Have you ever noticed how you feel colder during your period?
You’re not imagining it. Hormones are wreaking havoc with your internal thermostat, causing real changes in your body temperature. For a few days each month, your hormones take the reins and drive wild fluctuations in temperature that you have little control over.
But don’t worry, it’s normal and there are some fascinating reasons why it happens.
Estrogen and Progesterone’s Effect on Body Temperature
Your body temperature is closely tied to your menstrual cycle, thanks to the fluctuating hormone levels of estrogen and progesterone. Around ovulation, when estrogen peaks, your body temperature rises slightly. This is because estrogen causes blood vessels to widen, increasing blood flow to your extremities. More blood flow means more heat released, raising your core temperature.
After ovulation, progesterone takes over. This hormone causes blood vessels to narrow, decreasing blood flow. With less heat escaping, your body temperature climbs higher. During the luteal phase, the time between ovulation and your period, progesterone keeps your body elevated.
Right before your period, both estrogen and progesterone levels plummet. Blood vessels open up again and body temperature drops back down. This temperature shift, up to half a degree, triggers menstruation to begin. Talk about a monthly thermoregulation rollercoaster!
These hormone-driven temperature changes are subtle but significant. Tracking your basal body temperature (your temp right after waking up) is one way to identify if and when you’ve ovulated. While a standard thermometer provides the numbers, your hormones are truly in the driver’s seat, navigating the ups and downs of your monthly cycle.
Chills, Sweats, and Everything in Between- What to Expect Cycle-to-Cycle?
During your menstrual cycle, hormonal changes can cause uncomfortable fluctuations in your body temperature. But don’t worry, these temperature variations are normal and temporary. Here’s what you can expect:
Hot Flashes and Night Sweats
As estrogen levels drop before your period, you may experience hot flashes and night sweats. These sudden feelings of warmth can cause sweating, flushed skin, and an increased heart rate. Hot flashes tend to be more frequent and intense in the days leading up to menstruation.
Some women report feeling chilled or shivery, especially at night. This is also linked to hormonal changes and decreasing estrogen. Extra blankets, warm pajamas, and socks can help make you more comfortable during these periods.
Everything In Between
You may also notice more subtle temperature changes, like feeling warmer or cooler at different times of the day or night. Your body temperature is closely regulated by your hormones, so as they fluctuate throughout your cycle, so too will your internal thermostat.
The good news is these temperature variations are temporary and will subside once your hormones level out and your period begins. While inconvenient, hot flashes, chills, and temperature changes are typically not medically dangerous. However, if your symptoms are severe or persistent, talk to your doctor about possible treatment options to help regulate your temperature and make your menstrual cycle more comfortable.
Tips for Coping with Menstrual Temperature Variations
When your temperature starts fluctuating during your period, it can feel frustrating not knowing why it’s happening or how to stay comfortable. Here are some tips to help you cope:
Drink plenty of water or warm tea to avoid dehydration and help regulate your body temperature. Dehydration can exacerbate temperature changes.
Dress in layers
Having options ranging from breathable fabrics to cozy knits will allow you to adjust easily as your temp shifts. Try keeping a supply of extra clothes on hand so you can add or remove layers as needed.
Use heating pads
Place a heating pad on areas where you feel chilled, such as your back, feet, or abdomen. Direct heat can provide quick relief from the sensations of cold.
Going for a walk or doing some light exercise releases endorphins that improve your mood and can also help regulate body temperature. However, avoid strenuous workouts which may worsen temperature fluctuations.
Get extra rest
With the hormonal changes during menstruation, your body is working hard. Extra sleep will aid temperature regulation and help you feel more comfortable. Try going to bed a bit earlier or napping when possible.
Track your cycle
If temperature changes are severe or bothersome, start recording your monthly cycle to identify patterns. Discuss your tracking with your doctor to determine if any treatment is needed or if natural remedies can be enhanced. Understanding the underlying causes can help put you at ease.
With patience and by trying different techniques, you can find relief from the discomfort of temperature variations during your period. Be gentle with yourself and know that this too shall pass.
So, there you have it, your body’s internal thermostat is on a wild ride every month thanks to your menstrual cycle. The intricate dance of hormones rising and falling throughout your cycle means your temperature is constantly adjusting too. While a thermometer only captures your external temperature, your hormones are conducting a symphony of change within.
Next time you’re feeling extra hot or cold without good reason, you can chalk it up to your menstrual cycle’s thermal effects. Your hormones may shift temperatures, but knowing what’s going on beneath the surface can help you feel more in control of your body and empowered in your cycle.
Stay tuned for more on how to relieve symptoms and make the most of each phase of your cycle. Your body is amazing – let’s celebrate that!