Posted 2/19/2019 7:44 AM (GMT -6)
Yes yes yes. Lyme can affect menstrual cycles terribly. Bleeding can be heavier, pain can be worse, cycles are irregular, ovarian cysts burst, ovulation hurts, more spotting, cramps at any time, worse moods, and - probably worst of all - menstrual cycles make your Lyme symptoms flare. Since Lyme affects hormone levels of all kinds - adrenal, pituitary, thyroid, hypothalamus - and generally reduces them, the cyclical changes of menstruation cause many people to experience flares of various symptoms. This has been one of my main challenges in getting better, since every time I start to make progress, some part of my menstrual cycle destabilizes me. For example, the progesterone spike at ovulation causes smooth muscles to relax, messing up my digestion for days. The estrogen and progesterone drop before menstruation causes a migraine, dizziness, and joint pain. The lowered blood volume afterward creates heart issues for me - palpitations, orthostatic intolerance, headaches, exhaustion - while my blood volume rebuilds. Some people find that stopping their menstrual cycles (with drugs) or balancing them (with topical bioidentical hormones, or herbs like vitex, or seed cycling, or synthetic hormones) allows them to makes much more progress in controlling Lyme symptoms.
I'm very sorry that you're dealing with this. Look up HPA axis dysfunction, too, since all the hormone systems are connected and don't usually act in isolation. Lyme first affected my adrenal system and cortisol, which over time has thrown everything else off, until the point that I produce almost no estrogen and progesterone! Bad news. But I wanted to mention it, so that it's on your radar, and you can avoid the cascade of imbalances!
Sara (Lyme, ME, dysautonomias, HPA axis dysfunction....)