Can Ovulation Make You Dizzy? (Plus Other Common Symptoms)

| Reviewed By Amanda Lundberg, BSN, RN

There may be instances where women experience dizziness while ovulating, which can be attributed to fluctuations in hormone levels.

Estrogen and progesterone play a major role in your menstrual cycle, and these hormone levels shift during ovulation, possibly affecting your blood pressure and blood sugar

Severe or prolonged dizziness, especially in concurrence with other alarming symptoms, could indicate a serious health issue.

Healthline explains that:

“Changes in your estrogen levels can affect your heart rate.

This can cause palpitations, often described as feeling your heart skipping a beat, fluttering, or adding an extra beat.

Heart palpitations can make some people feel dizzy.”

The dizziness you experience during ovulation might be entirely unrelated to your cycle.

It’s crucial to keep track of what is and what isn’t normal for you during your cycle and report any significant changes to your doctor.

How Ovulation Works

Ovulation is when a woman’s ovary releases an egg. It usually happens in the middle of your menstrual cycle, around day 14 in a 28-day cycle. 

Hormones in the body signal the ovary to let go of a mature egg, which then moves into the fallopian tube.

This is the time when a woman is most fertile and could get pregnant if sperm fertilizes the egg. 

If the egg isn’t fertilized, it breaks down and will be shed with her period instead.

Causes of Dizziness During Ovulation

Dizziness during ovulation can be due to hormonal fluctuations, mainly the surge in estrogen that occurs around the time of ovulation.

Estrogen levels rise to stimulate the release of an egg from the ovary.

This hormonal shift can affect various bodily systems, including blood pressure regulation and blood sugar levels.

Estrogen influences blood pressure by dilating blood vessels, potentially leading to a drop in blood pressure.

This decrease in blood pressure might cause a feeling of lightheadedness or dizziness.

Specialists at Ann Arbor Holistic Health point to significant hormone imbalances such as “estrogen dominance” over progesterone during ovulation as a risk factor for things like vertigo and symptoms that could trigger dizziness like fatigue, headaches, and hypoglycemia.

Other factors can increase feelings of dizziness during ovulation too, including dehydration, stress, and lack of sleep.

How To Minimize Dizziness During Ovulation

When you feel dizzy, make sure to stop what you are doing and sit down.

If dizziness reaches a point where it is affecting your everyday life, talk to your doctor.

  • Stay Hydrated: Dehydration can contribute to dizziness, so ensure you’re drinking enough water throughout the day.
  • Balanced Diet: Maintain a balanced diet rich in nutrients. Low blood sugar levels can sometimes cause dizziness, so eating small, frequent meals containing complex carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats may help stabilize blood sugar levels.
  • Manage Stress: According to Associates in Neurology, sudden bursts of the stress hormone cortisol can exacerbate dizziness. 
  • Regular exercise: This goes hand-in-hand with managing stress. You want to avoid intense exercise that could worsen feelings of dizziness. Instead, make sure you’re getting a few gentle walks or other forms of light cardio in the week like dancing or swimming.
  • Avoid Triggers: Identify and avoid triggers that may worsen dizziness, such as sudden movements or standing up quickly.
  • Get Sufficient Rest: Ensure you’re getting enough quality shut-eye. Lack of sleep can easily contribute to dizziness.

I’ve certainly felt a little off-balance in more ways than one when stress hits during my cycle.

I’ve found that practicing relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or taking a short walk has really helped to manage my stress levels and reduce my dizzy spells.

When To See a Doctor About Dizziness During Ovulation

If your dizziness persists, becomes severe, or is accompanied by other concerning symptoms such as severe pain, fainting, or vision changes, it’s crucial to consult a healthcare professional.

If dizzy spells are impacting your daily life in any way, it’s essential to seek medical guidance to rule out any serious underlying conditions.

In rare cases, menstruation can trigger seizures in epileptic women.

A condition known as Catamenial epilepsy is thought to affect around 40 percent of women with epilepsy, according to reports published by the Cochrane Epilepsy Group.

The rise in estrogen during ovulation is believed to be a likely cause of seizures in women with Catamenial epilepsy.

Ovulation and Feelings of Vertigo

In some cases, women can experience vertigo during ovulation.

Hormonal fluctuations during ovulation, particularly changes in estrogen and progesterone levels, can affect the inner ear and the body’s equilibrium.

As the inner ear plays a crucial role in balance and spatial orientation, fluctuations in hormone levels can affect the fluid levels or pressure in the inner ear, resulting in vertigo sensations.

Unlike dizziness, which manifests as light-headedness, slight weakness, and fainting, vertigo is a specific form of dizziness that causes an overall spinning sensation, as if you or your surroundings are moving.

The following are symptoms of peripheral vertigo (caused by irritations and other problems in the part of the inner ear that controls balance). 

If you experience more than one of these during your menstrual cycle, consult your doctor so they can determine the exact cause of your symptoms.

  • Dizziness
  • Problems focusing your eyes or double vision
  • Hearing loss (in one or both ears)
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Loss of balance
  • Ringing in the ears
A woman sitting on her couch holding her head in her hands as if in pain or dizzy.

Other Common Signs You Are Ovulating

Some women know when they are ovulating, and some don’t. However, there are usually quite a few telltale signs besides dizziness.

Changes in Body Temperature

The temperature your body is at when at rest is your basal body temperature, also known as your BBT.

When you’re not ovulating, this temperature is lower than when you are. 

If you track your temperature, you may notice that your BBT rises right after you ovulate.

The rise should stay consistent for a couple of days to be associated with ovulation.

Slight Cramping or Pelvic Achiness

I can usually feel ovulation, and I’m not alone in this. Achy, cramping pain may be a sign that you are feeling the physical impact of ovulation.

Breast Tenderness

Does the idea of putting on a bra make you cringe? You may be near ovulation. Blame surges of hormones for the sensitive breasts.

Bloating

If your clothes don’t seem to fit the same, you’re not crazy.

Estrogen and a luteinizing hormone flow through your system abundantly right before you ovulate, and bloating is often the side effect.

Change in Discharge

Cervical mucus changes when you ovulate, so you may notice a discharge that is stretchy or very wet. 

Most people compare the color and consistency to the whites of eggs, and this is a sign your body is getting ready for an actual egg to release.

Increased Libido

If you feel more like participating in the activity that can get you pregnant, you may be ovulating! 

Heightened Sense of Smell or Taste

Your sense of smell and taste will likely be heightened when you are ovulating for a very practical reason: your body is on the lookout for androstenone

This is a male pheromone, and these heightened senses when you ovulate can help you seek out a partner and reproduce.

Light Spotting

Not all women spot when they ovulate, but some do.

A rise in progesterone levels is to blame, and ovulation spotting should not be anywhere near as dramatic as period bleeding.

Cervical Changes

You won’t notice cervical changes unless you know how, but they do occur when you ovulate.

Imagine a softer cervix with more moisture that is in a more opportune position for you to get pregnant. 

Nausea

Besides dizziness, you may have a distinct feeling of being unwell as your stomach turns and your body adjusts to this phase of your cycle. 

This nausea is due to increased levels of histamine in the body caused by surging hormones.

Migraines & Headaches

Ovulation headaches are real, and some people get them almost every cycle.

Again, changes in hormones are to blame, which is why these are often called hormone headaches.

Pain During Ovulation – What’s Normal

Mild discomfort or pain around ovulation is relatively common and is known as “mittelschmerz,” which is a German term meaning “middle pain.” 

Mittelschmerz refers to lower abdominal or pelvic pain that occurs on one side of the body, typically where the ovary releases an egg during ovulation.

Not all women experience mittelschmerz, but for those who do, the pain can vary in intensity and duration.

Some describe it as a dull ache, while others may feel a sharper, more noticeable pain.

It usually occurs suddenly and can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few days.

Be sure to speak to your doctor if you have severe pain, as this may point to a more serious condition such as endometriosis, an ovarian cyst, or other problems affecting your reproductive system.

Treatment for Painful Ovulation

To treat painful ovulation, you may want to apply heat. Use a heating pad, or soak in a warm bath. 

You can also gently massage your abdomen in the place you’re experiencing pain.

Taking pain medications and trying gentle yoga for pain are also options.

Dizzy Before Period or Pregnant?

Some women do get dizzy before their period starts, but you can also experience dizziness as a symptom of pregnancy. 

While dizziness alone is not a definitive indicator of pregnancy, it can be one of several symptoms experienced by some women in early pregnancy. 

Other common early signs of pregnancy include missed periods, breast tenderness, nausea, fatigue, and frequent urination.

The only way to know the difference is to take a pregnancy test to confirm if your period happens to be late. 

Possible Reasons for Feeling Dizzy Before Your Period

  • Menstrual Migraines: Some women experience migraines associated with their menstrual cycle, which can cause dizziness among other symptoms.
  • Anemia: Iron deficiency anemia, which may worsen before menstruation due to blood loss during periods, can cause dizziness due to decreased oxygen supply to the brain.
  • Orthostatic Hypotension: Changes in blood pressure when standing up quickly can lead to a brief drop in blood pressure, resulting in lightheadedness.
  • Dehydration: Inadequate fluid intake or increased fluid loss during premenstrual bloating can lead to dehydration, potentially causing dizziness.
  • Stress and Anxiety: Emotional stress or anxiety related to menstrual symptoms or other life factors can contribute to dizzy spells.
  • Vestibular Disorders: Those with underlying vestibular disorders may notice they become more symptomatic before menstruation.
  • Thyroid Issues: Disorders such as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism that sometimes cause dizziness can become intensified right before menstruation.
  • Medication Side Effects: Be mindful of any medications taken in the run-up to your period. If the side effects include dizziness, this might be more noticeable than usual.
  • Dysmenorrhea: Severe menstrual cramps or pain associated with dysmenorrhea can trigger physiological responses in the body, potentially leading to dizziness. 
  • Low Blood Sugar (Hypoglycemia): Fluctuations in blood sugar levels, especially a drop in blood sugar (hypoglycemia), can cause dizziness. 

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