Feature Archive

The Other Time of the Month

Your menstrual cycle can affect you in some surprising ways.

ByCharlene Laino
WebMD Feature

Reviewed ByBrunilda Nazario,MD

Yeah, yeah, we've all heard the jokes about "that time of the month," when our hormones are so out of whack that we might as well be on the all-Twinkie diet. The teasing might be funny (or not) but the misery is real: bloating, cramping, mood swings, and more.

But did you know that the rise and fall in hormones that drives our menstrual cycle affects just about every part of our body all month long? And the period around ovulation -- when estrogen levels zoom -- can really hit us in some unexpected ways.

We call it "the other time of the month."

"There's a connection to almost all the common ailments -- asthma, arthritis, migraine, diabetes, and some of the less common, like epilepsy," says Mary H.H. Ensom, PharmD, of Children's and Women's Health Centre of British Columbia in Vancouver. And that's not to mention the link to the common cold, canker sores, and sex drive.