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Why do I feel cold during periods?

If you feel cold during periods, it may be due to hormonal fluctuations. But that's not the only reason. We tell you why you feel cold during periods.
View All Images Woman feeling cold
Feeling cold during periods is normal! Image courtesy: Freepik
Natalia Ningthoujam Published: 24 Jan 2024, 19:45 pm IST
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From period cramps to bloating and mood swings, women experience many things before or during their menstrual cycle. Some women also feel cold during periods. Most of the times it is because of hormonal changes. But it can also be due to other factors and may be a sign of an underlying disease or a health condition. Applying a heating pad or hot water bottle to your lower abdomen or lower back can help alleviate period cramps as well as keep you warm. Read on to know more about the reasons why you feel cold during periods, and ways to stay warm.

Is it normal to feel cold during periods?

Feeling cold during periods is often a normal and temporary response to the physiological changes associated with the menstrual cycle, says obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Aruna Kumari. However, if the sensation is severe, persistent, or accompanied by other concerning symptoms, it is better to consult with a doctor. They can assess your health status, rule out any underlying medical conditions, and provide appropriate guidance and treatment, if necessary.

A woman feeling cold
Hormonal fluctuation is one of the reasons why you feel cold during periods. Image courtesy: Freepik

What are the causes behind feeling cold during periods?

There are some factors that can make you feel cold during menstruation.

1. Hormonal fluctuations

Hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle can influence body temperature regulation. Prostaglandins, which are hormone-like substances released during menstruation, can affect the hypothalamus (the body’s thermostat), leading to fluctuations in body temperature. Also, changes in estrogen, progesterone and luteinizing hormone levels may impact the body’s thermoregulatory mechanisms, making some women feel colder.

2. Blood flow changes

Menstruation involves changes in blood flow, with the shedding of the uterine inner lining. This process can result in changes in blood circulation and may contribute to feeling cold on your period. Blood vessels near the surface of the skin may constrict in response to the release of certain chemicals, affecting heat distribution.

3. Anemia

Anemia, a condition characterised by a deficiency of red blood cells or hemoglobin, is common in women, particularly those with heavy menstrual bleeding. Inadequate iron levels can impair the body’s ability to transport oxygen, leading to feelings of coldness. Anemic women may also experience fatigue and weakness.

4. Dehydration

Menstrual blood loss, especially in cases of heavy periods, can contribute to dehydration. Inadequate fluid intake may lead to a drop in body temperature and feelings of coldness. It’s essential for women to stay well-hydrated during their periods to support overall health.

5. Low thyroid function

Hypothyroidism is a condition where the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormones. This can disrupt the body’s metabolism, leading to symptoms such as fatigue, cold intolerance, and feeling cold. Some women may experience exacerbated symptoms during their periods.

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6. Infection or illness

In some cases, feeling cold during menstruation may be a symptom of an underlying infection or illness. Pelvic inflammatory diseases presents with lower abdomen pain, smell in discharge and fever. This could include conditions such as flu, shares the expert.

What are the ways to stay warm during periods?

Staying warm and comfortable during your period is important, especially if you are experiencing cold sensations. Here are some tips to overcome chills when you get periods.

1. Layered clothing

Dress in layers in order to trap your body heat. Use thermal or cosy fabrics close to your skin and add layers as needed.

Woman covering her mouth with a sweater
Go for layered clothing to stay warm during periods. Image courtesy: Freepik

2. Hot beverages

Sip on hot drinks like herbal tea, hot water with lemon or warm broth. These can help raise your body temperature and provide comfort during menstruation.

3. Warm baths

Take a warm bath to relax your muscles and increase overall body warmth. Adding Epsom salts or essential oils can enhance the soothing effect, suggests Dr Kumari.

4. Warm foods

Include warm and nourishing foods in your diet. You can have soups, stews, and warm porridge. These can provide comfort and help regulate body temperature.

5. Physical activity

Engage in light physical activity, such as gentle stretching or a short walk. Exercising during periods can improve blood circulation and contribute to a feeling of warmth.

Individual preferences vary, so you may need to experiment a little bit to find which method works best for you. If your cold sensations during your period are severe, persistent, or accompanied by other concerning symptoms such as extreme pain, foul smell, dizziness and nausea, reach out to a doctor.

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About the Author

Natalia Ningthoujam has written on various subjects - from music to films and fashion to lifestyle - as a journalist in her career that started in 2010. After getting stories from the crime scene, police headquarters, and conducting interviews with celebrities, she is now writing on health and wellness which has become her focus area. ...Read More

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