5 Period Side Effects That Aren't Cramps

We're all familiar with the classic signs and symptoms of that time of the month. Cramps, duh. Mood swings, probably. But what about the lesser-known side effects of your period? Turns out there are other weird things your menstrual cycle can contribute to, from oral discomfort to toilet troubles and more. In this video, we're showing you five unexpected things that can happen to your body around your period (lucky you!).

Migraines: Menstrual migraines (or hormone headaches) are fairly common, with some 20% of women suffering from this kind of headache right before their period. Migraines usually happen about two days before the start to about three days in. Changes in hormone levels seem to be the trigger. If you're dealing with this issue, taking hormonal birth control may either improve your situation or make it worse. You could try options that contain only progestin or low amounts of estrogen, or switch to a nonhormonal birth control method (like condoms or a diaphragm). Also, have a talk with your doctor about other drug options that can help treat this problem.

Watch the video: Don't Make These Birth Control Mistakes

Diarrhea: Nope, you're not the only one with poop problems around your time of the month. Leading up to your period, the body makes prostaglandins, lipids that make the uterine muscles contract (cue the cramps), and that can also cause diarrhea. Placing a warm heating pad on your lower belly may help to ease these annoying aches.

Yeast infections: Changes in vaginal pH are common during your menstrual cycle. Since these types of changes can disturb the normal balance of yeast and bacteria in your vagina, you may be more likely to get an infection around your period. Vaginal yeast infections are most likely to happen during the week leading up to your period, but also occur during and right after. Mild infections may go away in a few days without treatment, but don't wait to visit your doctor if they last longer than two or three days, don't get better with over-the-counter treatments, or reoccur frequently.

Mouth issues: Right before your period, your body experiences a rise in progesterone. This rise has unfortunately been linked to mouth miseries like swollen bright red gums, swollen salivary glands, canker sore development, bleeding gums, and gingivitis. It's important to keep brushing and flossing all month long to keep your mouth clean.

Joint pain: PMS may come with a side of joint discomfort, since your body experiences a dip in estrogen, which typically protects against pain, right before your period. Also, prostaglandins released before and during your period could play a part in triggering pain in your muscles and joints.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles