Can cutting out dairy affect your period? Here’s the truth

Jan 24, 2021 | Menstrual cycle

tags : Periods

A few months back, I found something interesting. When I stopped eating dairy, my period pain disappeared. So I did my research to understand if cutting out dairy can affect your period or if I was turning crazy.

If you struggle with PMS, period pain, or bloating every month, this might be interesting for you.

Dairy and inflammation

Already heard that dairy can lead to inflammation?

Cow’s milk contains the protein casein A1. To some people, consuming it can cause an inflammatory reaction (1).

In some cases, inflammation translates into bloating, acne or allergies.

In other cases, you won’t be able to notice inflammation – or it will show in a way you would have never thought.

That’s when it gets tricky.

Even though we can’t see or feel it, many things are happening in our body.

Fortunately, people conduct studies – and you might already know that I love them.

And, indeed.

Studies showed that casein A1 could lead or magnify:

  • asthma (2)
  • diabetes (3)
  • heart diseases (4)

How ? Due to the inflammatory response casein A1 can cause. Because yes, all of the above are inflammatory diseases.

It couldn’t be clearer.

How dairy affects the menstrual cycle

As you have probably understood, inflammation is not the best thing that can happen in your body.

Well, PMS, bloating, and menstrual pain are also caused by inflamed tissues (5).

The proof is that taking an anti-inflammatory medicine makes your period pain go away. But by knowing all the above, the solution might be to avoid dairy.

But as mentioned above, not everyone has an inflammatory reaction to casein A1.

And I’m not either here to tell you that the only reason for your period pain is the mac and cheese you eat once a week. But it could contribute to it.

If I am that convinced, it’s because I’ve experienced it myself.

I stopped eating dairy and my periods changed

I’ve always been a huge milk drinker. Younger, I easily drank 3 glasses a day – I told you, a real fan.

Since I suffered from hormonal imbalance with massive acne, my dairy consumption decreased.

Even though I managed to balance my hormones and cure my acne, I was still suffering from PMS and menstrual pain.

Sometimes, it was very bad.

To the point that it woke me up at night and I couldn’t fall back sleep without medicine.

Everything clicked when I felt dairy was messing with my digestion. I was suspecting a lactose intolerance so I completely stopped eating dairy for a few months.

Not only did I found that I was indeed lactose intolerant. I also saw my period pain completely disappeared. At the time, I didn’t quite realize the correlation.

So I started eating dairy again when I learned I could take lactase pills to counter the effects of lactose on my body.

Soon after, I started experiencing PMS and menstrual pain again. And that’s when everything became obvious ; dairy affects my periods so bad.

Now, I try to avoid dairy as much as I can. Not because of my intolerance, but because I know that I will suffer from it once my periods arrive.

But that doesn’t mean I will never eat tiramisu again, because let’s be real – it’s delicious.

My technique? Eating dairy according to my cycle. More precisely, avoiding it during the luteal phase.

Because yes, the timing of certain foods you eat influences your periods. I explain how to eat according to your menstrual cycle in this article.

But don’t we need dairy to be healthy?

Of course, we don’t.

Yes, even if milk is seen as a nutritious food that helps strengthen your bones. The cow is the symbol of my country – Switzerland – so believe me when I say it’s anchored.

Calcium is found in many dairy alternatives (i.e. the oat drink I use has as much calcium as regular milk).

Some foods even contain more calcium than milk : leafy greens, tofu, beans, nuts, and seeds.

effets des produits laitiers

Did you know you can make your own cashew milk? Learn how

So, can cutting out dairy affect your period?

According to what I’ve found and experienced: yes, it can.

But as I always say, everyone is different. I’m not here to tell you you should ban dairy from your life. Especially if you don’t have any health issues.

However, know that if you struggle with your periods every month, this could be one of the reasons why! Remember, PMS and menstrual cramps are common but not normal.

I hope my experience will convince you that there are solutions. And many times, they are more accessible than we think.


  1. At the beginning of this year I cut dairy from my diet. My periods are now last about 2 weeks – normal heavy flow, super super light, to heavy flow again. Is this something you experienced as your body was adjusting to the change?

    • Hi Emily! This is not something I’ve personally experienced but each body adapts differently.
      Have you changed anything other than cutting dairy that could affect your menstrual cycle?
      If your body doesn’t go back to normal, I recommend you taking the safe option to check with your doctor if everything’s going fine!
      Hope this helps 🙂

  2. Dear Virginia,

    I went through the same as you and now my cycle is almost pain-free again. I’ve never had any issues with my period when I was younger, and I thought aging has to be the reason why it became so very painful, I had to take medicine to be able to bear it. I realized this must have some relation to my diet, which I consider a healthy balanced whole food diet, which contains greek yogurt on a daily basis. During my younger years I followed a few very strict diet regimens as I was an athlete and one common thing was those diets did not allow dairy (paleo, vegan, etc.) so I hadn’t eaten any for a long period (10+ years). Then I incorporated yogurt again, and then it started, the pain increased till I couldn’t bear it anymore, I had to take strong medicine on the first 2 days constantly. For me it was not acceptable as I never take medicine so I quit dairy 1 month ago. The coming period was 8 days late immediately after I changed my diet, and I didn’t have to take any medicine. For me, it’s clear that dairy can cause changes in the hormonal regulation in our body in the wrong way. Thank you for your article, it was very nice to read it :))

    • Dear Aniko,
      Thank yo so much for sharing your experience! How crazy since dairy has always been promoted as a healthy part of our diet, right? I’m so happy you found where the problem was, women shouldn’t suffer at any point of their menstrual cycle and understanding our bodies is essential for healing🌷


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my name’s Virginia

I’m on a mission to help women understand, trust & love their body🦋 

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