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Causes of Fatigue: How to Fight Tiredness Before Your Period

Feeling tired at times is completely normal. If you feel constantly exhausted, however, this might be a symptom of chronic fatigue syndrome. In this article, we’ll go over some of the common causes of menstrual fatigue and what you can do to get your energy back.

There are many normal factors that affect your energy and alertness. Even occasional exhaustion is normal.

However, if your energy takes a dip around your period, you might be experiencing fatigue due to premenstrual syndrome (PMS).

You’re not alone. Many people experience extreme fatigue before their period and mistake it for depression, laziness, or social withdrawal. Don’t feel bad for feeling this way — you’re not alone!

PMS is a real condition that can be overwhelming at times. But there are ways to ease the fatigue.

The first thing you can do for yourself is to take some time away from life’s stressors and try to relax. Try not to feel guilty for not being active. By resting when your body needs it, you are doing a lot for your health and long-term productivity.

You don’t have to constantly be active, especially around your period. Taking some time to restore and relax can be just what your body needs to stop fatigue symptoms before or during your period. 

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There are a number of causes of fatigue that are not directly linked to your period. Fatigue may be related to:

  • Not sleeping enough (e.g., insomnia or jet lag)
  • Stress 
  • Depression
  • Unhealthy dietary habits (e.g., snacks, junk food, malnutrition, overeating, and excessive caffeine consumption)
  • Chronic disorders (e.g., diabetes, heart diseases, fibromyalgia, hypothyroidism, etc.)
  • Rigorous workouts or the absence of physical activity
  • Dehydration
  • Low iron
  • Some medication

Fatigue can often be explained by your routines and food habits. Eating a balanced diet helps keep your blood sugar at a normal level, which in turn keeps you active. 

To avoid feeling tired when your blood sugar drops, try to eat breakfast every day. To help battle fatigue, try to make sure that all of your meals have protein (e.g., meat, fish, beans, eggs, dairy, etc.) and complex carbs (e.g., green vegetables, whole grains, potatoes, corn, pumpkin, beans, lentils, and peas), and try to eat regular healthy snacks in between meals.

The three principles to a healthy diet are variety, moderation, and balance. They will help you avoid some of the common causes of extreme fatigue.

Try keeping a food diary and look for connections between what you eat and how energized/tired you feel.

If you are feeling fatigued, it could be due to dehydration. Usually, you feel thirsty later than your body senses dehydration, making it hard to catch up on your water intake. 

Try these tips to stay hydrated:

  • Drink water regularly
  • Drink at least two glasses of water an hour before and an hour after vigorous physical activity.
  • Sip water during your workout.

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a chronic disease that is not directly related to your menstrual cycle. Even still, CFS can often get worse at some times of your menstrual cycle. Another name for CFS is myalgic encephalomyelitis. 

The main symptom of CFS is constant fatigue and exhaustion that dramatically affect everyday life, don’t disappear with rest or sleep, and persist for more than six months. 

Medical researchers aren’t yet sure of the exact causes of CFS. Some of the current theories about what can lead to CFS include: 

  • A viral infection
  • Immune system problems
  • Stress
  • Hormonal changes
  • Possible genetic link

Chronic fatigue syndrome involves multiple symptoms. The primary symptoms are:

  • Lowered ability to do activities that were usual before illness
  • Worsening of symptoms after physical or mental activity (so-called post-exertional malaise)
  • Sleeping issues 
  • Memory loss or failure to concentrate
  • Worsening of symptoms while standing or sitting upright

If you have similar symptoms, track them over time. If they don’t go away after six months, make an appointment with your health care provider. They can help you find a way to ease and manage your fatigue.

Physical activity is a great energy boost for the body. Generally, the more active you are, the more energy you have.

Playing sports helps strengthen your health, get in good shape, and boost your energy and mood. Even if you seem to be very exhausted, try to find some time for exercise. It can recharge your energy and help you cope with the difficulties of everyday life. Plus, it can help you stay in a good mood.

Try to use every opportunity to be on the move. Walk when you are talking on the phone, or get up from your desk and walk whenever you can.

Live a healthy life, stay active, and enjoy the results!

“Iron.” NHS Choices, NHS, 3 Mar. 2017, www.nhs.uk/Conditions/vitamins-minerals/Pages/Iron.aspx.
Mayo Clinic Staff. “Fatigue Causes.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 11 Jan. 2018, www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/fatigue/basics/causes/sym-20050894.

Mayo Clinic Staff. “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 5 Jan. 2018, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/chronic-fatigue-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20360490.

“What Is ME/CFS?” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 12 July 2018, www.cdc.gov/me-cfs/about/index.html.

“Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS/ME).” NHS Choices, NHS, 16 May 2017, www.nhs.uk/conditions/chronic-fatigue-syndrome-cfs/.

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