4 reasons why menstrual pain and PMS worsens in winter

Yup, it's true. Period pain and PMS gets worse in winter.

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Winter-eye-care Hindi

Winter is synonymous with cold, cough, viral infections, dry skin, sore throat, aggravated respiratory problems and a number of other health conditions. Winter can also be blamed for the extra discomfort we experience during periods. Dr Nupur Gupta, Gynaecologist and obstetrician, Well Woman Clinic, explains why period pain and PMS can get worse in winter.

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Dehydration: Usually in winter, we tend to drink less water. Abdominal pain during periods is caused due to pelvic congestion, which alters the blood flow, thereby exerting pressure as the blood passes through the blood vessels and the uterus to the vagina. If you drink less water, it further reduces the blood flow, thereby worsening the pain.

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Eating more junk food: Winter is a season of festivities and parties. Plus, we tend to eat more during winters because our body requires more fuel to run. We can all agree that we also tend to eat a lot more junk food in this season. Restaurant food and packaged food contains more salt, oil, spices and preservatives all of which increase bloating, making the period pain even worse.

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Gloomy weather: When you’re PMSing, there is a sudden drop in the hormones oestrogen and progesterone. This affects how you feel and interferes with the production of serotonin — an essential chemical in your brain. The lack of serotonin in your brain has been associated with depression, irritability and cravings — all of which lead to the mood swings. Less sunlight and the gloomy weather further reduces serotonin levels.

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Physical Activity

Less physical activity: When you exercise, your body releases a hormone called endorphin which helps reduce stress, cramps, headaches and menstrual pain. When you’re not physically active, your digestive system becomes sluggish. Exercising can help beat both bloating and constipation which are common during PMS and periods.