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Feeling feverish before your menstrual cycle? It could be the period flu!

Period flu is a part of PMS and can have flu-like symptoms. But this condition needs a little extra care. Here are 7 ways to deal with it.
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Period flu is a part of premenstrual symptoms. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Aayushi Gupta Published: 27 Dec 2022, 15:00 pm IST
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Do you frequently experience feverish symptoms prior to the visit of Aunt Flo? Well, it’s known as period flu. While cramps, mood swings, and boating may top the list of worst premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms, period flu can also affect your health. Not only can you get sick just before your menstrual cycle but sometimes during your period as well. Though most of us either ignore it or think of it as one of our typical period problems. But an expert says it’s a little more severe and needs your attention.

What is period flu?

Period flu is not a formal word used in medicine. It does, however, describe flu-like symptoms that a woman could have just before her period, ranging from mild to severe. Although it is not quite an influenza, your body mimics the illness’s symptoms.

Health Shots asked Dr Teji Dawane, Senior consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist, Motherhood Hospitals, Whitefield Bengaluru, about this condition and how you can tackle it.

period flu
That fever doesn’t necessarily mean you have covid-19. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

According to Dr Dawane, some women experience distinct symptoms that signal the start of their period. These symptoms may resemble those of influenza, sometimes known as the flu, but they are not contagious. The following list of signs and symptoms are present:

  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Muscle ache
  • Back pain
  • Cramps
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Digestive problems (constipation)
  • Joint and/or muscle aches

Mood swings can also be a part of it, primarily because of hormonal changes. These symptoms can appear a week or two before ovulation and can develop worse right before the woman is set to start menstruating.

Also read: Yes, winter can make your period pain worse! But here are 9 tips to deal with it

What are the causes behind the period flu?

The hormonal changes, when estrogen levels fall and progesterone level rise, that occurs during the menstrual cycle are the sole cause for these symptoms from a medical standpoint. Period flu symptoms may be caused by a variety of sex hormones and their interactions with specific neurotransmitters, which are chemicals released at the end of nerve fibers in response to nerve impulses. Period flu may last up to 2 weeks, starting typically after ovulation.

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Check the severity of your fever to get further diagnosis. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

7 tips to deal with period flu

Dr Dawane says, there is no way to escape it because PMS is part of the reproductive cycle, but one can minimize it by following a balanced diet that includes:

  • Switch to smaller, more frequent meals to maintain consistent blood sugar levels.
  • Choose to eat whole grain products like whole grain bread, brown rice, and beans.
  • Limit the number of certain foods and beverages that cause hormonal swings, such as salt, caffeine, and alcohol.
  • Add more calcium to your diet because it helps reduce PMS symptoms.
  • Increased exercise and hydration aid the body’s active functioning during the menstrual cycle.
  • Try to sit in sunlight also for some time to get vitamin D.

Moreover, take proper rest to increase your body’s ability to fight infection and deal with period flu.

Also read: Menstrual disorders: 5 types of common disorders affecting women

When to see the doctor for period flu?

Every woman experiences period flu symptoms differently, so those who experience severe pain may even be prescribed painkillers for joint and muscle pain, hormone medications to improve symptoms because they will affect hormone levels, and antidepressants to treat any psychological conditions that period flu may result in. However, in order to avoid danger, it is advisable that one contact the closest doctor as soon as feasible.




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About the Author

Aayushi Gupta is a health writer with a special interest in trends related to diet, fitness, beauty and intimate health. With around 2 years of experience in the wellness industry, she is connected to leading experts and doctors to provide our readers with factually correct information. ...Read More

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