For many people, cramps and bloating are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to side effects. It turns out your monthly cycle can deliver all kinds of changes to your body ― some of which you may not even know are occurring.
Here are just a handful of ways your period can affect other parts of your body:
1. Your voice changes
A recent study found that women who aren’t using some form of hormonal contraception may experience some slight fluctuations in their voice, with the tone shifting slightly lower. This is likely due to changes in sex hormones that naturally occur around the time of a woman’s period. But it’s nothing to fret over.
“Probably some women, like professional singers, notice that their ability to reach high notes, for example, is different in different cycle points, and these changes are normal,” study author Irena Pavela Banai of the University of Zadar told PsyPost.
2. Your mouth or jaw can hurt
Experts say the hormonal changes that occur in the body right around your cycle may lead to issues like gum inflammation or sensitive teeth.
This may even extend to your jaw. Although there’s little research on the subject, women with temporomandibular joint pain (TMJ) have anecdotally said that it gets exacerbated on their period. Women who take birth control pills may also be more likely to experience TMJ, according to Cleveland Clinic. That’s because the contraception method decreases the level of natural estrogen the body produces, and lower amounts of the hormone is associated with the jaw issue.
3. Your pain tolerance plummets
Ever wonder why those cramps just feel impossible to handle or you just feel extra sensitive to headaches or migraines? Blame your cycle. Experts say the time of the month can make you more susceptible to pain. This is especially true for the majority of migraine sufferers, who say they notice an increase in the head-splitting issue around the time of their period, Health reported.
4. You may have some poop problems
It’s probably no secret to you that your bathroom habits go into overdrive when you’re on your period. That’s because the chemicals your body needs to contract and shed the lining in your uterus may lead to similar contractions in your bowels. Not only that, the constipating hormone progesterone dips in your body during your cycle, making it easier to go.
5. You might be a little clumsier
If you’re not the picture of grace during your period, don’t sweat it. Your cycle can make you a tiny bit more accident prone, according to doctors. This could be due to increased fatigue, as well as fluid retention that could possibly affect your brain (which, in turn, can affect your balance).
6. Your sleep gets disrupted
Quality rest can also elude you when you’re menstruating. This could be due to a number of things, like cramps, headaches, nausea and excess mood issues that normally come with your period. Data from the National Sleep Foundation found that 23 percent of women say they experience disrupted sleep the week before their period and 30 percent report losing Zs during their period.