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"Why do I always get a cold when I'm having my period?"

ZocdocAnswersWhy do I always get a cold when I'm having my period?


Hello, I'm 28 years old - Hispanic female. I notice that every time I'm within a week of getting my period, I start to come down with cold symptoms. Sore throat, stuffy nose, and general feeling of tiredness and heaviness in my chest. Is this related to my hormones changing? Is there something I can do about it? I take vitamins regularly, a multivitamin plus extra Vitamin C, and fish oil. I eat well and am active. I don't see why I get sick so often...just about once a month!


I am sorry to hear that you have to suffer with cold symptoms as well as your period and everything that goes with that. As you know, hormones are at the heart of the menstrual cycle, and hormones also affect almost everything else in your body. Because of this, many women (as many as 30%) will have some premenstrual syndrome (PMS) symptoms. While we don't generally think of a stuffy nose as one of the more common symptoms, there are more than 100 complaints that have been documented to be associated with the menstrual cycle. Additionally, the remainder of your question does sound very classic for the condition (although there are other questions your physician will want to ask you). The key is that they are regular (that they occur consistently in the same phase of your cycle), that it is a significant problem that affects your life, and that there is no other cause. While it would be impossible to say for certain that you have PMS without speaking with you more and doing a physical exam, it is certainly possible given your question and the brief history you provide. Other problems or issues will need to be excluded, but if you are ultimately diagnosed with PMS, feel confident that there is medical help available that is very effective at treating your symptoms. Please see your physician to discuss your concerns with him or her.

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