The menstrual cycle is already an uncomfortable and sometimes overwhelming experience, especially for women with irregular periods. It might be even worse for those who go through period flu once a month, which comes with additional symptoms. These include sore throat before period, fever before menstruation, and overall sickness. You are not alone, though – many people notice the same signs around that time of the month. Fortunately, there are several treatment options available.

We understand the toll that period flu can take on your physical and mental health and your social life. That’s why we offer comprehensive OB-GYN of the Palm Beaches services tailored to each patient’s needs. Whether you are looking for period flu treatment or simply want to discuss your reproductive health, our team of compassionate and experienced doctors is here to support you every step of the way. Contact our clinic now to learn more about our services and how we can assist you in dealing with this issue. 

In this blog post, we will discuss the most common symptoms and causes of period sickness and how you may alleviate them. Keep reading!

What Is the Period Flu?

Also known as menstrual flu, this condition affects women prior to, during, or after their menstrual cycle. This is not a confirmed medical condition, but it certainly happens to a lot of patients. It mimics the signs of the actual flu and is often combined with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms. They can be mild to severe and vary from cycle to cycle. Period flu usually shows up around the same time every month. 

What Are the Symptoms?

Close Up of a Sick Woman With Flu, Fever and Headache Lying Wrapped in a Plaid on the Couch.

Menstrual flu can manifest in different ways, and not everyone will go through the same ones, as each woman’s reproductive system is unique. However, these are some of the most common ones:

  1. Sore throat before period: Some patients get a sore throat in the days before their period. Hormonal fluctuations that affect the immune system may also cause this issue. 
  2. Fever before menstruation: A low-grade fever after ovulation is another common symptom of period flu.
  3. Fever and chills during period: Women suffering from menstrual flu may encounter this issue, making them feel cold and shivery.
  4. Period sickness: Many patients report a general feeling of being ill while menstruating. Nausea, fatigue, and dizziness are examples of typical symptoms.
  5. Headaches: Hormonal changes can cause headaches, which can be a symptom of period flu.
  6. Muscle aches and joint pain: It’s common to experience pain in your muscles or joints, making it difficult to carry out your daily activities.
  7. Digestive issues: Period flu can cause digestive problems such as bloating, diarrhea, or constipation.
  8. Skin breakouts: Hormonal changes during menstruation can also cause skin breakouts, which can be frustrating for a lot of patients.
  9. Mood swings: Fluctuations in hormones are also responsible for this one, causing mood changes that range from mild irritability to severe depression or anxiety.
  10. Insomnia: Women who experience menstrual flu usually have trouble sleeping during their period.

As you can see, many of these are similar to PMS symptoms, but they are a bit more severe because of the fever and sickness. Therefore, visiting your healthcare provider and discussing this issue is necessary. That way, you can keep track of the signs and get help from your doctor if they become unbearable or difficult to manage on your own. After all, it’s important to understand that all of these symptoms can also be a sign of a more serious underlying health condition. 

What Are the Causes?

Just like with any other type of flu, this one can be caused by several things, but the most common ones include:

  1. Hormonal changes: Changes in estrogen and progesterone levels can cause inflammation and immune system responses, leading to flu-like symptoms.
  2. Nutritional deficiencies: When your body lacks specific vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin D, iron, zinc, or magnesium, it can create symptoms like fatigue, headaches, and muscle aches. 
  3. Stress: Stress can weaken the immune system and make it more prone to infections and health issues.
  4. Infections: Common cold is a great example of an infection that can aggravate menstrual symptoms and lead to period flu. 
  5. Autoimmune disorders: Women who have lupus and rheumatoid arthritis report inflammation in their bodies due to impaired immune systems. 
  6. Allergies: Food or substance allergies can cause symptoms of menstrual flu, like nausea, headaches, and overall weakness.
  7. Endometriosis: This is a condition in which tissue similar to the uterine lining grows outside the uterus, leading to heavy and painful periods, bloating, and fatigue. 
  8. Adenomyosis: It occurs when the uterus grows into the muscle wall, which usually ends in heavy blood flow during menstruation and painful cramping. 
  9. Thyroid disorders: Both hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism can result in hormonal imbalances that may contribute to a fever before menstruation and period sickness.
  10. Medications: Certain meds, such as pain relievers or birth control, can cause signs of flu, including sore throat before period, shivering, muscle aches, and others.

The best way to treat period flu is to talk with your doctor and develop an effective treatment plan. Finding out which of these causes are behind the flu is crucial when it comes to getting the proper diagnosis and alleviating the symptoms. 

How Can I Ease the Symptoms?

Close up Sick Young Woman Holds Glass, Unhealthy Female Feeling Thirsty Drinking Still Clear Water Preventing of Dehydration Normally Function in Body and Clear Toxins.

If you have period flu, there are multiple strategies that you can implement to manage and relieve the symptoms. We encourage you to take a look at the following suggestions:

  • Rest: Get enough sleep and rest to help your body fight infections and reduce fatigue.
  • Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water and fluids like tea can ease the signs of menstrual flu, such as headaches and bloating. 
  • Use heat therapy: You can apply heat to your lower abdomen or lower back to relieve muscle pain and cramping.
  • Over-the-counter medications: Pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help relieve pain and lower the fever.
  • Avoid triggers: Avoiding catalysts such as caffeine, spicy foods, and alcohol can help reduce period sickness, digestive issues, and migraines.
  • Gentle exercise: If you can, try walking or doing yoga. Not only will it help with your physical symptoms, but it will also help with anxiety and stress.
  • Use throat lozenges: Sore throat before the period can be challenging, especially at night when it is even more painful. Consider using throat lozenges or gargling salt water to alleviate the pain.
  • Stay warm: If you experience fever and chills during the period, make sure to stay warm and dress in layers.
  • Use a humidifier: If you experience dry or irritated throat, a humidifier can help keep the air moist and reduce discomfort.

While it may not be possible to predict period flu or even prevent it at times, you can take some steps to reduce your risk of experiencing the symptoms in the future, such as eating nutritious and healthy foods, having a good sleep schedule, exercising regularly, and taking care of your mental health. Remember, every woman’s period flu experience is specific, and what works for one woman may not work for another. If your symptoms are severe or persistent, it is a good idea to visit your healthcare provider and discuss them to get the needed help.