Why Getting Your Period Is So Much Worse During A Heatwave

Photographed by Meg O'Donnell
As the temperature soars, you might wish you’d prayed a little less for sunshine, especially if your period coincides with the recent heatwave. Surviving your daily commute, staying zen at the office, and remaining active is no easy feat at the best of times, but combine it with sweltering temperatures and hormonal changes brought on by menstruation and you’ve got yourself the perfect storm.
Anecdotally, we know that the heat can make your period even harder to deal with — wearing sanitary pads becomes incredibly uncomfortable, hormonal acne increases, and bloating and water retention feels worse than usual. And you're also typically cranky AF.
Medically speaking, can a heatwave really make period symptoms worse? According to Tosin Sotubo, GP, founder of Mind Body Doctor, the answer isn’t as simple as yes or no.
"While heat itself won’t make your periods worse, it’s how the heat affects your lifestyle and stress levels that can have an impact on symptoms associated with your period," Dr. Sotubo says. "One major factor is stress: Our hormones regulate our period by altering the amount of estrogen and progesterone in the body." In times of high stress, an imbalance in hormones could worsen your period symptoms, she says. Add dehydration into the mix and the slight rise in body temperature that occurs around one's period, and you might feel like you’ve entered the gates of hell.
Read on to discover how to manage the six symptoms most affected by the heat.

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