As a woman, you may experience various symptoms before your period. These symptoms are commonly known as premenstrual syndrome (PMS). PMS can occur anywhere from a week to a few days before your period starts, and can affect women differently. While some women may experience minimal symptoms, others may experience more severe symptoms that disrupt their daily lives.
Common symptoms before a menstrual period include:
Mood swings: Many women experience mood swings before their period. You may feel irritable, anxious, or depressed. These mood changes are likely due to the fluctuating levels of estrogen and progesterone in your body.
Breast tenderness: Your breasts may feel sore, swollen, or tender before your period. This is due to the increased blood flow to the area and the changes in hormone levels.
Bloating: You may feel bloated or notice that your abdomen looks swollen before your period. This is due to the increased production of progesterone, which can cause fluid retention.
Headaches: Hormonal changes can cause headaches before your period. These headaches may be tension headaches, which feel like a tight band around your head, or migraines, which may also cause nausea and light sensitivity.
Cramps: Menstrual cramps, or dysmenorrhea, are common before your period. These cramps are caused by the contractions of your uterus as it sheds its lining. The cramps may be mild or severe and may be accompanied by lower back pain.
Fatigue: Many women experience fatigue before their period. This is likely due to the changes in hormone levels, as well as the physical demands of your menstrual cycle.
Food cravings: You may experience food cravings before your period, especially for sweet or salty foods. These cravings are thought to be related to the changes in hormone levels that occur during your menstrual cycle.
Acne: Your skin may break out before your period due to the fluctuations in hormone levels. These hormonal changes can stimulate oil production, which can clog pores and lead to acne.
It's important to remember that everyone is different and may experience different symptoms before their period. Some women may not experience any symptoms at all, while others may experience a wide range of symptoms. If you're experiencing severe or disruptive symptoms before your period, it may be helpful to speak with a healthcare provider. They can help you manage your symptoms and suggest treatment options if needed.
6 things you can try to help alleviate symptoms before your period:
Exercise regularly: Exercise can help reduce bloating, improve your mood, and reduce cramps.
Eat a healthy diet: A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help reduce PMS symptoms. Avoiding caffeine and alcohol can also help.
Get enough sleep: Getting enough sleep can help reduce fatigue and improve your mood.
Try relaxation techniques: Techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga can help reduce stress and improve your mood.
Take over-the-counter pain medication: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or naproxen can help reduce cramps and other PMS symptoms.
Consider natural remedies: Some women find relief from PMS symptoms by taking supplements such as calcium, magnesium, or vitamin B6. It's always important to speak with a healthcare provider before taking any supplements.
Proactive PMS Relief
By understanding your symptoms before your period and finding ways to manage them, you can help make your menstrual cycle more bearable. Remember, everyone is different, so what works for one person might not work for you. If you're having trouble managing your symptoms before your period, talk to your healthcare provider. They can help you find the best treatment options for your need.