Ladies: Does Your Period Affect Keto Strips?

The keto diet is the latest eating regime to take the world by storm. A diet of high protein and fat and low carbohydrates, people have used it to lose weight, and it has also been touted as an adjuvant treatment for cancer. Keto strips are used to tell the user if they are in ketosis through the urine, but is their effectiveness tainted when a woman is on her period?


A woman’s menstrual period does affect keto strips. Hormones cause the body to use up more ketones; thus, the reading is lower than it would be if a woman were not on her cycle. However, despite this temporary brief drop in readings, the strips will still work and provide accurate results. 


This article will expand on why keto strip readings are lower than average on one’s period along with related topics about the subject, including how ketosis affects the menstrual cycle, how to regulate your period while on the keto diet, and advice on how to deal with your menstrual cycle as your body adapts to being in ketosis. 

How Your Period Affects Keto Strips

Keto strips specifically measure the number of excess acetoacetate ketones in your urine to indicate whether or not your body has entered ketosis, whereby it is using fats as an energy source instead of sugars.


When your period starts, the hormones produced will cause your body to use up more ketones than normal, and thus a smaller amount of excess will be in the urine. As a result, the strips will measure fewer ketones than usual. Additionally, if you find yourself craving sugars during this time, you may temporarily pull yourself out of ketosis, causing a low to no acetoacetate reading.


However, even if you notice a lower reading on your keto strips during this time, there’s no significant cause for concern. As long as you stick to your diet, your ketone levels will eventually go back to where they originally were before your period. 


Now, let’s look at how ketosis affects the way your menstrual cycle goes in general.

Ketosis and the Menstrual Cycle 

There are many effects that ketosis can have on your period. Many women lose weight quickly while on the diet, and researchers have found that rapid weight loss can deplete estrogen stores in the body. When estrogen is low, your period will become irregular and perhaps difficult to keep track of. 


Estrogen is one of the main hormones that is active during menstruation because it initiates ovulation. Ovulation is a prominent phenomenon that occurs during your menstrual cycle. Also, along with progesterone, it is responsible for regulating your cycle.


Other changes that occur to menstruation while on the keto diet include:


  • Missed or disappearing period due to few calories, more stress, or absence of sugars
  • Less ovulation, leading to lower fertility
  • Lower chances of pregnancy
  • Some women report more frequent periods


Even though you may experience complications with your period while on keto, there are things you can do to help it return to normal. Let’s take a look at some of these tips in the next section.

Regulating Your Period on Keto

Because your body is trying to get used to the idea of using ketones for energy instead of sugars, it may take up to three months or longer for your period to be regular again. The following are some things you can do to get back on track:


  • Eat more: getting out of a calorie deficit can help you produce enough hormones to get your regular period back.
  • Consume more omega-3 fats: helps lower androgen levels to regulate the cycle. 
  • Eat food with lots of vitamin B: vitamin B supports fertility and stimulates ovulation.
  • Take an inositol supplement: brings back insulin sensitivity, reduces androgen levels, and rejuvenates ovarian activity.
  • Do low-stress exercise: engaging in stressful exercise such as high-intensity interval training stops the flow of hormones; help them return by switching your exercise routine to things like yoga and walking.
  • Get the proper amount of sleep: reduces stress to restimulate hormone production.


If you do one or more of these things, your period will likely return sooner than within the projected time frame of three months. Although being on your cycle is not the most enjoyable time, it does feel as though something is missing when it does not come on regularly.

Dealing with Your Period on Keto

With all this talk about the negative effects keto can and likely will have on your period, you may be wondering if there is a way to avoid all of this and have a normal period while still sticking to your diet. Thankfully, there are five tips to help you do just that:


  • Avoid weighing yourself as much as possible: you will likely notice you are a bit heavier than normal during your period due to retaining water weight; seeing the higher number on the scale may convince you that the diet is not working when you are simply experiencing a natural phenomenon.
  • Eat more if you have to: pay attention to your body’s needs; if you need to add some carbohydrates back into your diet at this time, it’s okay. You won’t derail your progress in the short time you have your period.
  • Indulge in some keto-friendly chocolate treats: the cravings for chocolate and other sweets are still going to be there no matter what your eating habits are like, so enjoy a low-carb, sugar-free dessert to make this time more bearable.
  • Take medicine if you need it: it is not bad to take over-the-counter painkillers and other medication while on keto, even though some may think it is because medications have some level of carbohydrates.
  • Don’t worry about your macronutrient counts: because cravings can be so intense on your period, the counts for macronutrients of carbohydrates, protein, and fat will fluctuate as you adjust what you eat to the needs of your body. Stress only slows the release of hormones and will not make your period any more comfortable. 


It is possible to get through your period on a low-carb diet; you just have to properly care for yourself by paying attention to what you need. If you need more help navigating your period on keto, check out this post on a keto guide to your period.

In Summary

Your period affects keto strips by giving them a lower reading than normal because of the absence or decline of excess ketones present in your urine. The hormones produced while on your period cause fewer ketones to be made, and satisfying sugar cravings may temporarily put you out of ketosis. However, as long as you stick to your diet, these readings will eventually go back to normal. 


In general, being on a ketogenic diet may cause your periods to be irregular or absent due to depleted stores of estrogen in the body. Estrogen promotes ovulation which is a key event during the menstrual cycle. Thankfully, there are several ways that you can get your period back to normal such as consuming more omega 3 fats and B vitamins, as well as engaging in low-intensity exercise.


Although keto can have many negative effects on your period, especially when you first start the diet, there are some steps you can take to ensure your well-being and stay as comfortable as possible. These include taking over-the-counter medication as needed and satisfying sugar cravings with keto-friendly sweet treats. 


If you struggle too much with your period while on the keto diet—even after following this advice—and you are under the age when menopause occurs, it may be best to wait before starting a keto diet and find other healthy alternatives for weight loss. That way, you will not have to sacrifice the things that bring you the most comfort during this time for the sake of staying on the diet.

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