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Flu and Menstruation: All You Need to Know About Period Flu

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The expression ‘period flu’ is commonly used to describe a set of symptoms that a few women or Assigned Females at Birth (AFAB) encounter around the time of menstruation. These symptoms often include fatigue, muscular pain, headaches, Nausea, Diarrhea, and fever.

Although period flu is not a medical condition, the symptoms are thought to be caused by hormonal imbalances throughout the menstrual cycle. Therefore, knowing the connection between flu and menstruation is essential.

Generally, period flu is not a matter of concern, and symptoms can be resolved on their own within a few days. However, hormone treatment, pain-relieving medicines, home remedies, and lifestyle adjustments can help overcome and avoid period flu symptoms if they persist longer.

Let us proceed with this article to learn about period flu in detail.

Is There any Connection Between Flu and Menstruation

Although there is no direct connection between flu and menstruation, some people may experience flu-like symptoms during their menstrual cycle. 

The exact cause of period flu is unknown; however, researchers believe that hormonal fluctuations during menstruation might be the cause of menstrual flu.

Hormonal fluctuations such as changes in Estrogen and Progesterone levels, can have an influence on many body systems, including the immune system. 

According to some studies, these hormonal changes may increase susceptibility to infections during menstruation. This, in turn, can occasionally cause flu-like symptoms such as tiredness, muscular pains, headache, cramps, Nausea, Diarrhea, and fever. 

Additionally, your uterus produces hormone-like substances called Prostaglandins which are involved in inducing uterine contractions that cause the shedding of the uterine lining during menstruation.  

However, elevated Prostaglandin levels can also result in discomfort and inflammation, which may lead to symptoms like cramps, Nausea, and pain in the muscles. These symptoms are often mistaken for premenstrual symptoms experienced by many women.

Hence, the phrase “period flu” is used casually to address these symptoms. 

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    Period flu often starts two days before the onset of your period and can last anywhere from a few days to two weeks. The severity of period flu symptoms may vary among individuals. Some other symptoms of period flu include:

    • Bloating
    • Muscle pain
    • Runny nose
    • Breast tenderness
    • Gastrointestinal issues
    • Difficulty sleeping

    Treating and Managing Period Flu

    Treatment of period flu focuses on relieving the symptoms and involves a combination of medications, lifestyle changes, and herbal supplements. 


    pain relieving pillsSource: pixelshot
    Ibuprofen pills

    Your doctor may prescribe over-the-counter pain-relieving medicines, including Ibuprofen and Naproxen, to overcome cramps, headaches, and muscular pains.

    If you experience Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) or severe period flu symptoms that are interfering with your mood, your doctor might suggest antidepressants. 

    These medications may be especially beneficial if you experience frequent episodes of Depression or Anxiety around your period.

    Water tablets, often known as Diuretics, can help to alleviate swelling and soreness in the breasts.

    Anti-diarrheal medications containing loperamide and Bismuth subsalicylate can help reduce acute Diarrhea.

    Keeping track of your menstrual cycles and symptoms throughout the month will help you and your doctor identify if you have the period flu.

    Lifestyle Changes

    Besides medications, the following lifestyle changes can help in reducing the symptoms of period flu:

    • Adding a healthy diet, including whole grains, vegetables, and fruits to your meal
    • Exercising helps reduce the intensity of your period flu symptoms
    • Preventing or minimizing alcohol, caffeine, and sugar consumption
    • Keep yourself hydrated
    • Practicing a sound sleep

    Herbal Supplements

    Various herbal supplements are believed to help relieve the symptoms associated with period flu or flu-like symptoms that some people suffer around the time of their menstrual cycle.

    These supplements include Vitamin D, ginger, chamomile, cinnamon, and turmeric.

    However, before considering any new herbal supplement, you should contact your doctor, especially if you are using medications or have pre-existing health concerns, to reduce the chance of any possible side effects.

    Besides medical treatments, practicing good menstrual hygiene during your menstruation can help overcome the discomfort and irritation you may experience during your periods.

    Diuretics can lead to dehydration, Nausea, and vomiting. Consult your doctor before considering them.


    Period flu is a phrase used to describe flu-like symptoms that some women experience during their menstrual cycle. These symptoms may resemble premenstrual symptoms and include headaches, vomiting, Nausea, and fever.

    Experts believe that hormonal fluctuations during menstruation serve as a link between flu and menstruation, making a woman prone to developing flu-like symptoms.

    Period flu isn’t a medical condition, and the symptoms can be overcome with the help of medications, lifestyle modifications, and herbal supplements.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    Can flu affect periods?

    Yes, the flu can affect your periods, too. Colds or flu can hinder your normal menstrual cycle, leading to missed or irregular periods.

    Why do I experience cold when I am menstruating?

    You may experience colds and flu during your periods primarily due to hormonal fluctuations. However, it can also be an indication of other underlying medical problems.

    Why do I get ill during my period?

    It is quite normal to experience vomiting, Nausea, and abdominal cramps during your menstruation. These symptoms generally occur due to hormonal changes and can get resolved on their own in a day or two.

    Is the immune system weaker when a person is menstruating?

    Yes, it has been found that some individuals’ immune responses may weaken during menstruation due to hormone fluctuations, making them more vulnerable to infections. However, the response may vary among individuals.

    Is there any connection between stomach flu and menstruation?

    Some women may develop symptoms of stomach flu, like vomiting, Nausea, and Diarrhea during menstruation. This is generally related to hormonal changes, such as a rise in Prostaglandins, which can impact the digestive system, leading to Diarrhea and Nausea in some individuals.

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    Photo of author Janet Fudge
    Janet Fudge is a highly skilled and experienced pharmacologist who serves as a contributing writer for With a strong academic background from a premier US University and a passion for helping others, Janet has become a trusted voice in the pharmaceutical world. After completing her Doctor of Pharmacy degree, Janet embarked on a successful career in the pharmaceutical industry, working with various clients, including hospitals, retail pharmacies, and drug manufacturers. Her in-depth knowledge of pharmacology and dedication to patient-centered care has led her to excel in her field. As a writer for, Janet uses her wealth of expertise to provide readers with accurate, reliable, and up-to-date information on various topics related to medicine and healthcare. Her engaging writing style and ability to break down complex topics into easily digestible content make her a valuable resource for healthcare professionals and the general public.
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