Fibromyalgia and Hormones
Heather shares her own experiences about fibromyalgia and hormone changes you may experience during menstruation, menopause, pregnancy, and childbirth.
Things like menstruation, menopause, pregnancy, and childbirth can all fluctuate your hormones and affect your fibromyalgia.
Pregnancy and Childbirth
Three things can happen when you get pregnant, and you have fibromyalgia.
- It can improve your fibromyalgia symptoms. Most feel like your fibromyalgia went away, from what I've been told, how women describe it.
- Your fibromyalgia symptoms can remain the same, your same level of pain.
- Your fibromyalgia symptoms may get worse.
Seven months ago I had a little boy, and my pregnancy made my fibromyalgia worse, starting in the second trimester. Then childbirth is where more women feel a change in their fibromyalgia. They have more pain and sensitivity after giving birth, and there's a huge fluctuation of hormones right after you have a child.
There hasn't been a lot of research on the two together, but a lot of women from the research I've done have reported having more sensitivity and more pain after childbirth from their fibromyalgia.
Women reported experiencing:
- Memory problems
- Sleep disturbances
- Mood disturbances
- Overall pain increasing before their cycle
Not all women had issues with their monthly cycle and fibromyalgia, but the ones that did also tend to be the ones that have an increase in symptoms during menopause.
Around 40 to the age of 55 is typically when women experience menopause. This is also around the age when many women develop fibromyalgia.
While fibromyalgia can also affect men, it mostly affects women. And some doctors have taken note that it happens to be around the time of menopause, in which there is a huge change in a woman's hormones.
Hormonal changes during menopause, like estrogen decreasing in women, can affect fibromyalgia with issues like higher anxiety, depression, and sleepiness.
Unfortunately, research has shown that hormone replacement in fibromyalgia sufferers does not help ease these symptoms. Research has also demonstrated that low thyroid function and decreased thyroid hormones, as well as progesterone and estrogen, can contribute to some significant fibromyalgia symptoms, such as fatigue, depression, anxiety, muscle ache, very common fibromyalgia symptoms.
However, the correlation between fibromyalgia and menopause is still unknown because there's just not enough research about it. Fortunately, more research is being done to find out if the onset of fibromyalgia has anything to do with low hormones, such as estrogen.