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PMS Nausea: Feeling Sick Before Your Period

31 January, 2023

If you feel like you’re about to throw up just before your period is due, you’re not alone. Although it might not be talked about a lot, nausea is a common PMS symptom.

Many women will experience PMS during their cycle but feeling sick before your period starts can cause you to worry. You might think that the nausea is a sign of pregnancy or perhaps you’re concerned that you’re getting ill. But in reality, it could simply be a symptom of PMS. So, let’s take a look at how PMS and nausea are related, and if it’s normal for your body.

Is nausea a symptom of PMS?

PMS symptoms are extremely vast, and they can vary from woman to woman. It’s been said that around 75% of women will deal with PMS, so imagine how many of them struggle with nausea too. Typical symptoms of PMS include things like bloating, low moods, headaches, breast tenderness, and even spots.

Nausea before your period is a common symptom of PMS, but it’s important that you know what’s normal for your body. Some women may find that they get nauseous at the same time each month, so this can become a normal part of their cycle.

However, if you do start to feel sick out of the blue, it could possibly be something else. This is when it’s best to see a doctor.

Why PMS nausea happens

Although nausea is a common symptom of PMS, we don’t know exactly why it happens.

One of the main theories is that it’s caused by the hormonal changes your body is going through. Your progesterone levels drop dramatically towards the end of your cycle (just before your period starts), which triggers the release of prostaglandin — a hormone-like chemical which helps the uterus contract and shed its lining.

Although it plays an important role in the menstrual cycle, prostaglandin could possibly be one of the reasons why you feel nauseous too. An excess amount of prostaglandin may be the reason for PMS nausea, as the circulation of it within your body can cause sickness, vomiting, and diarrhoea. Higher levels of prostaglandin may also be one of the causes of period pain too.

Other PMS symptoms such as cramping, headaches and digestive issues can also make you feel sick and generally unwell too.

There are quite a few reasons why you’d feel sick before your period, so finding the cause can be tricky.

Should you be worried about PMS nausea?

Most of the time, you don’t need to be worried about feeling nauseous before your period as it’s just another PMS symptom. However, there are times when you should see a doctor:

  • Your periods are extremely painful 

  • You nausea is getting worse

  • It causes you to vomit

  • You start to rapidly lose weight

  • You can’t keep liquids down — this can lead to dehydration

If you experience these symptoms alongside your nausea, it could indicate that there is an underlying problem and you should seek medical help as soon as possible.

Endometriosis is said to affect 10% of all women globally, and sometimes these symptoms could be a sign of it.

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) — a very severe form of premenstrual syndrome — may also be a cause of intense nausea, as well as other disruptive PMS symptoms.

Pelvic inflammatory disorder (PID) could be another possible exasperator of your nausea. This is where an infection develops in your reproductive system and causes you to become unwell. If you notice that you have a fever, pain in your lower abdomen, bleeding between periods, and pain or bleeding when you have sex, it’s best to get in touch with your doctor.

Could I be pregnant?

If you're a woman, you've probably associated nausea with pregnancy. So, it’s normally the first thing you think when you feel sick. However, nausea doesn’t always equal pregnancy, and knowing the difference between the symptoms can help put your mind at ease.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Pregnancy nausea typically happens when you’re around 9 weeks pregnant

  • Menstrual nausea may occur just after ovulation and right before your cycle begins

  • Unlike menstrual nausea, pregnancy sickness can last for weeks on end, not just a few days

  • PMS nausea should dissipate when your cycle ends and your period starts

  • Missing a period could indicate pregnancy, so be sure to keep an eye on the dates of your cycle

For more information on how to tell the difference, check out our PMS vs pregnancy symptoms guide so you can settle your nerves.

How to get rid of PMS nausea

Managing your PMS nausea at home is actually a lot easier than you think! There are lots of home remedies that could help ease your symptoms and allow you to get on with daily life. One of the most important things is to make sure you drink plenty of water and try to get some fresh air.

Here are some other tips that you can try out:

  • Eat or drink ginger — ginger teas could help settle your stomach, as could ginger hard-boiled sweets 

  • Drink chamomile tea —- this could help relax your digestive system and calm the nausea

  • Drinking peppermint tea is also said to be helpful when settling nausea 

  • Eat bland foods like bananas, toast, and rice to keep your stomach happy

PMS nausea treatment

If you’ve tried home remedies and they don’t seem to help, it’s always best to speak to a doctor. They may prescribe things like NSAIDs (anti-inflammatory medicines like ibuprofen) or anti-nausea medication to help stop the sickness.

There are other options out there too like our bioidentical progesterone cream. This is naturally formulated to help alleviate symptoms of PMS, including nausea, so, you don’t have to suffer in silence with your PMS symptoms any longer!

If you’re struggling with sickness before your period, why not take our online assessment and see what help we can offer you?

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