Why Do I Feel Nauseous When on My Period?

Filed Under Nausea Articles | 31 comments 
Feb 9

Nausea by TheeErin, on Flickr

It is not uncommon for a woman to have a variety of secondary symptoms that accompany her period. From a slight headache during menstruation to lower abdominal cramping to nausea and even vomiting, every woman experiences her menstrual cycle in a different way. In terms of nausea, there are some very specific things that can cause nausea when a woman is on her period.

One of the possible causes of feeling nauseous when on your period is simple the changing in hormones that is occurring in your body. For some women, the changing levels of hormones will cause their stomach to produce extra digestive acids, which can in turn produce anything from a slight case of heartburn to full blown vomiting. For some women, going on birth control pills actually can reduce the nauseous feeling when they are having their period, as the pill will tend to level off those hormones during the monthly cycle.

Another possible cause for nausea during a period is pain. For a woman who has a painful period, nothing might feel right. The prostaglandins that are released from the wall of the uterus during the menstrual period can cause painful contractions in the uterus. These contractions can then affect the stomach, as well, causing a feeling of nausea.

Relieving nausea during your period can be done in several ways. Certainly, there are a number of both prescription and over-the-counter medications that are available to treat nausea. For some women, a simple antacid tablet will do the trick. Ginger or mint teas help other women, as well. Finding out what helps to ease your nausea is a process of trial and error.

In general, nausea that is severe or long-lasting should be a concern. If you find that you are severely nauseous every month during your period, you should talk to your health care provider. She may be able to help determine whether there is some other possible cause for your nausea, or how best to treat the nausea that you have when on your period. This is particularly true if the nauseous feeling when on your period has started in the last few cycles, where it had never been an issue before.

Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  TheeErin 

  • Erica

    Every month I feel a lot of nausia during my cycle. I have tryed drinking more water,& other home remadies. It has gotten to a point that I am taking a pregancy test just to resure me that I am not pregnat. The symtoms usally come on around mid-morning. I have talked to my doctor and he has given me vitaimins but those dont to be working. Also the heart burn that comes and goes from a simple glass of water to a cookie. Hope you can shead some light on what I am feeling.

    Thank You,
    Erica Marie Vela

  • tina

    I also get nausea right before my cycle, Ive taking tons of pregnancy test also because i kept thinking im pregnant. But for me this all started to get worse since i had a miscarriage. i had my miscarriage last march and it threw my whole body off. I kept hoping i was pregnant but every month its the same thing test comes up negative. At this point ive giving up all hope. just wish the nausea would go away

  • Jenny

    I always get nausea about 1 wk before my period and the first few days into my period. To the point where I want to puke. Usually certain smells will trigger it. I’ve recently started getting mild headaches as well. I hate that most PMS symotoms are the same as pregnancy symptoms bc u never know until you actually start. I think I might have a hormone imbalance which I plan on seeing my dr about very soon.

  • Kathryn

    Tina,I have had the same thing happen to me. I’ve had two miscarriages now and ever since then every time I get my period I’m get nausea. I never used to get that as a symptom during my period. I felt the same way right after the miscarriage, I had hopes that maybe I didn’t miscarry and was still pregnant. Not the case…

  • Rachael

    I get the same thing, it started about 6months after I had my second child. It has to be something with my hormones. My OBGYN put me on a small dose of Progestrone and that has helped some but right before my period the nausea and feeling like I have the flu is awful!
    Starts in the morning and comes and goes, once I get my period it gets better as the days go. I’ve had this for 4 years, hopefully I’ll get this figured out.

  • Ana

    This is the first time I ever feel nauseated while on my monthly period my sister told me she fellt like this do to wearing tampons after she stoped she said she fellt okay threw out
    all her monthly periods after not wearing them I dont know if thats my case

  • Amie

    I’m so very EXTREMELY sick and tired of being…sick and tired!
    It’s like the older I get (I’m 32) the worse my symptoms become.
    It’s to the point that 3 weeks out of EVERY month, I am having severe symptoms due to my menstrual cycle. 2 weeks prior I suffer horrible depression and mood swings along with horrible fatigue. Then when “the flow” finally comes, its pure HELL for me.
    Nausea, headache, extreme cramping, headaches, fatigue, an extra 10 lbs of weight gain…you name it, it probably happens to me.
    The birth control method frightens me because of the side effects and weight gain, so that’s not an option for me but, I am sooooo ready to do something.
    This is not only affecting me but my family as well.

  • Abs

    I have these symptoms too, severe cramps and nausea. I can’t function on the first day of my cycle. I’ve always had an irregular cycle. I used to be on three weeks at a time and I my emotions caused depression. I got put on pegesterone which helped regulate my cycle but I still have severe symptoms the first few days of my cycle and I’m emotional on and off all thoroughout the month. I also stopped eating non organic dairy that had hormones in it, this has helped my emotions tremendously

  • kt

    I hate being a women I feel sick about a week b4 I get my period and really bad depression to the point of crying and being way to un happy with myself and who I am then my period starts and its just as bad idk what ta do.

  • helpless in california

    starting about seven to eight months ago i began to receive hot flashes and extreme nausea during and before my periods. while on my periods i just get hot flashes. but when i am ovulating i get really bad nausea. i just want to feel better since it just came out of nowhere. the nausea is so bad i dnt want to smell or move. if i sit up too fast or turn my head i want to run to the restroom. im only 25 and the symptoms came completely out of nowhere. any ideas what can help. i been searching sights to avoid the doctor since all they want to do it put me on birth control.

  • RD

    You may have endometriosis, especially if you have sever cramping…That’s uterine tissue growing outside of your uterus. It’s serious – it will cause scaring on your internal organs. It’s treated with hormones or you can have all you lady bits taken out. (had a couple of college roommates with bad cases . . .learned a lot from their pain)
    You should see an endocrinologist. My BF was having similar issues. It took years to finally go to one and figure out it wasn’t thyroid & endometriosis, but adrenal issues and and an undiagnosed wheat allergy.

  • Anonymous_Irregular_Girl

    I have experienced nausea for two period cycles now… They were not for two consecutive periods, and are actually a pretty lengthy time apart. I feel it now and the last time was some months ago, probably 6 or 7 months ago… But The first time I was sitting in the bathroom on the toilet, because for me, straining, *like when I’m trying to poo* helps to alleviate the cramping pains I feel. So I was on the toilet and while I was straining, the menstrual blood was flowing out. And the smell was so sickening I felt like I was going to vomit… I had already had a headache, and while I was in the bathroom, I felt so freaking HOT! like I felt like I was going to pass out… And the sickening smell of fresh, hot, menstrual blood kept pouring into my nose. So lent over the edge of the tub and I was salivating like a dog… Which, for me, is a sign that I am going to throw up. That time in the bathroom was the ABSOLUTE WORST feeling I have ever felt before. I just kept thinking, I am going to burn my ovaries off, when I get some money… *for the procedure* Lol… But I won’t I just felt that way because, I really don’t like my periods. This nauseated feeling isn’t as bad as the other time, but I just hate it… : [ I’m only 18. I can tell my cycle is going to come because a day before it does, I get minor cramps in my lower back. They occur in the exact same spot as when I’m on, but they are just less irritating. And then they stay for the first day. And it it REALLY annoying because it is not like a real pain, like if you were to punch a wall and feel the pain in your hand, or if you get cut by a knife, it’s just a dull pain resting in the middle of my lower back… And I hate it… When I first started… *when I was 16.* I HAD NO PAIN. It just came… Right on my 16th birthday… And I was like, “Oh snap.” And I was happy because I was worried it wouldn’t come. And I had no pain, but now… I have pain. Oh and one more thing… I don’t know if any doctor or pro. will see this and you know talk to me about it… But I have the most irregular periods too! Like I said my first one was when I was 16. And like maybe since I was 17 and a half, they have been IRREGULAR, like I’ll have one then the next month I wouldn’t see it. But like I am on my period now, but my last one was like 3 or 4 months ago…Seriously… Like on my last one, it came, then the one that was supposed to come didn’t. The only thing that showed up was old, light brown discharge, then the same again for the next one. And then there wasn’t ANYTHING at all… Like just normal discharge. I was a little worried, but I still kind of am worried. So. yea… That’s my story… : ]

  • Sickgirl

    I have had Nausea Several times now, I’m 16 and I have nausea right now… Its the worst that it has ever been.!! I spent a hole night spewing up , was fine the next day and then the next day it hit me again. I have no Idea what to do , Its the worst feeling ever , its even hard to fall asleep. To be honest i hate being a girl with all these problems , I mean the sight of food at the moment makes me sick. I am glad to see though that I am not the only one that has these problems as I would be a bit worried 😛

  • Venus Pollard

    It sounds like you have polycystic ovaries. Please see an OB/Gyn ASAP. It is nothing to be ashamed about, but if you do have it, do not leave it untreated for long. The brown discharge is dead blood cells that once lined your uterus, its a cleansing of the womb of sorts,
    But please schedule an appointment ASAP.

  • Venus Pollard

    That is the hormone surge that amplifies everything you feel, please see your OB/Gyn as soon as you can, you will get supplements that can balance the hormones and help those troubling mood swings.
    It can and will get better, don’t lose hope!

  • libby

    wow i feel like the lucky one here. i though mine were bad. i have super bad cramps and super heavy flow for a few days then it eases up. but for some odd reason. this time when i started i felt like i was going to puke. i keep shaking a bit and i feel very weak. im going to my docs tomorrow for something else but i can ask her about this. and im only 15…

  • pain_suffering

    Im on my cycle now, and I never had ANY pains growing up. I’m 33 now and i am NOW experiencing the cramps, back spasms, nausea, fatigue. it is HORRIBLE. I HATE IT!!!!!!!!!!! Sometimes I just want to curl in bed and stay there until my period stops, but of course, I gotta work… and working for an attorney who LOVES to interrogate us when we call in doesn’t help at all. LOL

  • sarah1705

    I have been feeling nausea for about a year now it is normally the week before my period and comes in waves and goes away….but for the past two months the nausea is getting worse…i never vomit but its a much stronger feeling….i currently have my period now and the nausea is so bad i had to stop eating dinner…i did switch my pill but that was only a few months ago and the feeling of nausea was there but now its just getting worse…. I’ve been to the doctors and had blood work done and everything came back fine… I’m not sure what directions i should go in….im starting to feel maybe i could be pregnant but at the same time i highly doubt…..just wondering if anyone else has felt like this and if there is anything that can be done to help or stop this…or maybe this is a really serious issue?? thanks!

  • Beck1971

    My background is 41 years old, with 3 young children, I had had no problems in the past with nausea or painful periods in the past, except for when I had my 3rd child 2½ years ago. Where anxiety levels throughout the month were on an alltime high, nausea was out of control coming and going throughout the month, generally at nighttime, just like when I was pregnant to the point where I’ve lost around 15 kilo because I wasn’t eating properly, the periods where like going into labour and would wake me up in the middle of the night and I’d be screaming in pain and no position change or hot water bottle would manage it.
    I went to my GP where she stated she was going to pass me onto the Gynaecology department at Frankston hospital and ALSO put me through to a psychologist and gave me a course of anti-depressants for my anxiety (yes that’s right, that’s what she did). I did not take these pills as they may of caused nausea which was one of the symptoms most of the month round. I’m a big chicken when it comes to vomiting. Anyways, waiting for Frankston Hospital to contact me (8 months ago the GP referred a letter to them mind you) I lost patience and I went to a Women’s Clinic where this wonderful doctor referred all types of tests on me and said, “this is not normal and it cannot go on, we’ll start with an ultrasound and a blood test”, testing everything from liver, kidneys, and uterus etc. As it turns out, to cut a long story short, the tests came back with Adenomyosis. This wonderful doctor then referred me to a Gyno who in turn said…..and wait for it…..”a full hysterectomy”. I went back to the doctor and she said “I don’t think so, lets treat why instead of what”. She did one final test, and this is the clincher…..a hormone SPIT test to check my Oestrogen levels…apparently Westernized GP’s don’t hold much on this test so don’t refer women to get this test done. Yes it was expensive (really not that expensive, just $100.00 AU) but WELL WORTH IT. As we have 3 or 4 different Oestrogens in our body and the initial blood test that I had done only calculates one of the Oestrogens……and guess what……3 of mine WERE OFF THE SCALE, in turn causing huge haemmoraging during periods, painful periods and extreme nausea.
    I nearly kissed her when she said that it was relatively easy to treat as most Oestrogens are stored in the liver, so lets try flushing your liver out with a change of diet and a natural pill (which I’m not going to name as I look as though I’m advertising it.) So far, day 3 into my period with a slight change of diet and Flaxseed supplement and a Oestrogent lowering natural pill each day, my period is back to the way it was, with NO NAUSEA waking me up at night or pain. The only side affect I get with this medicine is a bit of a headache as it de-hydrates you a bit, and my urine is Fluorescent Yellow but I think that too might be caused by the Liver Detox.
    I’m passing on this little bit of information in the hope it might help other women who might have the same problem, as it took me 2½ years to finally get down to the bottom of things but perserverance did the trick and all it took was a little Spit in a Jar to find the problem Good to find a doctor who takes a wholistic approach to things. Lets hope this also helps my Adenymyosis as well. I hope this information helps

  • Lindsay

    I have also been experiencing severe nausea during and after my cycle. Along with the nausea I get very dizzy, heart palpitations and migraines. I started experiencing these terrible symptoms about 6 months after I had my daughter (who is now a year old.) I was told it could be depression/anxiety related, but I completely disagree. I have been on an antidepressant for almost a year now. I know my body and believe my problem is physical not mental in any way. I am getting very discouraged because I only feel “normal” maybe a week out of an entire month. It is so hard to carry on with my many daily activities feeling this way…a person can only take so much. Certainly hoping I can find out what is going on soon. Hopefully it is something to do with my hormones being out of whack and not something too serious.

  • Q’Andrews

    I’m not on my cycle yet but I’m experiencing all of the symptoms like nausea, fatigue etc. I started my menstrual cycle at the age of 10 & started experiencing really bad cramps around the age of 13. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed that the cramps, nausea & fatigue are getting worse. I’ve always had 3 days of a medium flow period & after that light flows. I still have not figured out how to reduce the nausea & fatigue. My cycles have been irregular since I was around 20yrs old. Now I’m 30 & I’m moody, nauseous, have muscle spasms etc. when that time of the month comes. The problem is that, I feel like this everyday throughout the month whether I’m on my cycle or not. My muscle spasms are so bad at times that I have to ask my kids to help me. My doctor prescribed me muscle relaxers to help me sleep (especially at night). This month my cycle is going to messed up cause it’s only 28 days & last month I stared my (first) cycle on the 31st. That’s the first cycle I’ve had in almost a year. My doctor said that’s normal but everyday I was bloated & had water weight gain around my stomach. That’s very uncomfortable considering that I also have an abdominal hernia that is painful sometimes. I’m not sure when or if I’m going to have a cycle this/next month. Now I have two daughters & I’m praying that they don’t start their cycle at an early age like me or have to experience the severe cramping, fatigue & etc. I’m learning to deal with my issues with my cycles but I don’t want my daughters to go through what I’m still going through. I need to be able to explain to them that this is mother nature & everything is going to be ok. Again I just hope they don’t go through what I’m going through right now. Sometimes it sucks being a woman cause we go through so much with our body. I’m not sure if I’m ready (when that time comes) for me & my daughters to start our cycles each month around the same time. I told my husband & son to hide cause we’re going to be bitchy & they will probably need to get out & do guy stuff so we don’t gang up on them lol. Again, thanks for listening & understanding what I’m going through.

  • chicago

    i have had this problem for the past 2.5 yrs. I got on the pill to get to a point of normalcy. I just recently got off the pill and like clockwork…i started to experience the nausea/vomiting. I started taking a vitamin D tablet (really helps with the cramping). this time no severe cramping. I also started taking VitaminB. I beliee this helps, but just the other day, I vomited on the 2nd day of my cycle instead of the first. I am going to continue the Vitamin B regimen, but i am looking into acupuncture to get my hormones balanced..

  • Naya

    I Am 15 And On My Cycle Right Now. I Normally Get Nausea The WeeK Before My Period, But This Month I Have Nausea DurIng My Period. I Am Worried I May Be Getting Sick Woth A Virus Or Something Of That Sorts. The Nausea ComeS AnD Goes. Could My Cycle Have Changed A Bit And The Nausa Comes Now, Or Am I Getting Sick With A Flu?

  • bren

    I’m curious ifyou found any relief?

  • need help in baltimore Marylan

    hi im 15 i have endometriosis and ovian cyst i had my surgery in 2013 because i had skin growing over in uterus okay so lately i been dizzy and hot and i beem having fast heart beats i can barely breathe also my vision is blurry

    can someone help me?

  • Isabella

    I’m on my cycle now, and i always feel nauseous, and i always throw up and get light headed. however i am an irregular person. I’m now 19 years old and since i had my first period I’mm always been late. the nausea had become worst. this not all whenever i feel like vomiting i feel strong cramps on my lower stomach, i also feel like i want to go to the restroom.

  • Osunde Eghe Favour

    This is exactly my predicament. It’s really embarrassing, as everyone, even my fiance thinks I’m pregnant when I’m not! I hate this feeling that disrupts my peace every month!!

  • deja

    I have this same issue

  • Lisa A Swanson

    I am the same way i get super nausea 4 to 5 days before my period and my flow is heaver since this started about 5 years ago and i have really bad night sweats the same time don’t know what to do for it.

  • Lisa A Swanson

    i am 48

  • Maria

    I just get nauseous right now I feel like I will vomit any second