How does your menstrual cycle influence your blood pressure?

Last reviewed:
28 Feb 2023,

Medically reviewed by:

How does your menstrual cycle influence your blood pressure?

Is there a significant link between blood pressure fluctuations and the menstrual cycle, often referred to as a woman’s period.

Hormone fluctuations and the female menstrual cycle

The menstrual cycle is a normal part of a woman’s reproductive system. The fluctuation of hormones that underlie the cycle may affect other parameters such as blood glucose or blood pressure, in addition to the commonly known effects of menstruation. In this article, we discuss the relationship of blood pressure to the menstrual cycle.

Normally, in the first half of the cycle (approx. days 0–14, w, blood pressure is lower than at the onset of menstruation.

During the second half of the cycle (approx. days 14–28), the uterine lining is formed. At the end of this phase, if the egg is not fertilized, it will be excreted with the menstrual blood.

Blood pressure and body temperature may be slightly elevated as compared to the first half of the cycle (on average 1-2 mm Hg).

Other external factors, such as water retention, obesity, stress, along with alcohol, caffeine, salt, and nicotine consumption can undoubtedly exacerbate these natural fluctuations in blood pressure.

PMS (premenstrual syndrome) symptoms may occur, especially in the week before your period; the immune system is still more vulnerable at this time. The metabolic rate is increased and often causes food cravings. Some blood sugar fluctuations may occur which could be due to the hormone progesterone.

Therefore, try to live as a healthy lifestyle as possible in all the phases of your cycle.

What exactly is PMS (premenstrual syndrome)?

Many women suffer to varying degrees from premenstrual syndrome. Symptoms may include:

  • Exhaustion
  • Acne
  • Palpitations
  • Hunger cravings or no appetite
  • Headaches/migraines
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Back pain
  • Nausea
  • Sleeping problems
  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Digestive problems
  • Forgetfulness
  • Water retention (e.g., in the legs, chest, hands, or feet)

Is PMS a warning sign of developing high blood pressure when you are older?

A long-term study by the University of Massachusetts published in 2015 found that participants who had moderate to severe PMS symptoms before their period had a 40 percent higher risk of developing high blood pressure (hypertension) in the future.

Interestingly, study participants who took vitamin B supplements such as thiamine and riboflavin were at no increased risk.

Researchers therefore advised those affected to take sufficient vitamin B supplements and to regularly measure their blood pressure. It is useful to have a professional measuring device like Aktiia, which can be used at home and provide many measurements over a longer time period. You can learn more about Aktiia here.

The following home remedies can help with hormone, blood pressure, and blood sugar fluctuations:

  • Sufficient sleep
  • Regular exercise and meditation to relieve stress
  • Avoidance of alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine
  • A diet rich in vitamins and low in sugar
  • Eating good fats, especially omega 3 oils
  • Eating complex carbohydrates

Is your blood pressure lower or higher during your period?

As discussed above, there is a natural and usually mild variation of blood pressure throughout the menstrual cycle. Sometimes, chronic iron deficiency or vitamin B12 deficiency, which can happen over time even with relatively normal blood loss, can in turn lead to dizziness, weakness, and lower blood pressure.

Is it normal to experience relatively low blood pressure? If your blood pressure is higher or abnormally low, it is advisable to see a doctor to discuss further steps.

If you suffer from very heavy menstrual bleeding, you may also take additional precautions, such as iron tablets, after consulting with a doctor.

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Short summary

There is indeed a connection between the menstrual cycle and blood pressure. Understanding your blood pressure patterns and fluctuations requires routine monitoring and is advisable if you want to take more control of your health.

Disclaimer: Always talk to your primary care physician or gynaecologist first if you have any questions, experience symptoms, as well as before using any home remedies. This article does not replace specialist medical advice or blood pressure measurements. It contains general information and should not be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. We assume no liability for the correctness of the information and advice provided nor for any typos or omissions in the text of this article.


Impact of PMS on Subsequent Hypertension, November 25, 2015 –

Menstrual Tension Syndrome and Pre-menstrual Dysphoric Disorder, June 7, 2018 –

Premenstrual Syndrome, October 7, 2021 –

Heavy Menstrual Bleeding, May 5, 2021 –

Blood Pressure Fluctuations: What is the Cause?, December 15, 2021 –

The 10 Best Iron Suppliers, September 9, 2020 –

Premenstrual Syndrome and Subsequent Risk of Hypertension, December 15, 2015 –

Does My Cycle Affect Heart Function, Blood pressure and Pulse?, September 13, 2021 –

Hormone Imbalance Can Cause High Blood Pressure, January 9, 2020 –

Causes of Low Blood Pressure, 2020 –

8 Causes of High Blood Pressure in women, December 29, 2022 –

Medically Reviewed

dr jay shah photo

Renowned cardiologist, physician leader, and angel investor.

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