Fever and Menstrual Cycle

Every month, we are faced with a number of symptoms and side effects that result from our menstrual cycles. During this time, our bodies are preparing for pregnancy, and when our body is not pregnant, it results in a period and its accompanying side effects. Common signs and symptoms associated with our period cycles include fatigue, bloating, mood swings, menstrual cramps, headaches, and muscle aches.

Because of the tendency for our bodies to feel more stressed than usual during this time, it can be easy to take fever symptoms as a normal side effect. Even though women sometimes experience cold and flu-like symptoms, fever is usually not a common side effect to have, and most likely indicates a more serious issue.

Fevers are not common during the period cycle, and can indicate a medical condition or infection going on at the time of menstruation.

What constitutes a fever?

Symptoms of your fever will typically depend on the underlying cause, but most commonly occur alongside excessive sweating, chills, and headaches and may include additional body aches, muscle aches, weakness, fatigue, cough, sore throat, rash, and sinus congestion. Any measure of body temperature that occurs above the normal measurement of 98.6 Fahrenheit is considered a fever, although a fever does not become medically dangerous until it reaches above 100.4 F.

Can your period cause a fever?

Most likely, the cause of a fever during your menstrual cycle is the result of an underlying condition. These conditions can have an effect on or result from menstruation, but it is not common that fevers are a direct side effect of menstrual symptoms. In fact, fevers can serve as a good indicator that there is an underlying condition going on. Here are a few medical conditions that women may have if they experience a fever during their menstrual cycle:

Toxic Shock Syndrome: While not common, Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) can be a life-threatening infection caused by the use of high absorbent tampons. A lot of the symptoms of TSS mimic fever-like side effects, and is often accompanied by a sudden elevated body temperature. Other symptoms include confusion, headaches, low blood pressure, muscle aches, rashes, redness, seizures, and vomiting or diarrhea. If you experience these symptoms after use of tampons, it is important to seek immediate medical attention. While TSS is rare, it is a serious health condition and requires medical attention.

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID): Another bacterial infection of the reproductive organs, PID can be caused by sexually transmitted bacteria or the insertion of intrauterine devices. Although symptoms are not always noticeable, a fever is usually one of the symptoms that do occur, if any. For severe cases of PID infections, fevers may elevate to higher than 101 degrees F.

Endometriosis: Endometriosis is another reproductive condition that occurs when the uterus lining grows on the outside of the uterus. A low-grade fever can sometimes be present during a part of the menstrual cycle if you have endometriosis.

If you experience a simple low-grade fever without any other persistent symptoms that align with these conditions, you may just be feeling the effects of the flu or a cold. If the fever persists, elevates or is consistent with your menstrual cycle, you should consult with a doctor.

Can a fever affect the menstrual cycle?

While a fever can be present during the menstrual cycle in addition to other symptoms, the actual fever itself will normally have no effect on the cycle. Fevers may result as the product of an underlying condition caused by the reproductive cycle, or can be caused by an overt condition affecting your body in conjunction with your cycle.

If the fever is due to an illness on top of your menstrual cycle, the added physical stress on your body can certainly cause a delay or irregularity in your period.

If you’re experiencing a fever during your menstrual cycle, it could be due to a preexisting illness, such as the flu or a cold. If the fever seems to be brought on during this time of your cycle specifically, then it could be the result of an underlying condition, or even an infection taking place in the reproductive organs.

Although some women experience fevers during their menstrual cycle, it is not typically associated with the menstrual cycle as a symptom. If your fever is accompanied by menstruation that stops for three months or longer, or you have longer or shorter menstrual cycles, severe abdominal pain, excessive menstrual bleeding, bleeding between periods, or vomiting and weakness, then it is pertinent to seek medical care immediately. You should see your healthcare provider if you encounter a fever of 101 or higher while on your period.

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