What Are The Phases Of The Menstrual Cycle
The first thing to understand is that a typical menstrual cycle lasts around 28 days and has different phases caused by rising and falling levels of hormones:
- The menstrual phase
- The luteal phase
The menstrual phase is when you have your period the first day that you start bleeding is considered the first day of your cycle. Bleeding will last for two to seven days, averaging at five days for most women.
The follicular phase begins at the same time as your period starts and ends at ovulation, lasting around 14 days if you have a 28-day cycle. If your cycle is shorter or longer, the follicular phase will be shorter or longer. During this time the ovaries are stimulated to produce and mature an egg to release at ovulation.
Ovulation usually occurs in the middle of your menstrual cycle, at around day 14 if you have a 28-day cycle. If your cycle is shorter or longer ovulation will occur earlier or later. This is where a matured egg is released from one of your ovaries and begins to travel down the fallopian tube towards the uterus.
The luteal phase begins after ovulation and lasts until your period starts the luteal phase usually lasts 14 days regardless of your cycle length. If an egg isnt fertilised during this time, the body will start preparing for its next menstrual phase.
Feeling Tired Check Your Diet
Fatigue can often be explained by your routines and food habits. Eating a balanced diet helps keep your blood sugar at a normal level, which in turn keeps you active.
To avoid feeling tired when your blood sugar drops, try to eat breakfast every day. To help battle fatigue, try to make sure that all of your meals have protein and complex carbs , and try to eat regular healthy snacks in between meals.
The three principles to a healthy diet are variety, moderation, and balance. They will help you avoid some of the common causes of extreme fatigue.
Try keeping a food diary and look for connections between what you eat and how energized/tired you feel.
So What Exactly Is Happening Inside My Body During My Period
Periods are ultimately the cycle related to our reproductive system, where changes are naturally made for a potential pregnancy each month.The ovary releases an egg , which goes into the fallopian tube for 24 hours, give or take. If the egg is fertilized by sperm, it moves into the uterus, which was prepared to host a fertilized egg guest for the next several months. In which case, the fertilized egg would attach to the uterine wall for further developmentalso known as pregnancy.
However, if the mature egg doesnt meet a sperm, the uterus gets the message that a fertilized egg will not be attaching to its wall. When the body doesnt need to carry out a pregnancy, the changes that were made in anticipation of a pregnancy can now be reversed, and the body will work to return to its original condition. Fun. This involves breaking down the uterine wall, and bleeding during your period. Periods are the bodys way of naturally getting rid of the blood and mucosal tissue left behind after this process.
So, what role do hormones play in your period? There are four phases to the menstrual cycle, and each phase is guided by hormones that directly impacts our sleep and energy. The hormones involved in these phases cause changes in the body to prepare for a fertilized egg, or the oppositeto clean house and repeat the cycle if the egg is not fertilized.
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Why Is Your Period Keeping You Up At Night
A woman can’t sleep in bed
From cramping and breast tenderness to low moods and anxiety, your period is so much more than a monthly bleed. The majority of people who menstruate report having symptoms linked to PMS up to two weeks before their period begins. This can make day-to-day life more difficult and can get really tiresome. So, it feels ironic that your period may be the thing thats causing you to lose shut-eye. How is your period keeping you up at night? If you notice that your sleeping pattern falls out of place on the run-up to your monthly bleed then you may have your menstrual cycle to blame.
According to research conducted by the US National Sleep Foundation, 30% of people experience disturbed sleep during their periods. 23% also said they struggle to get a full eight hours on the week running up to their period. While people with PMS are twice as likely to experience insomnia, 70% of people with premenstrual dysphoric disorder say they experience insomnia-like problems with 80% describing themselves as tired.
Life can be really hectic and its easy to brush off a sleepless night as a consequence of drinking too much coffee or being stressed about work. However, depending on where you are in your menstrual cycle you could blame your hormones.
When To See A Doctor
If your fatigue is so severe that it interferes with your day-to-day functioning, you should talk to your doctor to make sure there are no underlying health concerns.
“For women whose fatigue is more extreme and persisting after the menstrual cycle, should be checked out for iron deficiency anemia and thyroid disorders,” Mandal says.
Severe fatigue is also a symptom of premenstrual dysphoric disorder , a severe form of PMS that affects about 5% of women. PMDD is often treated with medications, including antidepressants and birth control. If you believe that you might be experiencing PMDD, talk to your doctor, Mandal says.
Although some period fatigue is normal, consult with your doctor if lifestyle changes don’t improve your energy levels, she says.
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Pms Fatigue Solutions That Are Natural Remedies
Here are some examples:
A natural remedy for fatigue is vitamin B5, or pantothenic acid. What this vitamin does is it gives your body what it needs to deal with stress. Your period may be accompanied by a lot of stress but vitamin B5 cuts through all the stress and leaves you calm as a pussycat. A good dosage to take is 500 mg daily. This amount may be increased up to 2000 mg daily and all youll get is more relaxation and stress-free feelings. Youll be humming about life before you know it.
A cup of ginseng tea could also be the stress-buster you need that helps your body restore the energy levels youre looking for. One cup of tea is equal to only a teaspoon of the herb, or equivalent to 2 capsules taken once a day. Ginseng acts as an adaptogen, helping restore energy levels and bringing the body back to normalcy in blood pressure, heart rate and nervous system functioning.
A period vitamin can also be one of the solutions you use simultaneously to beat your fatigue after your period. This is a combination of vitamins and minerals needed to support your body throughout your period. You have higher needs for certain vitamins and minerals during the time of your life when you are menstruating. A period vitamin also contains a selection of herbs that are specific for the needs of many menstruating women. Its only taken once a day.
Physical And Emotional Changes Before Your Period
Around 90% of women report that they notice at least some physical or emotional changes in the lead-up to their period. Examples of changes that can occur include:
- Bloating or gassiness
- Sleeping too much or not enough
- Appetite changes
When these symptoms appear, they range from 10 days to only a few hours before your period. They may go away shortly after menstruation begins or can last for several days after your period starts.
Though almost all women detect some changes before their period, they are usually limited and mild. The type and severity of changes can fluctuate over time and across different menstrual cycles.
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How Do My Hormones Change Across The Different Menstrual Cycle Phases
There are some distinctive changes in hormone levels across your cycle:
- At the beginning of the menstrual phase, all your hormones are at a low level this is what encourages your uterus lining to begin shedding.
- During the follicular phase, your pituitary gland releases Follicle Stimulating Hormone to encourage your ovaries to prepare an egg. At this time, your oestrogen levels begin to rise.
- At ovulation, your oestrogen levels peak.
- At the beginning of the luteal phase your progesterone levels peak. However, they will fall towards the end of the luteal phase if the egg has not been fertilised.
Theres A Reason Youre Extra Tired During Your Period
Youre not just imagining it you really are exhausted AF.
When youre dealing with bleeding, bloating, cramps, acne, and all the other fun side effects of your period, you want to feel top-notch so you can power through it. But unfortunately, your flow can seem to drain your energy, and it sucks. It turns out theres an actual medical reason that explains why you get so tired on your period.
Detroit-based pediatrician Dr. Molly OShea broke down the science forU by Kotex.
In the 10 days or so before your period, your body is geared up in the hopes that the egg you sent down the old fallopian tube met some sperm there and landed in a plush uterus ready to grow a baby. When your uterine lining isnt invaded by a fertilized egg, the hormones sustaining the environment arent needed anymore and the hormone levels plummet. When this happens, your body goes from high alert to nothing hormonally and that shift causes other changes too and all of those changes are exhausting. Until your hormone levels increase again, you are really tired.
Your hormones start to climb about a week after your period begins, and they hit their peak when you ovulate . As your hormones surge, so does your energy.
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On days youre feeling more zombie than human, you can recharge by staying hydrated, exercising, eating regular healthy meals, and getting a minimum of eight hours of sleep. And if thats still not cutting it, just know that your energy is coming back in a few days.
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Low Iron = Low Mood And Energy
During your period, your body sheds iron in your menstrual blood. This makes your bodys store of iron dip. And if your iron gets too low, it can trigger fatigue, sadness, anxiety or mental fogginess. Low iron is also a culprit behind lousy sleep. And it can cause food cravings.
Why? For starters, iron helps produce serotonin, an important brain chemical that helps regulate mood, sleep and food cravings.
Plus, this essential mineral helps add oxygen to the blood, which energizes your brain and body and helps them function at their best.
It doesnt take a big drop in your iron level to trigger tiredness, sadness and other symptoms. Research shows that women whose iron is still above the range thats anemic can still experience side effects from a drop in iron during menstruation.1
Why Does Pms Affect Sleep
Researchers are uncertain about exactly why PMS negatively affects sleep however, studies have identified potential reasons for this symptom.
Changing hormone levels may provoke difficulty falling asleep as well as more sleep interruptions in women with PMS. Multiple studies have found that sleep worsens during the late-luteal phase in comparison with other parts of the menstrual cycle.
Hormonal changes before and during menstruation may harm sleep through effects on body temperature and melatonin production. Progesterone, which increases after ovulation until the late-luteal phase, increases body temperature to an extent that can cause fragmented sleep. Some research has found altered levels of melatonin during the menstrual cycle, and melatonin is a hormone essential to the regulation of circadian rhythm and regular sleep patterns.
Though results have been inconsistent, some studies have found that women with PMS have altered sleep architecture, which means that they progress abnormally through stages of the sleep cycle. For example, some women have been found to have less rapid eye movement sleep during the late-luteal phase. REM sleep involves heightened levels of brain activity and is associated with vivid dreaming. These changes to sleep architecture may occur even in women who do not have PMS.
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An Introduction To Periods And Low Energy
Do you feel drained whilst you are on your period? Many women feel the same but its important to look after yourself as best you can understanding whats really going on is important. Lack of energy is one of the most common complaints for many of us, whether we are on our period, male or female or whatever, so it can be quite confusing and hard to work out the root of the problem! There are a whole host of factors that could potentially be to blame and its important to take the time to slow down and look at the bigger picture in order to try and figure it out.
On this page I look at period-specific issues that could be making you long for your bed and then I go on to discuss what dietary and lifestyles changes help as well as some useful herbal remedies.
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And What Certainly Isn’t Normal
The pre-period fatigue we just mentioned, should be just that, pre-period. Struggling with energy levels 2 or 3 weeks out of 4 in the month is a sign that your body, hormones and energy production may need some attention.
Other signs of fatigue that youll want to watch out for are:
- Getting a good 8 hours of sleep each night yet struggling to make it through the day.
- Relying on pick-me-ups like coffee, sugary foods or energy drinks for a buzz.
- Your 3pm slump has turned into more of an all day erryday slump.
- Waking up regularly feeling like youve had a night on the tequila, when you were really you were in bed by 9pm, sans liquor.
- Finding it difficult to wake up in the morning, but struggling to fall asleep at night.
- Feeling as though you dont have the energy for even gentle exercise. Heck, just walking upstairs feels like a workout!
The reality is that feeling tired all the time has become so common for many of us that we accept this foggy state as normal. Sure, it may be common. But that doesnt make it normal.
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Why Do People Feel Insatiably Hungry During Their Period
Do you get cravings before or during your period? Turns out there are several reasons why!
Everyone that gets or ever has gotten a period knows that the symptoms can be rough. Some months are fine, but then some months seem to be worse than ever.
One symptom I get nearly every month is unrelenting food cravings. For a short period of time each month, all I want to do is stuff my face with whatever food I can get my hands on. I never seem to get full, craving more and eating my way through leftovers containers, boxes of cereal, and whatever food crosses my path. It doesnt even matter if its a food I dont like. When Im on my period, Ill eat it anyway and still want more.
I never thought much of my PMS food cravings until I lived in my first apartment and started buying my own groceries. That sheer amount of food I consumed during my period was alarming.
It turns out that there might actually be more than one reason. While estrogen levels are highest during ovulation, progesterone peaks right before your period. The problem is that, according to S. Zev Williams, MD, PhD, the chief of reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Columbia University Medical Center, progesterone has been linked to an increased appetite while the opposite is true of estrogen. Progesterone increasing the appetite combined with a few other reasons, can make someone feel ravenous, especially right before their period starts.
Cover image .
Why Am I So Tired When I Get My Period And How To Stay Awake
If you find yourself feeling like you cant accomplish anything on the first couple of days of your period, know that youre not alone. In my most recent period, I felt like death and I could barely concentrate on my work because all I could think about was needing to sleep.
Apart from menstrual cramps, menstrual fatigue is another extremely common symptom that many females suffer from. So, why is it that we feel so tired during our periods and how do we stop it?
Bonus: Iron Also Reduces Premenstrual Symptoms
Want one more reason to keep your iron levels from dipping? A 10-year study of 3,000 women in the American Journal of Epidemiology shows that women who upped their daily intake of non-heme ironwhich is iron from non-meat food sources, such as kidney beans, tofu and spinachwere up to 40% less likely to experience premenstrual symptoms.2
The researchers believe its due to the way iron helps produce serotonina brain chemical that gets low in your premenstrual days, contributing to irritation, depression and moodiness.
Dealing With Menstruation Problems
Q1. I often feel weak and drained during menstruation. There are days when I just want to stay in bed, and I am without energy for the full six days of my period. Why is this? Should I be worried? Is there anything I can do?
Weakness during menstruation is usually caused by dehydration, due to the loss of fluid and blood that occur during your period. This is probably not worrisome, though. The best way to counteract menstrual-linked weakness is to drink plenty of fluids, especially those containing electrolytes, such as Gatorade, Powerade, or other sports drinks. Water is also a good way to stay hydrated during your period. In addition, be sure to eat healthfully, and dont go for long stretches without having a snack or small meal. Eating properly during your period can help prevent hypoglycemia , thereby preventing any additional weakness. Dehydration is the more important issue, though.
Q2. I started my period early in childhood . How likely is it that my girls will start early as well?
Q3. I am about to get married next week. I have had my period for three weeks now. Everyone is saying that stress is the reason my menstruation has lasted this long. Could this be true? I actually have been pretty calm throughout the process.
De De, Illinois
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