The condition of fibromyalgia- or fibro- results in an increases sensitivity to touch, extreme tiredness, difficulty sleeping, muscle stiffness and so much more.
This condition is one that typically occurs much more commonly in women than in men. The cause of the condition of fibro is not exactly clear.
However, since it occurs more often in women than in men, some experts believe that it is somehow linked with imbalances in hormones- especially sex hormones- but this evidence isn’t exactly clear.
If this is indeed the case, it could explain the reason why many women with the condition of fibro often see disruptions and changes in their menstrual cycles, or periods.
In addition, women often do see fluctuations in their signs and symptoms of their condition at the various stages of their menstrual cycle and even around pregnancy and menopause.
Painful Periods and Fibromyalgia
It has been reported that somewhere between 70-90 percent of women who have been diagnosed with the condition of fibromyalgia report suffering from painful periods.
This is a condition that is known as dysmenorrhea. Of course, this could be a more common occurrence because women who have been diagnosed with the condition of fibro are more sensitive to pain in general than women who have not been diagnosed with this condition.
The condition of dysmenorrhea can last for just a few hours or up to a week each month. Some of the signs and symptoms of this condition are dizziness, nausea, and headaches.
In addition, dysmenorrhea can cause the fatigue and tiredness that is often experienced with the condition of fibro seem that much worse.
Treating the condition of dysmenorrhea typically depends heavily upon what is causing it- but in most cases, women have reported that they are able to control- or at least ease- their symptoms with NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) that can be obtained over the counter at their local pharmacy.
This includes medications such as ibuprofen. Another popular choice for controlling or easing these symptoms are anti-prostaglandins.
Periods and Fibromyalgia
Many women who have been diagnosed with the condition of fibro also have reported that the pattern of their periods goes through changes.
In one study, a group of women who had been diagnosed with the condition of fibro was compared to a group of women that had not been diagnosed with this condition.
The results showed that women who had been diagnosed with the condition were much more likely to have missed or irregular periods, spotting between their periods, and even no periods- which is known as amenorrhea.
In addition, these women who had been diagnosed with the condition of fibro were much more likely to experience a condition known as polycystic ovarian syndrome, ovarian cysts, and a condition known as hirsutism- or abnormal hairiness.
Some of the other symptoms often reported by women with this condition regarding their periods included abnormally long periods characterized with very heavy bleeding and large blood clots.
Some women with the condition of fibro may find that their periods occur much more often than women without the condition of fibro.
Women who have been diagnosed with fibro may also find that they have more extreme cases of premenstrual syndrome as well.
Women who have been diagnosed with the condition of fibro are much more likely to experience the onset of menstruation at a much later time than women who have not been diagnosed with this condition and are much more likely to struggle with fertility issues than women without the condition.
Fibromyalgia and Periods
Some of the women who have been diagnosed with the condition of fibro do report that their fibromyalgia symptoms seem to go into “flare” mode during their premenstrual time- which is approximately a week before their period starts.
One study, done in Norway, reported that 72 percent of women who had been diagnosed with the condition of fibro reported that their symptoms of fibro were at their peak during the week- or even two weeks- before they started their periods.
One other study revealed that approximately 50 percent of women who had been diagnosed with the condition of fibro often experienced much more fatigue and pain just before their periods.
In some cases, some women have reported seeing their signs and symptoms of fibro flare up around the time the egg is released from the ovary- known as ovulation- which is typically about the halfway point in their cycle.
Finally, women who have been diagnosed with fibro find that their symptoms seem to flare up once they become pregnant- which could last just through the first trimester up to a few months after they give birth.
This has been confirmed with medical studies performed in Norway and the United States of America.
On the other hand, there are some women who have reported that their signs and symptoms of fibro seem to go into a state of remission when they become pregnant- especially during the first two trimesters of their pregnancy.
In addition, menopause may cause the signs and symptoms to flare up or to go into remission.
Since the condition of fibro is much more common in women than in men, researchers believe that hormones- especially sex hormones such as estrogen and progesterone- have some sort of link to the condition. However, this has not exactly been confirmed through medical research.
One thing is certain, everyone is different and reports different experiences with the condition- this is why it is so hard to diagnose and treat. There is not a specific line that the condition takes.
Some people may experience more tiredness/fatigue and some may experience more pain. Women with the condition must do whatever they can to take care of themselves- especially if they are interested in becoming pregnant or are having problems with their periods.
See your physician if you notice any changes or abnormalities in your periods such as amenorrhea or increased PMS symptoms. There are some things you can do to treat these conditions.