Some people feel dizzy on a period, but this is not a typical menstrual cycle symptom. It may indicate an underlying issue, such as anemia or heavy bleeding.
Sometimes, the dizziness that a person experiences has no connection to their period, and the timing is merely coincidental.
However, anyone who experiences extreme dizziness that does not go away with at-home treatment should see a doctor.
In this article, we examine the causes of dizziness that may be related to a period. We also look at the treatment options and when a person should see a doctor.
Dizziness is a common symptom that affects about
Feeling dizzy during a period is not necessarily a cause for concern. However, a person may need to talk to a doctor to determine why they are experiencing this symptom.
There are numerous possible causes of lightheadedness, some of which may relate to menstruation:
Thirst or hunger
Some people who experience menstrual cramps may avoid eating or drinking during their period, fearing that it will worsen their stomach pain. As a result, they may have thirst- or hunger-related dizziness.
Period-related hormonal fluctuations may also
Blood loss or anemia
Heavy menstrual bleeding, also known as menorrhagia, can
Although there are many types of anemia, iron-deficiency anemia is the
Heavy bleeding can also cause a person to feel dizzy. If a person feels lightheaded and has significantly more blood loss than usual, they should immediately get help from a healthcare professional.
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a severe type of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). It causes a wide range of symptoms before — and sometimes during — a period, which may include dizziness.
Some other symptoms of PMDD include:
- extreme mood swings, including panic attacks, depression, and anger
- severe period cramps
- intense exhaustion
- changes in eating habits
- trouble concentrating
Causes unrelated to menstruation
Sometimes, dizziness during a period has nothing to do with menstruation. Instead, it may be a symptom of another issue, such as:
No single test can check for all of the possible causes of dizziness during a period. Instead, a doctor may make a diagnosis by:
- asking a person to log their symptoms over a month
- asking about a person’s medical history
- performing a blood test to check a person’s iron levels around their period
- using blood tests to check for infections and other problems
- carrying out tests of the eyes and vestibular system
A doctor may recommend brain imaging tests if they suspect a neurological problem.
The treatment for dizziness will depend on the cause. Some options that a doctor might suggest include:
- medications for dizziness and nausea
- making adjustments to the daily routine, such as drinking more water, taking steps to reduce stress, and getting plenty of sleep
- treatment for PMDD, which may include antidepressants or birth control pills
- iron supplements, for people with anemia
- medication for vestibular diseases, such as Ménière’s disease
- physical therapy or head rotation exercises, for people with vestibular issues
Some strategies that a person can use to manage dizziness at home include:
- keeping a water bottle nearby to help ensure that they drink enough water
- setting a timer as a reminder to eat regular meals
- avoiding driving or walking alone if dizziness is extreme
- limiting alcohol consumption
- taking a nap, as some people feel dizzy when tired
- putting the head down between the legs to promote blood flow to the brain
- taking slow, deep breaths
A person should also monitor their bleeding. Doctors
Heavy bleeding alongside dizziness may be a medical emergency.
Dizziness is not usually an emergency unless a person has other symptoms, such as:
- loss of consciousness
- intense head pain
- numbness on one side of the body
- slurred speech or trouble speaking
- heavy bleeding
Anyone who experiences these symptoms will need to go to the emergency room.
An episode of dizziness might not be a serious problem if it gets better with rest or eating.
If a person regularly experiences dizziness during their period, or the dizziness does not get better after a period, it is important to get advice from a doctor.
People undergoing treatment for period-related dizziness should see a doctor if:
- the symptoms get worse
- medication does not help
- new symptoms develop
- medication side effects occur
Dizziness may increase a person’s risk of injury, as they may stumble or pass out. However, dizziness during a period does not usually signal a serious or life threatening medical condition.
Many factors may cause dizziness during a period, such as:
- hormonal changes
- hunger or thirst
- blood loss or anemia
The cause may also be unrelated to menstruation.
Depending on the cause, several treatments are available to control lightheadedness during a period.
If a person is worried about their dizzy episodes or is losing a significant amount of blood, they should seek help from a healthcare professional as soon as possible.