Is it normal to feel nauseous during your period?
By Patricia Ann Convery, MD, Fellow, American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology Aug 03, 2023 • 3 min
During your menstrual period and the days leading up to it, you may experience a variety of symptoms, including nausea.
Why do I feel nauseous during my period?
When nausea occurs on its own just before or during a menstrual period, hormonal changes are likely the cause. To aid in the shedding of the uterine lining during menstruation, your body releases hormones called prostaglandins, and these natural chemicals can also trigger nausea.
Severe menstrual cramping or pain in the back or thighs due to your period can also upset your stomach.
Other digestive issues related to menstruation
While nausea may occur on its own just before or during your period, it can also be accompanied by additional digestive symptoms, such as vomiting and diarrhea. It’s also possible to have these symptoms without experiencing nausea.
What to do about nausea during your period
Nausea due to your menstrual period will usually resolve within two to three days, although some women experience symptoms for up to five or six days. In the meantime, eating light, bland foods and drinking plenty of fluids may help ease your symptoms. When nausea occurs with menstrual pain, using over-the-counter pain relievers or a heating pad, hot water bottle or heat wrap can help reduce pain and help with the nausea.
When to talk to your healthcare provider about nausea due to your period
Although nausea related to your menstrual period is usually not a cause for concern, it can interfere with your daily life. Talk to your healthcare provider if nausea makes it difficult for you to eat, rest and engage in your everyday activities. In some cases, hormonal contraceptives, like birth control pills, rings or patches, may be prescribed to ease menstrual symptoms like cramping and nausea. Your doctor may also consider over-the-counter nausea medicine or prescription anti-nausea medications.
Let your healthcare provider know if your nausea persists for more than a couple of days, if you vomit profusely or if your symptoms worsen over time.
Published August 2023.