle. It is a common sign of the premenstrual syndrome. The US Department of Health and Human Services states that above 90% of females experience the signs of premenstrual syndrome such as extreme fatigue, bloating, mood swings, insomnia, and lower abdomen or back pain. Here, we’d discuss the common signs, causes, and treatment options of period fatigue along with essential preventive measures. So, keep reading!

Causes of Period Fatigue

There can be different reasons for extreme tiredness before or during menstruation.  But, the most common causes include hormonal imbalance, sleeplessness, iron deficiency, and depression. Let’s discuss them one by one.

  • Hormonal Fluctuations

Your body undergoes sudden hormonal disturbance before, during, or after the menstruation phase.  Estrogen as the’ principal female hormone’ is responsible for the good reproductive health. It keeps the vagina lubricated and increases the its blood flow or elasticity.  A low estrogen level may lead to decreased serotonin production resulting in low energy, irregular menstruation, sleep disturbance or irritability.

Testosterone plays a crucial role in managing the estrogen level in women and improves libido. According to the North American Menopause Society, ovaries constantly produce testosterone even when estrogen production stops; however, its production slows down with aging.

  • Iron Deficiency

Too much blood loss during periods can cause iron deficiency (anemia), fatigue and discomfort. Usually, heavy period flow can lose up to 8cc of blood, leading to anemia and drowsiness. Reduced hemoglobin level due to iron deficiency makes it difficult for blood to supply oxygen to each body part. That’s why you feel extreme exhaustion during menstruation days.

  • Insomnia

Insomnia is a general problem linked to lack of enough better sleep. Premenstrual syndrome or period fatigue makes you restless due to constant pain and discomfort during period days, so lack of enough sleep can make you drained or develop anxiety symptoms.

  • Sedentary Lifestyle

Lack of physical activities like exercise, running, or yoga increases the signs of premenstrual syndrome, specifically extreme tiredness during periods. An active lifestyle improves your cardiovascular fitness by increasing the blood flow to each part of the body. Thus, you may become more energetic, stress-free, and productive even during the menstruation phase.

  • Constant Stress

Stress negatively affects the menstruation cycle like painful, irregular, or even missed periods in some women. Usually, it interferes with the normal functioning of the hypothalamus, which can disturb pituitary, thyroid, and adrenal gland function. So, it may affect the normal estrogen production leading to disturbed ovulation, irregular periods and extreme tiredness.

Production of cortisol in extreme stress helps control the symptoms of periods fatigue or PMS and increase the production of prolactin. However, too much cortisol can hinder the activities of reproductive hormones (estrogen and progesterone). Consequently, delayed egg production, PCOS, period fatigue, and even infertility results.

  • Underlying Health Problems

Sometimes, menstruation pain may be due to another health problem that trigger its symptoms. Some common reasons may be:

  • Fibroids are non-cancerous tumors that may cause irregular periods, lower abdominal pain and sever pain.
  • Endometriosis represents the situation where cells lining the uterus grow on other areas of the body commonly on fallopian tubes, ovaries or pelvic tissues. This causes extreme pain during periods.
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease develop due to bacterial infection in fallopian tubes or ovaries causing severe inflammation.

Prevention/Treatment of Period Fatigue

It is quite difficult to get rid of period fatigue completely but it’s possible by following the preventive measures and treatment recommended by your gynecologist. Here, some preventions are discussed to minimize the risk of period fatigue.

  • Physical Activities

Regular physical activities prove beneficial to cope with period fatigue, PMS, and discomfort. Similarly, deep breathing exercises, relaxation therapies, and meditation alleviate period fatigue. According to research, aerobic exercise helps to improve the hemoglobin level and platelet count eventually improving the oxygen intake and blood flow to the heart and other organs. Thus, you may experience minor signs of PMS or fatigue during periods.

  • Better Sleep

Better sleep calms your brain and body, relieves your stress, and allows you to fight fatigue and period cramps. Calm your nerves by doing relaxation exercises or meditation that would boost your energy level and minimize the signs of period fatigue.

  • Low Alcohol Consumption

Some studies suggest that alcohol consumption can worsen your period fatigue and signs of PMS. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, alcohol can negatively affect puberty, the regular menstrual cycle, hormones level and the reproductive system in women. High alcohol consumption can also worsen your mood and increase anxiety, so minimizing its consumption may help treat period fatigue and PMS.

  • Antidepressants

Consult your doctor if you are suffering from fatigue during periods. He may prescribe antidepressants to alleviate physical and mental fatigue. Getting rid of stress from life is not possible, but adopting a healthy lifestyle may help minimize the problem.

Never use any medicine without the doctor’s recommendation because he prescribes you medicine after investigative your overall health, age, and pattern of physical activities. Moreover, cognitive behavioral therapy might prove beneficial to fight depression and anxiety symptoms.

  • Balanced Diet and Multivitamins

Eat a balanced diet full of nutrients minimizes tiredness by restoring energy. Fresh fruits and raw vegetables are the ideal sources of nutrition for all. However, if your fatigue symptoms are not relieved by improving diet, your doctor may also suggest some multivitamins. Taking multivitamins reduces the extreme exhaustion during periods.

  • Vitamin D

Being deficient in vitamin D can cause many health problems like fatigue, loss of bone strength, depression and muscles weakness. According to a research study, vitamin D deficiency results in autoimmune disorders, hypertension, or chronic diseases. The same study suggests taking almost 800-1000 IU vitamin D3/d for better health and fitness.

  • Anti-inflammatory Drugs

In some women with severe body pain during periods cause the production of prostaglandin. Thus, these women experience enough period cramps in lower abdomen, back or thighs. Anti-inflammatory drugs help to reduce body inflammation thus minimizing bloating and aching muscles.  A current study reveals that production of prostaglandin can be minimized by using the prescribed non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; consequently, relieves the severe period cramps and pain.

  • Optimum Water Intake

Being dehydrated can help to relieve the symptoms of period fatigue. Moreover, drinking hot water can prove to be beneficial for some women as it can increase the blood flow in body and relax your muscles during menstruation. Drinking around 8 glasses of water every day relieve the symptoms of period cramps by regulating your body temperature, waste removal and lubricating the joints.


Period fatigue is a common sign of Pre-menstrual syndrome. It can interfere with your normal life activities and health. However, regular physical activities, relaxation exercises, and a balanced healthy diet can help alleviate the symptoms.

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