Multiple Sclerosis Community
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228463 tn?1216765121

Symptoms and Menstrual Cycle

I was wondering if any of the women on this site have noticed their symptoms get worse right before they start their period?  I had this happen the last two months and am going to see neuro tomorrow but would like to hear any relateable stories.

About a 4-5 days before I am supposed to start my cycle my temp. goes up to 99.4F and it makes all the symptoms I have like shaking, tremors, weakness, fatigue, mental fogginess get worse.  Last month I felt like I was gonna jump out of my skin, I can feel my pants on my legs and it bothers me, also any touching feels almost painful, like my nerves are all excited and uncomfortable.  I tried a Medrol dose pack last month and it did help by day 4 or so but don't want to ask for that again.  I have also tried ibuprofen with no relief.

Any comments or similarities please speak up!

Thanks for your help!
15 Responses
Avatar universal
I have never had bad periods. The one I had recently was like not there. Didn't last long and had no warning of it. I usually get cramps few days to a week before I start. So was surprised. I find that my periods come when they want to. I use to be able to know about when they'd come, but as I've gotten older they've changed.  Karina
147426 tn?1317269232
Hi, we haven't talked for a while either.  I'm glad your neuro visit is ?? tomorrow.  In the context of MS (you know I always say that)  MS is very sensitive to hormones!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  See?  I have that button, too!

Many women complain that their MS symptoms, fatigue, weakness, pain, whatever are much worse jsut before and at their menses.  It turns out the MS is very responsive to ESTROGEN.  MS symptoms sometimes subside completely during pregnancy when the estrogen levels are highest and then return when the BIG E subsides after birth. The immune system also plays a role here.  In your menstrual cycle the estrogen hits rock bottom 4 to 5 days before your period.  

In fact, the link seemed so promising that a few years back there were come clinical trials to see of adding in estrogen might actually help treat MS.  I think they found it didn't really.  But, the hormonal connection is very definitely there.

You're right about the rise in body temp also triggering the symptoms.  It's basic heat intolerance.  I do not know the answer to this, but I can look it up.  Cycling your periods with BCP's used for the medical indication might regulate both the temp and the hormones.  

You don't have a diagnosis yet do you?  Did you ever get the MRI of the Brain with Contrast? (not to mention of the spine)  You are a walking, talking encyclopedia of MSish symptoms.  I wish I could remember all this - uh....Energizer Bunny Syndrome?

I would recommend (you're not trying to get pregnant are you?)  for now, cool the house, make some cooling garments.(at, vest, neck wrap)  Cool off a couple times a day in a cool/cold shower.  Talk to the neuro about this

Avatar universal
I too have the symptoms I experience become so much worse about a week before I get my period.  Funny, cause now that they took me off NuvaRing, I don't know when I get my period, except by the exacerbations in my symptoms (my period is no longer regular).

I spoke to both, a gynocologist and my neurologist about this.  I got very similar answers, except when it came to the hormones.  My nuerologist said that the doestrogen (something like that, the ingredient in NuvaRing) was actually exacerbating my symptoms, and took me off birth control entirely.  My gynocologist had said that a hormone is released during your period that causes inflammation throughout your system, and that could potentially be an issue with me (he was not specific to MS).  The gyn also said that I should ask about recommended treatment from an MS specialist about extreme abdominal cramping worsening with my periods, since this was not his expertise (the MS), and he wants to work with a specialist to find out how he should properly address this problem, but my appointment isn't until August 21st, so no answers yet.  I haven't been diagnosed with MS, or anything for that matter, but hope what I did find out gives you some relief in knowing you're not alone.
Avatar universal
Sorry I mispelled your name!
Avatar universal
It is so strange that you should bring this up. I was thinking about posting the exact same question. I have noticed that the Sx I experience get worse about a week before my period. I also am wondering if MS can mess with the cycle? I used to be exactly every 28 days like clock work, year after year after year (from the time I started at age 14)!!! About two years ago I began to have two periods every month about every 24 days. I asked the GYN about this, and he had no real answers and said it was not concerning to him. I asked him if it could be early menapause signs I am 41 and this began when I was 39 he did not think so, he said I could go to some specialist if it really bothered me but that it did not concern him. Needless to say I did not go to the specialist and told myself I was making too much of it, even though it does bother me. It seems to me that when someone is sooooo regular for all their life and then this, there should be some reason, however, when the docs don't seem to think it is anything to worry about, I retreat and deal as best I can. The last several cycles have been anwhere from every 24 to more recently every 31 days. This last cycle was 31 days and my fatigue, weakness, balance, muscle burning and cognitive difficulties were worse prior to.

Thanks for posting the question and I look forward to any comments on thoughts about my irregularity. Time to go to bed now, my head is literally spinning and I have to keep retyping everthing due to wrong letters. Goodnight all.

Avatar universal
I am only 26 years old and just had a child in November.  I have been having problems with ob/gyns taking me seriously, because I had a horrible labor and delivery.  This ob/gyn is the first compassionate guy I've seen in this field.  He did all he could to help with my abdominal pain when I go to the bathroom, and about the menstruel cycle questions I have, and now said it's up to the neurological specialists, but he wants to be in the loop and work with them on treatment. (A response I liked, it was honest.)

I just started to notice irregular periods too, but noticed after my last visit with him.  He said to talk to an MS specialist and address this issue with my neurologist, since he believes it to be more a neurological problem than an obstetric or gynocological problem.  He told me to go the neurologist with specific time frames and a symptom scale for at least a month and a half (be sure it covered two periods and at least one ovulation).  I'm waiting for the second period before I might be able to get some answers.
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