For many people having a period is so much more than bleeding for a few days in the month. Menstruation can affect you in so many different ways, from seeing a change in your mood to cramping and headaches. As summer is in full swing and the weather is getting hotter which means being on your period can be a little bit more bothersome than usual. But do you sweat more during your period? There’s little surprise that as your hormones change throughout your menstrual cycle they can have some pretty strange effects on the rest of your body, both mentally and physically. And these side effects can change throughout your life.
If you notice changes in your mood and body just before you start your period then that can be totally normal. The NHS website explains, "it's not fully understood why women experience PMS. But it may be because of changes in your hormone levels during the menstrual cycle. Some women may be more affected by these changes than others." This can include getting lower abdominal and back pain, headaches, tiredness, and you might even sweat more. Dr Anne Connolly, the clinical lead for Women’s Health for the Royal College of GPs says, “some people will find that they sweat more and some will be tired. The time before the period and the time the period starts is when people will probably feel more prominent side effects such as mood changes and sweating.”
It’s so important to be clued up on the possible side effects you may experience when you have your period and they may not always be the same. Dr Connolly says, “youngsters when they start their periods may experience more pain and irregularity. Others will be completely pain free at that time. Many people find that they have more premenstrual mood problems as they get into the later years of their reproductive life.” As you age and change, so will the side effects you experience with your period. But Connolly esures you there is one thing to remember:
“There is no such thing as a normal period because everyone has slightly different lengths, and amounts of blood loss.”
A change in your periods or the side effects you experience around the time of your period can be really scary. Searching your symptoms on the internet can often be your worst enemy and if you don’t have someone to talk to it can make you seriously anxious. A study conducted by Plan International UK in 2017 revealed that 14 percent of girls aged 14 to 21 didn’t know what was happening when they started their period and 26 percent said they didn’t know what to do. Dr Connolly says, “nobody knows what’s normal because we don’t sit there and discuss it with our friends and our colleagues.” By talking openly about your period and everything that comes with them the stigma and shame surrounding menstruation is slowly being broken down.
Dr Connelly, the women's health taskforce, and Royal College of GP’s is opening up the conversation on what happens to body throughout your reproductive life. Connolly says, “there needs to be an understanding to a life course approach to periods very early on so people understand what’s happening to them and they can talk about it much more freely.”
It’s important to trust your gut when it comes to your menstrual health and if something doesn't feel right for you then it’s always worth speaking to a professional about it. The side effects you experience right now may not be the ones you experience over the next decade, year, or even next month. By understanding how your hormones effect your body over your life you’ll have more power and knowledge over your own health.