Cramping, bloating, and chocolate-craving are the basics of being on period. But there is a range of other bodily changes, which are also experienced by women during menstruation. Read on to know exactly what happens when you are on your period.
What Happens When You Are On Your Period?
Period does affect more than just the reproductive system of the body. Menstrual cycle is regulated by hormones which are produced both within the ovaries and in the brain. Since, hormones circulate throughout the body, and hormone receptors are present in many parts of the body, hormonal fluctuations of the menstrual cycle affect many different systems.
Menopause-like Symptoms Before & During Periods: Low estrogen levels prior to menstruation can cause symptoms like hot flashes, headaches, and sleep problems. All these are similar to menopause-ish sensations which can be felt when you are on your period.
Menstruation Gingivitis: Loads of estrogen receptors, which respond to hormonal fluctuations, are present in the gingival tissues. High estrogen levels which occur few days before the onset of period can cause gum problems like swelling. Since hormonal changes can worsen any underlying issues, like inflammation, women are advised to be extra vigilant about brushing and flossing right before their period.
More Painful Migraines During Periods: At the end of a cycle, the estrogen levels dip, and trigger headaches or migraines when on a period. Around 70% of women who suffer from migraines experience these excruciating headaches regularly with their period.
Aggravated Pain When on a Period: Changing estrogen levels can impact ones overall sensitivity to pain. Boys and girls experience similar pain until puberty. But later on, the perception of pain becomes more intense for women when estrogen levels fall, like just before menstruation or when on a period.
Stomach Problems in Periods: Changing progesterone levels are responsible for causing diarrhea, constipation or a mix of both during a period. Women suffering from digestive disorders, like inflammatory bowel disease, are more likely to have looser and more frequent stools along with abdominal pain, when their period comes around.
Yeast Infections Before & During Periods: Hormonal changes make one more susceptible to yeast infections. This is why burning and itching of a yeast infection is often experienced in the days before a period.
Keener Sense of Smell during Periods: Menstrual cycles also impact a woman’s sense of smell. In a study conducted in 2013 on a group of women near ovulation, it was seen that ones who were not having contraceptives were more sensitive to the odours of male musk and pheromones, than the females who were taking contraceptives.
Such sensitivity can extend to other scents as well. Women can also have a keener sense of smell in general during their luteal phase, which is the part of the menstrual cycle immediately following ovulation. Experts believe these variations in olfactory sensitivity to be closely linked to the functions of the reproductive system, where the ability to identify certain odours rises at times in which procreation is more likely.
Increased Clumsiness During Periods: Women often become clumsier during their periods. It is believed that the rise in estrogen during menstruation prompts the liver to produce hormones, which impact the kidneys, and causes fluid retention which makes it more challenging for women to maintain their balance and causes clumsiness.
Enhanced Libido When on a Period: Libido also fluctuates in the menstrual cycle. Women feel most in the mood around the time of ovulation. In a study conducted on woman aged between 23 to 45 years, it was seen that their interest in sex increased significantly and they got greater satisfaction from orgasm at mid-cycle.
Parallel Parking Problems During Periods: The rising hormone levels of pre-ovulation can negatively impact a female’s spatial skills, making tasks like parallel parking, tougher before or during periods. The low hormone levels around day 28 of their cycle have been linked to improved spatial abilities, making this the best time for the female to ace a driving test.
Sleep Problems When on a Period: Normal level of progesterone has a sedative effect on the body. So falling levels of this hormone can cause sleeping troubles in the days before a period. Further, decreasing estrogen can make a female feel overheated while sleeping when on a period.
Different Symptoms for Different Women on Periods: Period is experienced differently by every woman. The type, intensity and duration of period symptoms differ from one female to another. For example, some women can have minimal pain, while others can experience extreme pain. Some can have long periods, while others can have short periods. So, ways of managing these symptoms of periods can also vary.
Alarming Symptoms of Periods: While a range of normal symptoms are part of the menstrual cycle, there are some alarming symptoms which need to be addressed medically. A doctor should be consulted when experiencing debilitating pain during a menstrual cycle as this can be a sign of the condition called endometriosis, or when having intermenstrual bleeding, and excessively long or excessively heavy bleeding in periods.
- Is it Normal to Have Two Periods in One Month?
- Causes of Feeling Sick and Tired During Periods & Ways to Prevent?
- Painful Periods? Know the Causes and Symptoms
- Reasons Why Your Periods May Get Late
- What to Eat and Not to Eat on Periods?
- Reasons for Missed Periods When Not Pregnant
- 5 Facts About Your Periods That You Didn’t Know