Period and the flu


Forget that ‘time of the month’ it’s that ‘time of the year’ when flu viruses and colds sweep across workplaces, friendship groups and generally the UK population!

Nobody likes feeling rundown or ‘full of cold’ but it can be difficult to avoid. Unless you have a super strong immune system that can battle bugs like it’s nobody’s business. Studies show that during ovulation our immune systems are weakened due to heightened levels of oestrogen.  So, there’s a chance you could get your period AND a bout of that dreaded Winter cold/flu.


Stay strong my friend

Before I divulge some tips to help you feel better if you do get your period and a Winter cold at the same time, it’s important to consider prevention tactics. If you’re ovulating or are due to ovulate then take care of your body. Top up on nutrients and avoid burning the candle at both ends. Consider tracking your period, so you can understand your menstrual cycle and plan accordingly. I love this tip from one of our #TalkingPeriods bloggers Taslyn Martina. She explains how a week before her period she prepares “wholesome meals like soup or something warm like a stew.” This is useful advice to ensure you get your nutrient fix before and during your period. It will keep your immune system strong!


When the plan fails…

If your planning and prepping just isn’t enough and you do get a cold before/during your period (life sucks, it happens), then try these 3 tips to feel better:


Eucalyptus bath:

This will become one of your favourite tips! If you’re suffering aches and cramps plus a blocked nose from your cold, run a bath and add an essential oil with eucalyptus. The steam from the hot bath will infuse the air around you with the eucalyptus. It can unblock sinuses to help ease nasal congestion. The hot bath water will also soothe the period cramps so it’s a win, win situation! If you’re not so keen on eucalyptus, then also try a camomile essential bath oil. A study has showed that inhaling steam from camomile essential oil can ease cold symptoms.


Take your herbal tea up a level:

Herbal teas are great when on your period. Peppermint tea is a well-loved natural remedy to soothe period cramps. If you have a cold AND you’re on your period then take your love of herbal tea up a notch. Combine blends to get more from your brew! Try ginger and peppermint for example. Ginger is an anti-inflammatory which is can soothe sore throats, whereas peppermint can ease menstrual cramps. Combined they can ease both cold symptoms and period discomfort.

Look for natural tea blends and you’ll never look back! Also, top tip that I swear by, careful rest the hot mug by your tummy. Another way to apply heat to your menstrual cramps.


Get an early night:

When you’re run down, rest is so important. If you can take time out to rest and stay in bed all day then that’s a fantastic way to look after your body. But at the very least, go to bed earlier. Rest can not only help you battle a cold/flu but it’s also crucial when on your period. You need rest to support your immune system! So, grab 2 hot water bottles (one for your lower back and one for your tummy as we learnt from blogger Shay), and climb into bed an hour or so before your usual bedtime.

Most importantly, look after yourself. If symptoms do worsen, then always seek medical advice, especially if your symptoms develop rapidly. If you have any tips that you swear by when your body is suffering from flu or a particularly heavy period then drop it in the comment below or tweet us @totmorganic.
For more advice on staying healthy while on your period, check out our menstrual health and wellbeing section.