If I forget to track my menstrual cycle on my period-tracking app, there are two symptoms that always let me know that my flow is about to begin: night sweats or hot flashes. For the longest time I thought it was just a coincidence, but throughout the years, I’ve heard so many of my friends complain of feeling hot or sweating more than usual before their periods.
As it turns out, there are actually hormonal changes going on within the body during the menstrual cycle that could be responsible for the perspiration.
“It is well known that the end of the menstrual cycle is associated with significant changes in hormones,” Marco Mouannes, MD, an ob-gyn and fertility expert at the Rejuvenating Fertility Center, explains.
“This hormonal imbalance directly affects the hypothalamus, the part of the brain responsible for the regulation of the internal core temperature. Therefore, some women might experience night sweats, hot flashes, and excessive sweating right before they get their periods.”
Just like bloating and headaches, the three symptoms above could be signals of PMS. Dr. Mouannes says that excessive sweating and hot flashes before your period aren’t typically a cause for concern. That said, both of these symptoms are associated with other medical issues.
Dr. Mouannes says that persistent sweating outside your period, fever, chill, abdominal pain, vaginal discharge, and weight change are all signs that should prompt a discussion with your doctor. Be sure to listen to your body and reach out to your doctor with any questions or worries.