Fall is just around the corner and with it comes pumpkin spice lattes, football season, Halloween...and worse period symptoms? Yes, unfortunately cold weather can cause period symptoms to worsen as the climate, and your routine, changes.
Your PMS May Feel More Intense
It is super common for PMS to feel more intense in the winter / fall. Your cramps may worsen during colder months due to your blood vessels constricting and the cold impacting your pain receptors. Additionally, the shift to colder months can leave many feeling discouraged and exhausted. Instead of enduring cramps and acne on a sunny rooftop patio you are suddenly experiencing them bundled up in your home. This may lead you to notice your PMS more and can leave you feeling kind of junky.
Solution > Make sure to continue doing the activities you love and take mental health breaks throughout the day and week. We also recommend using a heating pad and taking a hot shower, bath, or sauna to combat those cramps.
You May Experience Increased Moodiness
Moodiness is a super common premenstrual symptom and may get worse in colder months. This may be due to you getting less sun exposure in cooler months, which limits your body's ability to create Dopamine and Vitamin D. Both of which play a key role in your mood and pleasure.
Additionally, as the weather cools you may spend more time inside and less time being active, which can impact your menstrual cycle. As Dr. A. Nicky Hjort told Verily Magazine, "Women who exercise regularly and who have a higher level of fitness are less likely to suffer from a severe form of PMS...and are less likely to have heavy and irregular menstrual bleeding."
Solution > We recommend taking Vitamin D supplements and getting at least 30 minutes of movement in a day.
Your Cycle May Last Longer
If your cycle feels longer in the winter, that is likely because it is. One study published in 2011 found that sunshine can impact your period with being about 0.9 days shorter in the summer compared to the winter. This finding also applied to women living in warmer climates when compared to those in cooler climates.
Solution > Take care of yourself! Get your vitamins, spend time with people you love, enjoy a bubble bath, and do what you need to do to feel like you. Put differently...
So yes, the cold weather may impact your period, but have no fear there are some simple solutions to keep you feeling good. Now go grab your favorite sweater and get yourself a pumpkin cream cold brew.