Here's Why You Might Experience Dizziness During Your Period — and Why You Shouldn't Ignore It

Do not normalize this serious period symptom.

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Women have learned to expect — and deal with — certain period symptoms, like headaches, diarrhea, cramping, bloating, and fatigue. But one symptom that may be less common, and a little scary, is dizziness during your period.

"While not totally uncommon, experiencing dizziness during your period is considered an unusual symptom," Dr. Peter Weiss, OB-GYN, FACOG at Rodeo Drive Women’s Health Clinic, tells Landcruisers. Unfortunately, he notes that because women normalize a lot of their menstrual symptoms, something like this might go ignored when it shouldn't.

Why Do Women Experience Dizziness During Their Periods?

Some women may experience a few seconds of dizziness when they get a rather painful cramp, which is "ok" according to Dr. Holly Raass Miller, a board certified OB-GYN. "In the same time that we are feeling our uterus contract, we can have a secondary reaction that can feel like a short amount of dizziness," she explains to Landcruisers. So if you get dizzy every once in a while, and it only lasts a couple of seconds, you shouldn’t worry too much — though it doesn’t hurt to mention it to your doctor the next time you go for a check-up.

Women may also experience dizziness during their periods due to anemia, a condition in which the body doesn't produce enough red blood cells to adequately distribute oxygen throughout the body. A person with anemia may also experience fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and shortness of breath, symptoms that could worsen as a woman loses blood during her period.

Experts agree that occasional dizziness during your period isn't necessarily cause for concern. But if you're experiencing near-constant dizziness, exhaustion, and excessive bleeding during your period or bleeding between your periods, ask your doctor about abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB).

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You could be suffering from abnormal uterine bleeding if you're feeling tired and dizzy, and need to change your tampon every hour.
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According to Change the Cycle, AUB is a condition where a woman bleeds frequently and heavily, or bleeds between periods. Some of the symptoms associated with this condition, aside from dizziness, are menstrual blood loss that requires you to change your tampon or pad every half hour or hour, a period that lasts more than seven days, and large blood clots. In order to make a diagnosis, your OB-GYN will order a blood count, measure your hormone levels, and do a transvaginal ultrasound.

How Do You Treat Dizziness Caused By AUB?

If your dizziness is a result of AUB, your doctor will first try to figure out the cause of the excessive bleeding — these can range from a polyp, to an ovarian cyst, to a hormonal imbalance. Depending on the cause, your doctor will determine a course of treatment.

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Your doctor could recommend taking iron supplements if your dizziness is due to anemia.
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If it’s a hormonal imbalance, your OB-GYN will likely suggest a treatment, depending on your age and childbearing plans, to help control the bleeding. If you are trying to avoid pregnancy, your doctor might put you on birth control to regulate the bleeding. If you don’t want to prevent pregnancy, then your doctor will likely recommend a non-hormonal medication to stop excessive bleeding. And if you're done with your childbearing years, your doctor may recommend endometrial ablation as a more permanent solution. According to the Mayo Clinic, an endometrial ablation involves removing the lining of the uterus to reduce or stop the menstrual flow.

How Do You Treat Dizziness Caused by Anemia?

If you’ve developed anemia, your doctor might suggest iron supplements or consuming more iron-rich foods, such as spinach, kale, red beans, and red meat. They may also recommend visiting a hematologist if they suspect there might be another underlying reason to your anemia.

When Should You Visit a Doctor?

“If you are experiencing any dizziness that forces you to lay down and/or miss work, go to your doctor,” Dr. Miller says. Additionally, you should visit your doctor if you are experiencing dizziness regularly, even when you're not on your period.

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