Can Citalopram affect your period? (5 steps to deal with it)

In this article, our focus will be on exploring and examining the potential effects of Citalopram on menstrual cycles. And also we will discuss the research study suggestions and steps to be taken if affected by menstrual disorders on taking of citalopram.

Can Citalopram affect your period?

Yes, Citalopram may affect the periods or cause menstrual problems in some women. The menstrual problems caused by Citalopram are not a common side effect. But, it may be possible in some cases of intake of  Citalopram and other anti-depressants.

Menstrual problems like irregular periods, heavy bleeding, cramps, mood swings, tiredness etc. can be caused. Several research studies suggested that Citalopram and other anti-depressant drugs like Sertraline, Paroxetine, Fluoxetine, Escitalopram, Mirtazapine, Venlafaxine etc. cause menstruation disorders.

What do the research studies suggest?

Many Research studies have found that anti-depressants cause Menstrual disorders. One of the research studies was conducted on 1432 women subjects. They were divided into two groups- the Anti-depressant group and the control group.

The results were the prevalence of menstrual disorders was higher in the anti-depressant group. The incidence of menstrual disorders in the anti-depressant group was 14.5%. Among 83 subjects taking Citalopram, 12 subjects were affected by menstrual disorders (1).

What are the menstrual irregularities linked with Citalopram?

According to that research study, Citalopram (an SSRI drug) itself along with the combination of Mirtazapine which is another antidepressant also causes menstrual disorders. The Disorders include

  • Metrorrhagia
  • Oligomenorrhea
  • Menorrhagia
  • Menometrorrhagia
  • Hypomenorrhea
  • Dysfunctional uterine bleeding
  • Amenorrhea
  • Flow disorder and
  • Interval disorder (1).

SSRI drugs have the potential side effect of Hyperprolactinemia. It is a common side effect of antipsychotic drugs, but SSRI drugs also cause this. This is due to the interaction between serotonergic and dopaminergic pathways. Women with hyperprolactinemia have the menstrual abnormalities of oligomenorrhea and amenorrhea.

Can depression affect your period?

The menstrual cycle is a complex, regulated process that involves the interplay of hormones, the hypothalamus-pituitary-ovarian (HPO) axis, and the uterus. Research studies have shown that depression can cause an irregular menstrual cycle. Women who are having depression may experience shorter or longer periods, missed periods, or unpredictable bleeding patterns.

These disruptions are often caused due to the influence of stress hormones, such as cortisol, on the HPO axis, which regulates the menstrual cycle. Depression also increases menstrual symptoms, such as cramps, bloating, and mood swings. It affects the physical and emotional well-being of the women.

How to alleviate period-related issues while on Citalopram?

  • Seek healthcare provider help: While some menstrual changes might be expected when starting a new medication, it’s essential to differentiate between common and uncommon issues. Seeking a healthcare provider’s advice is recommended when experiencing unusual or severe menstrual disruptions, as they can assess the situation, provide guidance, and potentially adjust your treatment plan if necessary.
  • Healthy diet: To help a sound menstrual cycle, it is essential to get a variety of supplements. Sufficient protein, plant-based fats, and high-fibre starch give your body the supplements expected to create the appropriate measure of hormones. Adding Vegetables that have a lot of fibre, phytonutrients, vitamin- c, folate and magnesium. Including protein-rich foods like legumes, nuts, beans, organic eggs, and meat.  (2).
  • Meditation and Mindfulness: Sometimes depression also can be a cause for period-related issues. The practice of proper meditation or mindfulness exercises can reduce stress levels and promote relaxation.
  • Regular Exercise: Engaging yourself in regular physical activity, such as yoga, jogging, or swimming, to release endorphins and lower stress hormones.
  • Adequate sleep: Quality sleep always plays an important role in hormone regulation. So, adequate sleep for 7-9 hours each night can help in regularizing the menstrual cycle.


In this article, we discussed the effects of Citalopram on periods. While research has indeed established that Citalopram can influence menstrual patterns, it’s important to note that this impact is not guaranteed for everyone. We also discussed the possible side effects linked with Citalopram and the steps to alleviate the period-related issues.

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Uguz F, Sahingoz M, Kose SA, Ozbebit O, Sengul C, Selvi Y, Sengul CB, Ayhan MG, Dagistanli A, Askin R. Antidepressants and menstruation disorders in women: a cross-sectional study in three centers. Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2012 Sep-Oct;34(5):529-33. doi: 10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2012.03.014. Epub 2012 Apr 24. PMID: 22534402


Sharbaf Shoar N, Fariba KA, Padhy RK. Citalopram. 2021 Dec 11. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan–. PMID: 29489221.

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