Natalia Lusinski
January 15, 2018 9:29 am
JGI / Jamie Grill / Getty Images

No one likes getting the flu, and getting period flu doesn’t sound fun either. We know — is period flu really a thing? The answer is yes. And it could explain why you feel sick before you get your period. It’s likely that many of us have had period flu before, but without knowing this formal definition of it.

Many of us are already used to menstrual cramps, mood swings, and headaches around the time of our periods. But period flu is even worse. However, it’s not the flu flu, but some of the symptoms are very flu-like. Symptoms include weakness, chills, being more tired than usual, muscle aches, nausea, and/or vomiting.

So, what exactly is period flu? It may look like the influenza people pass around, but this flu is not about other people — it’s all about you. According to U by Kotex, the flu symptoms you get before your period have to do with your body, and the prostaglandins — aka the group of lipids — that are released before your period starts. This is also known as the time before your uterine lining dislodges from the wall of your uterus, which results in your period.

The prostaglandins are the cause of your period flu symptoms.

Is there a cure for period flu?

If you are concerned that you have it, you should see a doctor or your OB/GYN to see what they say. Unlike the regular flu, there is no flu shot for period flu. Instead, some doctors may suggest taking ibuprofen while others may suggest hormonal birth control. Yet others may say to just wait it out.

Whenever you are feeling more out of sync than usual, you should talk to your doctor to be sure. We hope you don’t get period flu, or any flu, for that matter.

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