Why am I vomiting after my period?

Vomiting or feeling nauseous after your period ends is an unpleasant experience that no one wants to deal with. For most women, periods signify the end of PMS symptoms and a return to normalcy. So why would nausea and vomiting suddenly appear when your period is over?

There are a few potential reasons why you may vomit after your period ends. The most common causes include:

Hormone fluctuations

Hormones fluctuations, especially of estrogen and progesterone, are common during the menstrual cycle. In the lead up to your period, levels of both hormones rise significantly. After your period ends, these hormones drop back down to baseline levels.

This rapid change or withdrawal of hormones can cause nausea for some women. The body has become accustomed to elevated estrogen and progesterone, so the quick decline triggers vomiting reflexes in the brain.

Nausea from hormone changes is most common in the first few days after your period stops. If it persists longer, there may be another underlying cause.

Gastrointestinal issues

Menstrual cycles impact gut function and gastric mobility. Your bowels tend to move slower during periods because of progesterone effects. This can lead to constipation and bloating.

When your period ends, the bowel resumes normal function. The intestine starts moving faster, leading to diarrhea, cramps and nausea. This gastrointestinal dysfunction is short-lived but can cause vomiting after the period.


Ovulation happens around 10-16 days before the start of the next period. Some women experience nausea and vomiting around ovulation due to hormone changes. If you have a short menstrual cycle, ovulation can occur right after your period ends.

Levels of estrogen rapidly rise just before ovulation, triggering nausea reflexes in susceptible women. Once ovulation is complete, the nausea usually resolves on its own.


Nausea with or without vomiting is an early sign of pregnancy. You may start experiencing pregnancy-related nausea just a few days after conception.

If sperm fertilizes the egg during ovulation just after your period, rising hCG levels can cause morning sickness. The nausea is often worse in the morning upon waking up.

A pregnancy test is recommended if you miss your next expected period and have unusual vomiting. Morning sickness from pregnancy requires treatment to avoid dehydration.


Infections of the genital tract or pelvic organs can also cause post-period nausea and vomiting. Some examples include:

  • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
  • Endometritis (uterine infection)
  • Sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia and gonorrhea
  • Urinary tract infections

Infections develop when bacteria spread to the uterus, ovaries or fallopian tubes. This most commonly occurs through sexual contact or use of contaminated feminine products.

Antibiotics are needed to treat pelvic infections. See a doctor for evaluation if your nausea and vomiting lingers after your period.


Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the uterine lining grows outside the uterus. Areas like the ovaries, fallopian tubes and pelvic cavity can be affected.

This tissue thickens and breaks down each month like the normal uterine lining. After your period, the shed tissue and blood has nowhere to exit the body. It becomes trapped, causing inflammation and scar tissue.

Endometriosis can provoke nausea, vomiting, pelvic pain and cramping. Symptoms typically worsen right after periods. A laparoscopy is required for diagnosis.


Fibroids are noncancerous growths that form on the muscular uterus wall. They become larger each month when estrogen levels rise and shrink after your period.

Submucosal fibroids extend into the uterine cavity. The excess tissue and clots they release can lead to post-period nausea. Fibroids may also obstruct bowel function.

Small fibroids often don’t need treatment. Large fibroids causing severe symptoms may require ultrasound-guided ablation or surgical removal.


Perimenopause refers to the 5-10 years before menopause when estrogen levels start to fluctuate. It’s characterized by menstrual irregularities.

The hormone changes provoke worse PMS and period symptoms. Nausea, vomiting, headaches and fatigue are common during perimenopause.

Symptoms are most severe in the days right after your period. Birth control pills or hormone therapy can stabilize estrogen levels.

Food poisoning

Food poisoning is possible if you consumed contaminated food or beverages before or during your period. Salmonella, E. coli and norovirus are common culprits.

It takes 6-48 hours after ingesting bacteria or toxins to develop symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal cramps. Food poisoning can arise after your period ends simply due to the timing.

Drink fluids, rest and call your doctor if symptoms don’t improve. IV fluids may be needed for severe dehydration from vomiting and diarrhea.


Some medications can potentially cause nausea or vomiting, making it more likely to occur after your period.

Antibiotics, opioids, antidepressants, iron supplements, NSAIDs and chemotherapy drugs are examples. The timing may just be coincidental.

Review any new medications with your pharmacist or doctor if vomiting develops shortly after your period. Switching drugs or adjusting the dosage may be helpful.

Intense exercise

High-intensity exercise during or just after your period may also lead to vomiting. This can happen when working out vigorously in hot weather or with an empty stomach.

Dehydration, heat exhaustion and low blood sugar are risk factors. Problems are more likely if your post-period nausea is combined with headache, fatigue or diarrhea.

Drink fluids after activity and reduce exercise intensity if needed. Seek medical care promptly if vomiting persists despite rest and rehydration.

Stress and anxiety

Severe stress, anxiety or depression can sometimes manifest with physical symptoms like vomiting, nausea, dizziness and abdominal pain.

Your period ending means PMS emotional volatility resolves. The sudden change in hormones combined with mental distress triggers vomiting reflexes.

Psychotherapy, medications, meditation, exercise and social support all help manage underlying mood disorders. Consider seeing a therapist if anxiety is affecting your daily life.


Gastroparesis causes delayed emptying of the stomach contents into the small intestine. Food sits in the stomach too long and ferments, provoking nausea and vomiting.

Period hormone fluctuations may worsen gastroparesis symptoms. After your period ends, vomiting persists due to the pre-existing stomach paralysis.

Gastroparesis is associated with diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and certain medications. Diet changes and prokinetic drugs help treat it.

Summary of why you may vomit after your period

  • Hormone fluctuations
  • GI issues like constipation
  • Ovulation
  • Pregnancy
  • Infections
  • Endometriosis
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Perimenopause
  • Food poisoning
  • Medications
  • Over-exertion
  • Severe stress
  • Gastroparesis

When to see your doctor

Occasional vomiting after your period ends isn’t usually a major concern. However, see your doctor if you experience:

  • Persistent nausea and vomiting after your period that lasts over 2 days
  • Inability to keep down fluids due to vomiting
  • Severe abdominal pain along with vomiting
  • Vomiting combined with fever, chills or fatigue
  • Vomiting more than 2-3 times per day
  • Blood or green / yellow fluid in the vomit
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Ongoing vomiting before and after every period

Being unable to hold down fluids is a warning sign of dehydration. Evaluation is recommended to identify or rule out serious conditions like PID, gastrointestinal blockages or cancers.

Diagnosing causes of post-period vomiting

To determine why you’re vomiting after your period ends, your doctor may order:

  • Pelvic exam – Checks for infection, cysts, fibroids or tenderness
  • Pregnancy test – Measures hCG levels in blood or urine
  • Ultrasound – Images the pelvic organs to identify problems
  • Complete blood count – Checks for anemia and infection
  • Urinalysis – Screens for UTIs, kidney issues, and glucose
  • Colonoscopy – Examines the colon and takes biopsies
  • Endoscopy – Checks the upper digestive tract lining
  • CT scan of abdomen – Detects structural issues and cancers

Your doctor will review your symptoms, medical history, and test results to determine the cause. Treatment can then be tailored to the specific problem triggering vomiting.

How to stop vomiting after your period

Home Care

You can try these home remedies to treat vomiting after periods:

  • Rest and sip small amounts of water or electrolyte drinks
  • Eat bland foods like bananas, rice, applesauce and toast
  • Avoid spicy, fatty, acidic foods which can irritate the stomach
  • Apply a warm compress on your abdomen
  • Use anti-nausea medication like dimenhydrinate or ginger
  • Try acupressure bracelets which stimulate anti-nausea points

Medical Treatment

If home care doesn’t stop the vomiting, your doctor may prescribe:

  • Ondansetron – Anti-nausea medication given by mouth, IV or injection
  • Promethazine – Blocks nausea signals to the brain and vestibular system
  • Prochlorperazine – Dopamine antagonist that reduces vomiting reflex
  • Scopolamine – Anticholinergic that dries secretions and calms the GI tract
  • Prednisone – Corticosteroid that decreases inflammation
  • Antibiotics – Used for PID, endometritis and other infections
  • IV fluids – For dehydration from persistent vomiting

Treatment targets the specific cause once the diagnosis is made. This may involve surgery, hormone medications, antibiotics or antiemetics.

When to go to the ER for vomiting after periods

Seek emergency medical care if you have:

  • Frequent vomiting lasting over 24 hours
  • Inability to consume or keep down any fluids
  • Signs of severe dehydration like dizziness, dark urine, rapid heart rate
  • Fever higher than 100.4°F (38°C)
  • Sudden, severe abdominal pain
  • Bloody or black, tarry stool
  • Confusion, fainting, or loss of consciousness

Severe dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and certain infections can be life-threatening without prompt treatment. IV fluids, anti-nausea drugs, and monitoring of vital signs may be needed.

How to prevent vomiting after periods

You can take these steps to avoid vomiting during and after your period:

  • Avoid excessive amounts of salty, spicy, acidic, caffeinated, carbonated and high-fat foods before and during your period. These can irritate the stomach.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking 8-10 glasses of water daily.
  • Don’t exercise vigorously during the first few days of your period.
  • Take over-the-counter anti-nausea medication at the first signs of queasiness.
  • Practice stress management techniques like yoga, mindfulness or counseling.
  • Use heating pads to ease period cramps which can cause nausea.
  • Wear acupressure bracelets designed to relieve nausea.
  • Avoid alcohol, which can worsen nausea and dehydrate you.

Making diet and lifestyle changes, reducing stress levels, and using medications can often prevent post-period vomiting. However, see your doctor if nausea and vomiting persist. An underlying gynecologic or gastrointestinal problem may require diagnosis and specific treatment.


Experiencing nausea and vomiting after your period ends is relatively common. Hormone changes, ovulation, infections, gastrointestinal issues, stress and medications are possible causes.

Try home remedies first for mild vomiting. See your doctor promptly if vomiting is severe, persists beyond 24 hours, or if you have other alarming symptoms. Tests like pelvic exams, ultrasounds and blood work help diagnose the root problem.

Treating dehydration is the first priority with fluids and anti-nausea medication. Preventing vomiting involves diet and lifestyle changes, hydration, stress management, and sometimes medications. But recurrent or severe post-period vomiting warrants medical evaluation to determine if an underlying condition needs specific treatment.

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