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Why Do I Feel Nauseous During My Period?

by Aisle Team
Why Do I Feel Nauseous During My Period?

POV: You wake up feeling nauseated and can’t figure out why. You think, is it something I ate? The room spins a bit and every time you turn your head the feeling gets a bit worse. You reach for the Advil and your cramp cream while you prepare for the inevitable, and then it happens. 

Your period. 

This is a picture many of us who get periods understand⎯the sudden onset of PMS symptoms that still take us by surprise. Some people experience PMS symptoms every time, while others have different rhythms and flows (no pun intended) to their periods. 

Experiencing nausea on your period or feeling nauseous before your period is a common PMS-symptom. But unlike uncomfortable cramping, period bloating, or hormonal headaches, getting nauseous on your period is one of the less talked about period symptoms.

PMS symptoms affect more than 90% of menstruators (NCBI, 2020), with nausea being one of the over twelve possible symptoms that people who get periods can experience. But why do we get nausea on our periods? Is feeling nauseous normal part of having your period? And how can we get rid of this annoying period symptom, once and for all?

Why Do I Get Nausea On My Period?

Before, during or after your period, it is possible that you can experience a wide range of PMS-like symptoms. When you are about to get your period, the hormonal balance in your body shifts, allowing for the production of different hormones to do the work they have to do to make you menstruate. 

Because of this shift in hormones, your body will experience a wide range of symptoms, including but not limited to:

  • Abdominal pain, cramping and bloating
  • Mood swings
  • Headaches
  • Breast tenderness
  • Fatigue and trouble sleeping
  • An increase in anxiety
  • Changes in your appetite
  • Libido changes

Lucky us, right?

What hormones cause nausea?

During your period your body works hard to shed the lining of your uterus. To do so, it has one very important job: produce prostaglandin. 

The up-tick of prostaglandin, sometimes causing a sudden shift in the balance of hormones in your body, can cause nausea. Prostaglandin is also responsible for a few other PMS-related symptoms including cramps and feeling a bit more sensitive to pain and sensations (Healthline, 2019).

Is it normal to get nauseous during my period?

While experiencing nausea while on your period is a less common symptom (and one of the less talked about symptoms), it is absolutely normal

It is possible to experience period-related nausea for all, most, or just some of your periods. As we said, your PMS-related symptoms can fluctuate due to a number of factors including stress levels, nutrition, physical activity – even those recent colds or flus can change your physiology can introduce new (and sometimes annoying) period symptoms. 

While it is a normal symptom of PMS, it never hurts to talk to your doctor about experiencing nausea on your period. If it’s interrupting your daily life, hobbies, physical activities or work, then listen to your body and seek medical advice. For some, it is a symptom of endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, or PMDD (Medical News Today, 2020). 

If you experience vomiting along with nausea, call your doctor right away (Tide Water OBGYN, 2022).

How do I get rid of period nausea?

The good news is there are things you can do to limit the nausea that you get on your period. Start by checking out our blog posts on lowering prostaglandins and PMS remedies

There are a number of supplements that you can take to try to curb nausea during our periods. Try some magnesium before bed time (or this dreamy magnesium bath) or adding a little B-vitamin called B6 to your daily supplement checklist. Upping your Calcium and Vitamin D also won’t hurt! (NHS, 2024). It’s also never a bad idea to get your iron levels checked. As people with periods, our iron stores can get depleted easily if we experience a medium to heavy flow.

The not-so-good-news? The period symptoms that we get are just that—the symptoms that we get. But we can aim to make ourselves a bit more comfortable and find more ease. Sometimes throwing on a pair of your favourite period underwear can make the period experience that much more comfortable.



Amy Saunders is an SEO strategist and queer writer of poetry, prose, essays and branded content. Her work has been published in Chatelaine, VICE, TeenVogue,SheDoesTheCity and with brands such as DivaCup. She lives in the unceded and ancestral territory of Kjipuktuk with her husband and daughter.

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