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Community Conversations: How Does Your Period Affect Your PsA Symptoms?

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KT images/Getty Images

KT images/Getty Images

by Emma Satin

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Nancy Carteron, M.D., FACR

Medically Reviewed

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•••••

by Emma Satin

•••••

Nancy Carteron, M.D., FACR

Medically Reviewed

•••••

•••••

Six Bezzy PsA community members share their experiences managing their periods alongside psoriatic arthritis.

Navigating psoriatic arthritis (PsA) can be a rollercoaster. Add a monthly influx of hormonal changes from your period, and that rollercoaster may have a few more unpredictable twists and turns.

In addition to typical period symptoms, many people with PsA report increased PsA symptoms during their periods. Research from 2013 showed there’s a significant correlation between hormonal changes and arthritis symptom flares. An older 2011 study suggested individuals with inflammatory diseases, including psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis, may begin experiencing symptoms of menopause earlier than others.

Hormone fluctuation varies from person to person and differs even more if you take certain medications, like hormonal birth control.

Whether you’re new to PsA, new to menstruating, or a seasoned pro in both, Bezzy PsA community members understand what you’re going through.

Here’s what some of our community members have to say about their experiences managing their periods.

Join the free PsA community!
Connect with thousands of members and find support through daily live chats, curated resources, and one-to-one messaging.

The pain buildup starts about a week before my period

“I have quite a bit more pain in my feet, knees, and hips prior to and during my period. I take more Tylenol and Advil during that week.” — Ksa

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There may be a connection between my arthritis symptoms and my IUD

“I have an intrauterine device (IUD) and I definitely feel more arthritis symptoms when I have my period. My rheumatologist said she hears that a lot from other patients with IUDs.” — Anonymous

My emotional build-up and fatigue has increased with age

“I’m 40 now, so I’ve found that my emotional build-up toward my period is stronger and my fatigue seems to increase to the point that I am nearly falling asleep during the day. My PsA has also grown in severity and it has become generally harder to manage the two.” — Jennifer

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My pain comes and goes with my cycle

“I notice that I get increased pain in my hips about a week before my period comes. The pain lasts through my period, then starts to go back to the normal amount of pain once my period ends.” — Neverlandgirl

Finding a gynecologist I trust made a huge difference

“Definitely get yourself a good gynecologist; it makes all the difference. After years of my own gynecologist horror stories, I have finally found the right fit, and I am super thankful.” — Southernlatina

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Sometimes, I just have to take it easy and take pain medication if I need it

“Periods can cause pain in your joints, too. I want to remind you that it’s OK — provided that you’re not taking any other medication that can’t be taken with over-the-counter pain medications — to take Aleve or Tylenol to get you through. It’s OK to rest. It’s OK to take it easy, even if your brain is telling you that you’re being lazy. You’re not, I promise.

“I don’t know why, but sometimes I’ll try to convince myself I don’t need pain medicine, but then I check myself. You can take the Aleve, and you will feel so much better when you do so.” — Jenny, Bezzy PsA community guide

The big picture

Managing your PsA and your period every month may seem like an unrelenting beast, but there are things you can do to maximize your comfort. Don’t forget to go easy on yourself, both mentally and physically.

If you feel as though your period or PsA symptoms are becoming unmanageable, check in with your gynecologist and rheumatologist to make sure there are no other factors at play.

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Connect with thousands of members and find support through daily live chats, curated resources, and one-to-one messaging.

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About the author

Emma Satin

Emma Satin is an editor at Healthline and Bezzy. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and marketing. She is passionate about the intersection of digital media and equity within the health and wellness spaces. Outside of work she can be found taking pictures of her food, drinking coffee, and petting dogs.

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