Why Do I Get Dizzy On My Period?


Periods, for many people, often come with several symptoms. Some of these symptoms, like pain and lightheadedness, can make being on your period uncomfortable and inconvenient. One of the symptoms some people experience during their period is dizziness. If you are one of these people who experience dizziness while on your period, read on to find out what could potentially be causing that feeling. 

Why do I get dizzy on my period?

It is important to establish whether the dizziness you feel is a symptom of your period or merely coincidental that the onset of your dizziness coincided with the start of your period. One way to establish if your dizziness is one of the symptoms that come with your period is by keeping a period diary. In this diary, you can track all the symptoms you have when your period comes. Look out for any patterns, such as only feeling lightheaded when your period comes about.  

There are several possible causes for feeling dizzy during your period. We will explore each of these possible causes.


According to Mayo Clinic, Anaemia is a condition that occurs when an individual does not have enough red blood cells to carry sufficient oxygen around their body. The most common type of anaemia is iron-deficiency anaemia.

Anaemia is a common condition that some women on their period may face due to the loss of blood. It will most likely affect those with heavy flows. Anaemia results in the body not receiving enough oxygen. According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, this may result in the feeling of dizziness, as well as other symptoms. 


If you experience dizziness when you stand up after lying down while on your period, you may be experiencing what is known as orthostatic hypotension or postural hypotension. When standing up after sitting or lying down for prolonged periods of time, there may be a sudden drop in blood pressure which can cause low blood pressure and lead to faintness or dizziness. The dizziness usually occurs within 3 minutes of standing up and is classified as orthostatic hypotension.1 

It is crucial to determine whether you experience dizziness upon standing only during your period or if you experience it outside your period as well. This is because orthostatic hypotension may be an indicator of a more serious underlying condition.2 However, if you only experience it during your period, it may be due to a lower blood volume caused by the blood loss during menstruation. 


Pain is usually the main symptom associated with periods.3 The shedding of the uterine lining, which occurs monthly, is brought about by contractions of the womb. Some people do not feel these contractions at all, while others may experience mild to severe cramps.4 Depending on an individual's pain tolerance, the pain may cause you to feel dizzy and/ or lightheaded. If you experience heavy periods, you may experience more intense pain. 

Hormonal changes during your period can also contribute to your vertigo or dizziness. While on your period, you may have excess prostaglandins (a hormone) circulating in your body, which may result in increased pain. 


During your period, losing a significant amount of blood may affect the water levels in your body. It is therefore possible to become dehydrated while on your period, causing dizziness. 

Other symptoms and conditions

Other symptoms you might experience on your period aside from dizziness include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue or feeling tired
  • Weakness 
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • General discomfort
  • Lightheadedness

Management and treatment

The course of management and treatment depends on the underlying cause of your dizziness.


Iron-deficiency anaemia caused by blood loss during your period can be managed by increasing your dietary intake of iron. Including iron-rich foods in your diet can serve both as a treatment and preventative measure to iron-deficient anaemia. To avoid getting iron-deficient anaemia during your next period, ensure that you are including enough iron in your diet.

Some good dietary sources of iron include:5

  • Legumes
  • Barley
  • Wheat
  • Fish 
  • Seafood
  • Cooked spinach
  • Cooked lentils
  • Nuts and seeds 
  • Pork liver 
  • Chicken liver 

Iron supplements are also effective in increasing your iron levels and treating iron-deficiency anaemia.5
Consult with a healthcare professional to determine the right dose for your needs. 


If you experience dizziness when you stand after sitting or lying down, consider standing up slowly. Take your time and let your body gradually adjust to your new position to avoid the sudden decrease in blood pressure. 


Over-the-counter painkillers are usually effective in relieving period pain. If pain is the cause of your dizziness, then once the pain subsides so will the dizziness. 

The birth control pill can also be effective in decreasing your period pain as it restricts the production of prostaglandins.4 Be sure to check the label of your birth control pills to familiarise yourself with the possible side effects. 

Other advice on how to relieve period pain includes exercising and applying heat (e.g heat packs) to your lower abdomen or back, or where you are experiencing pain.


Dehydration can cause your blood pressure to drop and result in dizziness. Ensure that you stay hydrated throughout the day, especially during your period when you are losing blood and your blood pressure is already at risk of dropping. 

Blood sugar

As previously mentioned, your dizziness may not necessarily be a symptom of your period, and the timing may be completely coincidental. In instances like this, other factors may be the cause of your dizziness such as low blood sugar levels. 

Low blood sugar levels can cause dizziness or lightheadedness. To avoid this, ensure you are eating a minimum of three meals a day, including snacks when necessary. Avoid sugary foods as this will cause your blood sugar levels to spike before dropping, putting you right back to square one with low blood sugar. 

When to see a doctor

Most episodes of dizziness don’t usually last long. If you find that your dizzy spells are persistent and frequent, then that is a sign to contact a healthcare professional. This puts you one step closer to finding the cause of the dizziness and will allow you to receive the appropriate treatment.

If you find that your dizziness is getting worse (i.e you feel more off-balance or lightheaded than usual), that is also a sign to contact your healthcare professional. Another sign to contact your doctor is if you have tried the above management and treatment options stated in this article and the dizziness still persists. 


Dizziness during your period could have several causes including anaemia, dehydration and pain. Luckily, there are several management and treatment options you could try, depending on the cause to get rid of that sensation. Be sure to verify that the dizziness has no other cause that is not period-related. Contact a healthcare professional if symptoms get worse or if you are in doubt. 


  1. Ringer M, Lappin SL. Orthostatic Hypotension [Internet]. PubMed. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK448192/
  2. FIGUEROA JJ, BASFORD JR, LOW PA. Preventing and treating orthostatic hypotension: As easy as A, B, C. Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine [Internet]. 2010 May 1;77(5):298–306. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2888469/
  3. Fernández-Martínez E, Onieva-Zafra MD, Abreu-Sánchez A, Fernández-Muñóz JJ, Parra-Fernández ML. Absenteeism during Menstruation among Nursing Students in Spain. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2019 Dec 19;17(1):53.
  4. Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG). Period pain: Overview [Internet]. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG); 2019. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279324/
  5. García López S, Rubio A, Poza V, Bermejo, García López S. Optimal management of iron deficiency anemia due to poor dietary intake. International Journal of General Medicine. 2011 Oct;741.
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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