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Experiencing dizziness before your period isn’t uncommon. There are many possible causes, most of which are related to hormonal changes.

Other health conditions, such as anemia, low blood pressure, and even pregnancy, can cause dizziness. In some cases, the dizziness may not be related to your period at all.

In this article, we’ll discuss common causes of dizziness before your period, as well as treatments, prevention, and when to visit your doctor.

Dizziness before your period may be a sign of pregnancy. Prepregnancy dizziness is due to changes in the vascular system that cause shifts in your blood volume. A lowered blood volume can cause your blood pressure to drop, which may cause you to feel dizzy and light-headed.

Dizziness due to pregnancy often accompanies other symptoms of early pregnancy, such as nausea and vomiting. If you’re not experiencing other symptoms, your dizziness is likely due to other hormonal changes.

You can take a pregnancy test on the first day of your missed period to help determine whether you’re pregnant or not.

1. PMS

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a common condition that occurs roughly five (or more) days before a period. It’s believed that the symptoms of PMS are due to hormones.

While there are very few studies on dizziness and PMS, research has shown that lightheadedness due to variations in estrogen levels is a common PMS symptom.

2. PMDD

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a much more severe version of PMS. People with PMDD experience disruptive daily symptoms that may require psychological and medical treatment.

The vascular changes that occur prior to your period can lead to dizziness, which may feel worsened when you have PMDD.

3. Dysmenorrhea

Dysmenorrhea is a condition characterized by painful periods.

One study of over 250 college students examined the common symptoms of dysmenorrhea. Dizziness was the second most common symptom, with 48 percent of the students reporting dizziness due to their period.

4. Pregnancy

In the early stages of pregnancy, estrogen and progesterone levels increase dramatically. This shift in hormones causes blood vessels to relax and open, leading to a decrease in blood pressure. Blood pressure shifts such as this can cause dizziness, lightheadedness, and other vascular symptoms.

5. Anemia

Iron-deficiency anemia in people of childbearing age is commonly due to blood loss during periods. With this type of anemia, low iron leads to a decrease in red blood cell production, which causes low oxygen circulation.

If you have particularly heavy periods, the dizziness you experience may be due to iron-deficiency anemia.

6. Low blood pressure

Low blood pressure can lead to the sensation of lightheadedness or dizziness. Many of the sex hormones in the human body have a regulatory effect on blood pressure.

While testosterone raises blood pressure, estrogen has been shown to decrease it. Estrogen levels are higher during the week before your period, which can lower your blood pressure and cause dizziness.

7. Low blood sugar

Estrogen influences not only blood pressure levels, but also blood sugar levels. Low blood sugar can lead to many symptoms, including dizziness.

Blood sugar variations during menopause are commonly caused by changes in estrogen levels. Similar fluctuations in estrogen during the menstrual cycle may cause changes in blood sugar levels.

8. Period-related migraine

Migraine is a neurological condition characterized by extremely painful headache attacks and other symptoms, such as dizziness, nausea, or vomiting. Many things have been identified as migraine triggers, including hormonal changes.

Hormonal changes before your period may cause a menstrual migraine. Menstrual migraine may happen for various reasons, including an increase in inflammatory prostaglandins and serotonin imbalance.

9. Medications

Dizziness can also be a side effect of certain medications. According to research, roughly 20 to 30 percent of people experience dizziness as a side effect of medication use.

Medications that cause dizziness and vertigo include antibiotics, diuretics, anti-inflammatories, and more. If you take these types of medications, you may be more sensitive to dizziness before your period.

10. Other health conditions

There are other health conditions not related to your period that may cause dizziness. Those include:

When these conditions flare up before your period, you may be tempted to write them off as period symptoms.

Other symptoms that might accompany dizziness before your period depend on the cause.

For PMS, PMDD, and dysmenorrhea, those symptoms may include mood swings, insomnia, GI discomfort, and more. If you’re pregnant, early symptoms of pregnancy might also include increased urination, fatigue, and morning sickness.

Low blood sugar and low blood pressure may be accompanied by more serious symptoms, such as sweating, shaking, and even loss of consciousness. These symptoms are dangerous and require immediate medical attention.

Migraine attacks can also have similar neurological symptoms. However, these symptoms tend to pass once the attack is over.

The primary reason for dizziness before your period is due to hormonal changes. Estrogen rises twice during the menstrual cycle — once during the follicular phase and once during the luteal phase. Since one rise in estrogen occurs directly before menstruation, this tends to be the time when you experience dizziness.

However, you might also experience dizziness from hormonal changes right before ovulation. This is when both estrogen and progesterone are the highest, which can have an influence on your symptoms.

If dizziness before your period is caused by hormonal changes, you may be able to ease your symptoms through lifestyle changes, such as:

As for the other causes of dizziness before your period:

  • Iron-deficiency anemia. This can be diagnosed with blood tests. After your diagnosis, your doctor may put you on an iron supplement and offer dietary recommendations to increase your iron intake.
  • Low blood pressure. If this occurs before your period, there are a few modifications you can make to help. Keep hydrated, stand up slowly, and keep note of any other developing symptoms.
  • Low blood sugar. Low blood sugar before your period is most likely a temporary symptom of hormonal changes. Eating regular, balanced meals and keeping a snack on hand can help to regulate levels.
  • Migraine. Making lifestyle changes to avoid your triggers is the most important step in treatment. If these aren’t enough, consider reaching out to your doctor for medications that can help.

For health conditions and other medications that cause dizziness, it’s important to visit your doctor for diagnosis, treatment, and adjustments to your medications, if necessary.

Certain habits may affect your hormone levels, which can place you more at risk for dizziness before your period. These include:

  • chronic stress
  • being overweight
  • an imbalanced diet
  • certain medications
  • environmental factors, such as toxins

Some medical conditions can also cause an imbalance in your hormones, which may predispose you to dizziness before your period. The Endocrine Society has a full list of genetic conditions that may impact the important hormones in your body.

While some dizziness before your period may be a normal symptom of PMS, be aware of your other symptoms. If PMS, PMDD, or dysmenorrhea symptoms and pain are impacting your daily life, certain medications can help.

Generally, if your dizziness is accompanied by more serious symptoms, a visit with your doctor can make sure that there’s nothing else going on.

Dizziness before your period is often caused by the hormonal changes of the menstrual cycle. PMS, PMDD, and dysmenorrhea are the most common causes. Other conditions that cause dizziness, such as low blood pressure, can also be caused by hormonal changes from your period.

Lifestyle changes can help to alleviate many of the symptoms of these conditions. However, if you’re experiencing other concerning symptoms or if dizziness is affecting your daily life, visit a doctor for an official diagnosis and treatment.