Hypermobility, Hormones, and the Menstrual Cycle
Some women with hypermobility disorders may notice worsening joint laxity leading up to their menstrual cycle. Evidence has shown that hormonal fluctuations associated with the menstrual cycle can directly influence connective tissue throughout the body, particularly the ligaments and tendons surrounding the joints. During regular menstrual cycles, progesterone levels peak in the days to weeks before onset of menses, known as the luteal phase. Progesterone can cause tendons and ligaments to be more flexible which can contribute to worsening joint instability in women with (and without) hypermobility. For most women, this temporary exacerbation of joint instability begins to improve within days of menstrual onset.
Hormonal contraceptives can be very important, or even necessary, therapy for preventing pregnancy and treating a multitude of menstrual disorders. Many hormonal contraceptives contain only progestogen or are combined with estrogen and a progestogen. While each woman’s response to therapy may differ, it is important for women with hypermobility to be mindful of how contraceptives may impact their joint symptoms. Given the variability in response to therapy, hypermobile women may need to try more than one option to find the right fit. If you have hypermobility and are considering any hormonal therapy, it is best to consult with a gynecologist or women’s health specialist who is familiar with hypermobility disorders. Have you ever noticed similar physical changes related to hormones?
Author: Taryn Smith, M.D.
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Thank you so much for sharing this information Dr. Smith,
I noticed this and I’m trying to get help from my teams. I feel like a spaghetti 🍝 on those specific days 😆. Hope everyone get comprehensive care about this topics. Blessings of healing for everyone ❤️🩹
I have EDS w hypermobility…..The 3rd kind and most common. I have seen it often in the dance community and the gymnastic community and the ice skating community as well……I was the latter…..but as a school counselor it was also evident but no one had a name for it. It’s so important for people to use the Brighton Scale on themselves or loved ones to get an overall determination of possibly having this. One of my go-to things has been only ever using Fit Flop shoes, sneakers, sandals, slippers, boots…..you name it…..on my feet. I only use the very dense original foot base that slants, but since it has a wobble board in the heel as well as a base that compensates leg length and weight distribution, it gives me endless relief and a painless life! After each corrective surgery, I have purchased new ones as my imprint changed! They help so much and so many……on Amazon, is much cheaper . And yes, I had very difficult menstrual cycles, with migraines occasionally esp after having given birth twice, so I opted for a partial hysterectomy due to fibroids at 38. Seems like I had a lot of fibroids, lypomas cysts, bumps!…..life long!…….I was told due to collagen’s “zebra effect”……..hence, their logo!