Periods bring a whole host of crappy side effects, many of which are widely discussed. For instance, cramps are acknowledged as an especially painful part of the period process, but there are some more surprising period side effects that deserve more attention from the medical community.
Your period can affect anything from your vision to your hydration levels, but why does it have so much power? The short answer: hormones. Low levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone trigger the start of menstruation, according to SexInfo Online. But these hormones affect more than your cycle; they can influence everything from sleep habits to anxiety levels. Basically, the far-reaching effects of hormones are difficult to overstate.
In general, these effects are not terrible — they're just things you might have written off beforehand. So if you experience painful issues in the bathroom or extreme fatigue with every period, just remember that you aren't alone. Plenty of other women deal with these same issues, even if they aren't talked about that often. Read on to learn about all the weird body stuff that can be caused by your monthly visitor. And as always, if something about your health is causing concern, then reach out to a doctor for advice.
1. You Experience Dehydration
Keep your water bottle topped-up during period week. For some women with very heavy periods, the blood loss can lead to dehydration, according to HuffPo.
2. You Lose Pain Tolerance
There's a reason most salons warn you about getting waxed when you're close to or on your period. A woman's pain perception is higher during the premenstrual and menstrual phases, according to a study in Perceptual and Motor Skills.
3. You Get Insomnia
If you feel like an insomniac every time Aunt Flo rolls into town, you're not imagining things. Thanks to a drop in the slightly sedative hormone progesterone, many women experience sleeplessness during their period, according to HuffPo. Combine this with the stomach issues and general aches of period life, and it's no wonder sleep is so difficult to achieve.
4. You Get Super Painful Poops
For many women, going to the bathroom gets difficult during their period. When you're menstruating, according to BuzzFeed, your uterus engorges, putting pressure on the colon and causing constipation.
5. Your Brain Is Foggy
Spacing out is a normal, if annoying, side effect. That's because the drops in estrogen can cause brain fog, according to Fitness.
6. Your Vision Blurs
Hormones rule basically everything in the body, even your eyesight. In fact, the elevated estrogen levels during menstruation can cause blurred vision, according to Essilor of America. If things seem a little fuzzy, you know what's to blame.
7. Your Anxiety Rises
Again, hormones control the universe, or so it seems. Anxiety symptoms sometimes increase during your period because of changes in estrogen and progesterone, according to Everyday Health. In addition, if you've suffered from painful periods in the past, then you may experience anticipatory anxiety when your next period happens.
8. You Feel Achey All Over
Some women experience period pain all over. Because the pelvic region contains so many nerves, irritation may cause back or leg pain, according to Women's Health.
9. You're Wiped Out
Period fatigue is a real thing. Because the hormone estrogen drops during your period, it's common for women to feel exhausted during this time, according to Cosmopolitan. If you just want to chill on the couch and do nothing for a while, it's a perfectly normal response to your period.