Causes of Dizziness During Your Period

Do you sometimes experience dizziness and wonder what might be causing it? If you are menstruating, the reason you feel dizzy may be related to your menstrual cycle.

Dizziness is a sensation that often makes people feel off balance like the room is spinning. You may notice these symptoms more intensely when getting up quickly from sitting or lying down and you may lose your balance.

Dizzy woman blurry portrait
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Dizziness From Menstrual Blood Loss

One of the most common causes of dizziness in menstruating girls and women is iron-deficiency anemia. If you have an average menstrual flow, you lose about 30 milliliters (mL) or roughly about 2 tablespoons of blood every month.

Usually, that is not enough blood loss to cause symptoms unless you already have an underlying condition causing you to be anemic. On the other hand, if you have really heavy periods month after month, it is possible for you to become anemic just from your menstrual blood loss.

Blood loss, whether it is chronic or acute, can result in iron deficiency anemia. When you bleed you lose red blood cells (RBCs). Your RBCs are the cells in your body that carry oxygen.

Your brain is very sensitive to even the smallest changes in oxygen concentrations in your blood. When your brain senses this relative lack of oxygen, you likely will become dizzy.

When you are anemic, increases in your activity that take blood flow away from your brain and into your muscles will cause you to be dizzy. In a way, this is an alarm by the brain to get you to stop what you are doing so it will get more oxygen.

Acute or quick blood loss will usually cause more symptoms because the body doesn't have time to make other adjustments to compensate for the loss of the oxygen-carrying RBCs. If your blood loss is more chronic or slower over time, it might take longer for you to notice the symptoms of anemia—especially the dizziness.

In non-menstruating women and men, blood loss from an ulcer or another digestive system source can lead to anemia.

More Causes of Dizziness

Dizziness is also a symptom of several other diseases and conditions. These include balance disorders, ear problems, stroke, motion sickness, a sudden drop in blood pressure, or dehydration.

Dizziness is also a possible side effect of many different types of over-the-counter and prescription drugs. These drugs include medications for high blood pressure, asthma, and other breathing problems, heart diseases, pain, sedatives, and drugs used to treat ADHD and other mental health conditions.

Talk to your healthcare provider right away if you suspect that a drug is causing dizziness. Never suddenly stop taking any drug without your practitioner's approval.

When to See a Healthcare Provider

Fortunately, most instances of dizziness resolve themselves without medical intervention. However, if you experience dizziness often, contact your healthcare provider for diagnosis and treatment.

Contact your practitioner immediately, if:

  • You’ve never experienced dizziness before
  • Your symptoms change for the worse
  • Dizziness interferes with your daily routine

Your healthcare provider will be able to assess what could be causing the symptoms, screen for any developing conditions, and provide any needed treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why do I get dizzy or have migraines before my period?

    Dizziness or migraines around periods are related to changing levels of estrogen. Estrogen levels drop leading up to a period, meaning some women may experience headaches or migraines up to three days before their period. Symptoms include dizziness, fatigue, nausea, and sensitivity to light.

  • Are hot flashes normal?

    Yes, most women experience hot flashes, usually beginning in their 40's. A hot flash is defined as a sporadic, sudden burst of hot skin and heavy sweat that can last anywhere from 30 seconds to 5 minutes.

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Article Sources
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