Causes of Nausea Before Menstrual Period

Nausea before a period could be caused by many factors, including premenstrual syndrome (PMS), pregnancy, and cramps. It could indicate an underlying condition such as endometriosis, if symptoms are severe.

READ ALSO: Eight Possible Causes of a Late or Missed Menstrual Period

However, the main cause of nausea before a period is PMS. About 20 to 50 percent of women experience PMS in the 7 to 10 days prior to their period.

Nausea before a Period: Is it Normal?

Nausea before a period is common. Feeling nauseated before a period may be a regular symptom for some people. However, a sudden change in PMS symptoms can indicate a causal medical problem that needs to be diagnosed.

A woman should see a doctor if she experiences:

  • unusual symptom for the first time before a period
  • severe vomiting
  • losing weight due to frequent vomiting
  • feeling dehydrated
  • experiencing vomiting that worsens over several days


Nausea before a period is often caused by PMS. However, there are some other possible causes. Causes for nausea before a period include:

  1. Premenstural syndrome (PMS)

PMS is a very common cause of nausea before a period. A person may experiences other symptoms of PMS, including diarrhea, headache, dizziness, fatigue, and muscle aches. Researchers are still uncertain as to why some people experience PMS and others do not.

READ ALSO: How to Get Pregnant Fast with Irregular Periods

Possible explanations for PMS include:

  • Serotonin levels. Serotoninis a brain chemical associated with mood. Serotonin levels are lower before period starts. Low serotonin can cause depression, anxiety, and other symptoms.
  • Nutritional deficiencies. Insufficient intake of calcium or magnesium may worsen PMS.

Endocrine disorders. The endocrine system is responsible for regulating levels of hormone. Problems with it due to polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), diabetes, thyroid disease, or other diseases may worsen PMS.

  • Hormonal shifts. Estrogenand progesterone upsurge after ovulation because these hormones play vital roles in pregnancy. When a period begins, estrogen and progesterone levels fall. Women with PMS usually experience nausea either right before a period or right after it begins.
  • Genetics. Doctors have not identified specific genes linked to PMS, but it tends to run in families.
  1. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder

Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) is a severe form of PMS. People with PMDD also have severe mood swings and may have depression and anxiety.

  1. Endometriosis

Endometriosis occurs when tissue similar to the tissue that lines the uterus grows outside of it, sticking to other organs, such as the ovaries and Fallopian tubes.

Some women with endometriosis show no symptoms. However, endometriosis can be exceedingly painful for others, causing intense pain and heavy bleeding during a period and even throughout the month. Endometriosis is one of the leading cause of female infertility.

  1. Pregnancy

Nausea and vomiting are among the earliest signs of pregnancy. These symptoms may appear even before a woman misses her period.

Shortly after a fertilized egg implants itself in the uterus, a woman’s body begins producing human chorionic gonadotropin hormone (HCG). This hormone may play a role in morning sickness.

Illness or infection

People experiencing nausea before their period for the first time, especially if it is severe or accompanied by vomiting or severe stomach pain, may have an unconnected illness or infection.


Anyone experiencing frequent nausea before their period should see a doctor about possible underlying causes. The treatment they recommend will depend on what is responsible for nausea.

Some strategies that may help reduce mild nausea include:

  • taking anti-nausea medication, such as Gravol or Pepto-Bismol
  • limiting consumption of food that contains diary which might trigger nausea near a period

If nausea before a period is caused by an underlying medical condition, a doctor may recommend:

  • Birth controlpills, which can help regulate hormones and are sometimes prescribed for endometriosis, PMDD, and PMS
  • surgery to remove endometrial tissue that is outside of the uterus
  • Antidepressants, particularly selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which can help regulate serotonin levels and reduce symptoms of PMDD and PMS.


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