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What causes PMS? Does Ibuprofen impact fertility?

PMS affects 75-80% of menstruating people. That is a huge number! Especially seeing as your menstrual cycle comes on average of once per month every month of the year.

What causes PMS anyway?

It’s commonly the result of an overproduction of inflammatory signals called ‘prostaglandins’. Prostaglandins cause cramping pain and uterine spasms.

Want to know one cause of an overproduction of prostaglandins?

Stress! Stress hormones cause an imbalance in neurotransmitters that control your mood, resulting in a worsening of PMS.

Other underlying factors that contribute to PMS: 👉Nutrient deficiencies 👉Blood sugar dysregulation 👉Thyroid issues 👉Hormone imbalances (high estrogen, low progesterone) 👉Other lifestyle factors!

Sometimes improving just one factor can improve your PMS, but a combined approach works best.

Every menstruating person is unique! Your treatment plan should be specific to you.

While taking Motrin or Ibuprofen may work in acute situations, if it’s something you’re relying on several days each month, you should be aware of the side effects from even short-term use and know that there are other options.

In a study from 2015 that evaluated the effects of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) on female ovulation, the authors found:

  1. a significant inhibition of ovulation in the women who were taking taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) compared to the control group

  2. a significant decrease in progesterone levels compared to the control group

  3. functional cysts in 1/3 of patients by the end of the study because of unruptured follicles, which disappeared after the study was finished

Alongside potential ovulatory problems, overuse of NSAIDs may cause gastric bleeding, cardiac problems and other digestive concerns with as little as 5-10 days of use!

I never like to label any medication as "good or bad". Every pharmacologic intervention has its purpose. The message I'm trying to get across is that if you're OVER-using pain relieving medications to manage your symptoms day after day, week after week and month after month, perhaps investigating other treatment options is a good place to start. Let's get to the root of the problem, rather than bandaging it up. After all, you don't have an NSAID deficiency. Talk to your healthcare team about a customized plan to manage your PMS. We’re here to help!


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