Understanding PMS Body Aches: Coping with the Flu-Like Symptoms

Dinesh Patel
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Dr. Kaushal

Review medical content on WOW Rx Pharmacy, so that accurate drug use information is easily accessible to everybody.
Dr. Akansha is a licensed Clinical Pharmacologist. She possesses remarkable knowledge in Pharmacovigilance, prescription analysis, drug information, and drug safety services. Additionally, she is a keen learner and an educator.

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pms body aches

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is a condition experienced by individuals who menstruate

According to a 2021 study in NCBI 90% of women get Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) before their menstrual periods. 

While most people are familiar with PMS symptoms such as bloating, breast tenderness, and mood changes, some women also suffer from flu-like symptoms, including PMS body aches. 

The symptoms of period flu can include sore muscles, joint pain, headaches, nausea, dizziness, and more. 

While period flu is not a recognized medical diagnosis, it accurately describes symptoms around menstruation. 

This article delves into the causes and management of PMS body aches to help women cope with these challenging symptoms better.

Is PMS body aches realted to period-flu?

Period flu is a part of the Premenstrual Syndrome, with PMS body aches being among the symptoms associated with period flu.

The exact cause of PMS is not fully understood, but it is believed that hormonal fluctuations play a significant role in triggering these symptoms.

Throughout the menstrual cycle, hormonal changes are a natural part of preparing for menstruation. 

During the ovulation phase, Estrogen levels decrease while Progesterone levels rise.

The ovulation phase is a crucial stage in the menstrual cycle. It is when a mature egg (ovum) is released from one of the ovaries and becomes available for fertilization. The ovulation phase occurs approximately midway through the menstrual cycle.

These hormonal fluctuations are believed to be responsible for triggering premenstrual symptoms and period flu, including body aches.

PMS body aches refer to muscle and joint pain ranging from mild discomfort to more severe, flu-like sensations.

Typically, the pain arises in the days leading up to menstruation and tends to improve once the period begins.

Causes of body aches during PMS

The exact cause of body aches remains poorly understood. 

Several factors are believed to contribute to the development of these symptoms, including body aches. 

The key factors thought to be responsible for period flu and body aches during menstruation include:

Hormonal fluctuations

Hormonal changes have a significant impact in the menstrual cycle. 

During the luteal phase(before menstruation) of the cycle, Estrogen and Progesterone levels fluctuate as the body prepares for menstruation.

These hormonal changes can affect various systems in the body and may lead to flu-like symptoms, including body aches.


Prostaglandins are hormone-like substances produced in the uterine lining. 

They trigger uterine contractions to help shed the uterine lining during menstruation. 

Elevated levels of Prostaglandins can cause increased sensitivity to pain, leading to muscle and joint aches during the period.

Changes in Serotonin levels

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that impacts mood regulation and pain perception. 

Fluctuations in Serotonin levels during the menstrual cycle may influence the perception of pain and leads to body aches and fatigue.

Managing PMS body aches during period-flu

While the discomfort of PMS body aches can be challenging to manage, there are several strategies that individuals can employ to find relief during the period-flu:

Pain relief

Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as NSAIDs (e.g., ibuprofen), can reduce muscle and joint pain. 

These medications can also help alleviate other period flu symptoms like headaches and cramps.

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Heat therapy

Applying a heating pad can help relax tense muscles and relieve body aches. 

The warmth can increase blood flow and ease muscle and joint discomfort.

While heating pads can relieve PMS body aches, it is essential to use them cautiously and follow safety guidelines. Prolonged or excessive use of heating pads at high temperatures can lead to burns, skin irritation, and tissue damage.

Gentle exercise

Woman doing yogaSource: Los_Muertos_Crew_from_Pexels
Woman doing yoga

Engaging in low-impact exercises like walking, yoga, or swimming can promote blood circulation, alleviate muscle tension, and contribute to overall well-being. 

Exercise also triggers the release of endorphins, natural painkillers, and mood enhancers.

Hormonal birth control

For some people, hormonal birth control methods, such as oral contraceptives, patches, or hormonal intrauterine devices, can reduce the severity of PMS symptoms, including body aches. 

This approach may be considered for individuals with severe or disruptive PMS symptoms.

Dietary changes

A balanced and nutritious diet can have positive impact on PMS symptoms, including body aches. 

Consuming foods rich in calcium, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids may help alleviate discomfort.

Additionally, reducing the intake of caffeine, sugar, and processed foods can contribute to overall well-being.

Stress management

Stress can exacerbate PMS symptoms, so deep breathing or meditation can be beneficial

Managing stress can help with body aches and contribute to overall emotional well-being during the period flu.

Herbal remedies

Some individuals relieve PMS symptoms using herbal supplements like evening primrose oil or black cohosh. 

However, you consult a healthcare professional before trying new supplements, primarily if underlying health conditions or interactions with other medications exist.

Seeking professional advice

Consult a healthcare professionalSource: studioroman
Consult a healthcare professional

While most cases of PMS body aches can be managed with self-care measures, there are instances when seeking professional advice is warranted. 

If the pain becomes severe, persistent, or significantly impacts daily life, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional. 

They can thoroughly evaluate to rule out any underlying medical conditions and provide personalized treatment options.


PMS body aches, often experienced during period flu, can be distressing for menstruating individuals. 

They mostly happen leading up to the days of menstruation. 

While the exact cause of these symptoms is uncertain, hormonal fluctuations, Prostaglandins, Serotonin levels, and individual sensitivity are believed to play a role. 

However, managing PMS body aches is possible through various strategies, including pain relief, heat therapy, gentle exercise, dietary changes, stress management, and herbal remedies. 

For severe cases, seeking medical advice is recommended. 

With proper self-care and support, women can better cope with PMS body aches and improve their well-being during menstrual cycles.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my body hurt before my period?

Body aches before your period can be attributed to hormonal fluctuations and the release of certain chemicals. Before menstruation, Estrogen and Progesterone levels rise and fall, which can lead to inflammation and pain sensitivity changes.

Can PMS cause muscle and joint pain?

Yes, PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) can cause muscle and joint pain. PMS encompasses a range of physical and emotional symptoms experienced by individuals before their periods. The hormonal changes during this time can increase sensitivity to pain and inflammation, resulting in muscle and joint aches.

How long do period body aches last?

The duration of the period of body aches can vary from person to person. For most individuals, body aches typically begin a few days before menstruation and may last until the first few days of the period. The entire episode of period body aches usually lasts for about a week.

Can female hormones cause body aches?

Yes, female hormones, such as Estrogen and Progesterone, can cause body aches. These hormones fluctuate throughout the menstrual cycle, influencing various bodily processes, including inflammation, pain perception, and muscle contractions.

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