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Periods and Pregnancy


Most women know what to expect from their period—irritability, weepiness, even cramps. So it’s not surprising that cold sores sometimes join the PMS party.

The first step starts with understanding why you’re prone to cold sores during this time. In a word: hormones. The hormones present in your body during certain times in the menstrual cycle, as well as during pregnancy, can trigger an outbreak. But stress and fatigue are big triggers as well. 1,2

While we can’t change the way our bodies respond to hormones, we can change the way we handle stress and fatigue, so that when it comes to hormonal fluctuations, we’re putting up our strongest front to meet those changes.

Make sure you’re well rested during these times and have a tool kit of relaxation and stress-relieving activities, such as exercise, healthy eating, and downtime. Learning to meditate or to do yoga can be a wonderful resource to help manage the stress that comes from hormonal changes.

If you’re pregnant, you’ll want to be mindful of new stresses in your emotional life. There are the obvious negative ones—such as worry and anxiety—but positive emotions can be stressful too. Excitement, for example, can create stress if it’s working against a feeling of steadiness and calm.

Great ways to do battle with these overwhelming emotions are breathing exercises and being mindful of what you’re feeling and why you’re feeling that way. Sometimes, just taking note that you’re feeling stressed can be enough to make the stress go away.

As with all the other triggers, a calm mind and a healthy, rested body are going to be your best defenses. As backup protection, keep a tube of Abreva® Cream handy just in case you feel the tingle of a cold sore coming on.