I don't know about you, but my PMS, full name being premenstrual syndrome, can be a rock and roll time of the month. From wild mood swings, sore boobs, randomly craving different foods, sleepiness to a constant feeling of fogginess, it's honestly a wonder how we get anything done. If you feel this way, it's important to know that you're not alone. It's estimated that as many as 3 of every 4 menstruating women will go through some kind of premenstrual syndrome/PMS experience in their lifetimes.
What are Common PMS symptoms?
Going beyond those that are written above, which are personal but often common symptoms, here are a few more:
- Tension or anxiety
- Depressed mood
- Crying out of nowhere
- Mood swings that can include being angry and easily annoyed
- Appetite changes and random food cravings
- Trouble falling asleep (insomnia)
- Wanting to be alone
- Fogginess and poor ability to focus
- Changes in sex drive
Some of the more physical symptoms can look like:
- Joint and/or muscle pain
- Headache and/ or fatigue
- Weight gain related to fluid retention
- Abdominal bloating
- Breast tenderness
- Acne visits (yay!)
- Constipation or diarrhoea
PMS happens to many women, but it can become worse in your 30's and 40's, especially if you have the following:
- Have high levels of stress.
- Have a family history of depression.
- Have a personal history of either postpartum depression or depression.
How to relieve PMS symptoms
Over time, I have learned to know when to expect symptoms and in my case they're around the third Thursday of the month. How do I know this? By vigilantly tracking over time. Knowing when they start happening has been the most empowering part of it. Knowing that these symptoms, in their varying intensities can happen, help to make sure that you’re not beating yourself up for the feelings you feel. If you're mid-cycle though, here are our 8 Best Hacks for Conquering your Period.
Our bodies are performing great things during our menstrual cycles, it's important we don't forget that and make sure we're extra nice to ourselves when we're in our cycles. Writing down your symptoms is a great way to keep track of what is happening month to month over time. From loneliness and imposter syndrome, to bloating and such irritability, I know what's up and it really helps me to squash the negative feelings. doing this helps you learn about different patterns and if you need to talk to a doctor you'll be equipped your history and knowledge of your body.
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (2015). Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)(link is external).
- Dickerson, L., Mazyck, P., Hunter, M. (2002). Premenstrual Syndrome(link is external). American Family Physician; 67(8): 1743–1752.
- Pinkerton, J.V., Guico-Pabia, C.J., Taylor, H.S. (2010). Menstrual cycle-related exacerbation of disease. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology; 202(3): 221-231.
- Premenstrual Syndrome. U.S Department of Health and Human Services. [Retrieved September 23, 2020] from: https://www.womenshealth.gov/menstrual-cycle/premenstrual-syndrome#13
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