Dizziness before a period is not typical. A number of factors may increase the risk of a person experiencing it. These include high levels of progesterone, certain medical conditions, and premenstrual dysphoric disorder.
Few studies have investigated this symptom, so doctors do not know how common it is or why some people experience it while others do not.
The conditions that may cause dizziness before a period are not typically life threatening. Therefore, having this symptom does not necessarily mean something is wrong.
However, because this symptom is not common, a person should see their doctor if they experience it.
Monitoring symptoms across several menstrual cycles may help a person identify the specific cause.
Little recent research has directly investigated what might cause dizziness before a period, or compared people who have this symptom with those who do not.
Below are some potential explanations for this symptom.
Vestibular system issues
Vestibular disorders, which often affect the inner ear, can cause nausea, dizziness, and even trouble walking.
A very small body of research suggests that some people with vestibular disorders experience more pronounced symptoms before their period.
Ménière’s disease is a common vestibular condition.
A small 2009 study of healthy women found differences in the vestibular system during the days before their period.
However, the research is not conclusive. Scientists must do more research to determine how changes in the menstrual cycle might affect the vestibular system.
Changes in progesterone levels
After ovulation, progesterone levels
Changes in progesterone levels may increase the intensity of premenstrual symptoms.
Progesterone treatments sometimes cause people to feel dizzy or sleepy. People undergoing progesterone therapy may notice more dizziness before their period.
Blood pressure shifts
Higher blood pressure may cause dizziness. Research suggests that progesterone, which rises in the second half of the menstrual cycle before a period, may change blood pressure.
This change correlates with PMS such that people who report PMS symptoms may be more likely to have blood pressure increases before their period.
There is very limited research on this theory. Scientists would have to conduct many more studies to investigate the potential association between PMS and blood pressure.
Dizziness is a common pregnancy symptom, even in early pregnancy. Changes in blood pressure may trigger dizziness, and as the pregnancy progresses, the uterus can slow the blood supply to the brain.
It may be a sign of pregnancy in a person who does not typically experience dizziness before their period.
If the symptoms persist and a person does not get their period or their period is different than usual, they could be pregnant and may want to consider taking a pregnancy test.
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a type of extreme PMS that can disrupt a person’s daily life before or during their period.
People with PMDD experience a wide range of symptoms, including severe cramps, dizziness, vomiting, and migraine headaches. If a person’s premenstrual symptoms feel very intense, PMDD might be the culprit.
To diagnose the cause of dizziness occurring before a period, a doctor may ask a person to monitor their symptoms to see whether there are any correlations between dizziness and their diet, lifestyle, or other factors.
A healthcare provider will also take a detailed medical history.
Some other tests may include:
- hearing test, which may help diagnose Ménière’s disease
- blood work to test for hormonal issues, infections, and other problems
- occasionally, brain imaging scans
Because dizziness before a period is relatively uncommon, there is no specific treatment. However, if an underlying medical condition is causing this symptom, a doctor may recommend treatment for that condition.
Antinausea medications may help with Ménière’s disease. Some people also find relief from dietary changes, particularly a low salt diet.
A variety of treatments can help manage PMDD. A doctor may recommend lifestyle changes, including exercise, antidepressants, or medications for specific symptoms, such as pain medication for menstrual cramps.
Even without a diagnosis, it may be possible to manage dizziness before a period. A person should ask a doctor about antinausea drugs or medications for motion sickness, which may ease symptoms.
No specific home remedies can cure dizziness occurring before a period, but some strategies may reduce the risk of severe dizziness. They include:
- eating regular meals
- avoiding highly restrictive diets
- drinking plenty of water
- exercising regularly
- standing up slowly to avoid dizziness when changing positions
A person should also avoid driving or doing other potentially dangerous activities when they feel dizzy.
Dizziness before a period is not an emergency unless a person has other symptoms, such as numbness, chest pain, or confusion. If a person has these symptoms, they should seek medical help immediately.
However, if dizziness happens before each period, a person should still see a doctor. It is also important to see a doctor if a person does not get their period, since this may indicate pregnancy.
When talking to a doctor, a person should share all symptoms and a full medical history, even if certain symptoms seem unrelated or irrelevant.
After consulting a doctor, a person should seek additional care if:
- the treatment the doctor recommends does not help
- medication side effects occur
- symptoms change or a person develops new symptoms
Dizziness may be scary and can make it difficult to perform daily tasks or work.
Certain treatments can help, but finding the right treatment depends on identifying the underlying cause of dizziness.
If a person is experiencing dizziness before their period, they should consider talking to a doctor to find the right treatment options for them.