Periods and PMS

periods and PMS


PMS stands for Premenstrual Syndrome which women can experience in the weeks before their period. It has a wide variety of signs and symptoms, including mood swings, tender breasts, food cravings, fatigue, irritability, and depression. It's estimated that as many as 3 of every 4 menstruating women have experienced some form of premenstrual syndrome. The symptoms tend to recur in a predictable pattern. But the physical and emotional changes you experience with premenstrual syndrome may vary from just slightly noticeable all the way to intense.

Still, you don't have to let these problems control your life. Treatments and lifestyle adjustments can help you reduce or manage the signs and symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.

The period cycle of a healthy woman varies from 21 to 35 days depending upon her body and other factors. Some women get PMS every time they have their periods. PMS usually occurs when the hormones that control the menstrual cycle cause changes in your body around the time of your period. Cramps are the most common symptoms before and during periods and can be controlled by taking pain killer, putting on a heating pad, taking a hot water bath, stretching and exercising your body.

Emotional and behavioral signs and symptoms

  • Tension or anxiety
  • Depressed mood
  • Crying spells
  • Mood swings and irritability or anger
  • Appetite changes and food cravings
  • Trouble falling asleep (insomnia)
  • Social withdrawal
  • Poor concentration
  • Change in libido

Physical signs and symptoms

  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain related to fluid retention
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Breast tenderness
  • Acne flare-ups
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Alcohol intolerance

The signs and symptoms generally disappear within four days after the start of the menstrual period for most women. See your doctor, if you haven't been able to manage your premenstrual syndrome with lifestyle changes and the symptoms of PMS are affecting your health and daily activities.