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What is PMS?

Some of us are luckier than others when it comes to PMS, and whilst many suffer with PMS the severity varies from person to person. PMS stands for premenstrual syndrome, and refers to the symptoms that occur before your period is due. The condition of PMS is experienced differently between women, trans men and non-binary people with periods and it’s important to know what contributes to PMS symptoms and what you can do to manage your PMS.

woman on floor

What are PMS symptoms?

PMS symptoms can be both emotional and/or physical and may change from cycle to cycle. The intensity and duration of symptoms are also cycle dependant and you may find that some months are easier than others. Below are some of the most common PMS symptoms that you may have experienced before:

Top 9 PMS Symptoms

1. Mood swings - emotional changes that happen quickly and more frequently than any other time in the month. Those mood swings are often misunderstood and can creep up on you without warning.

2. Feelings of anxiety, upset, depression or irritability - feeling low, easily annoyed and oversensitivity are common emotions that are associated with PMS.

3. Insomnia or tiredness - sleep disturbances that either make it difficult to sleep or you end up sleeping too much.

4. Bloating/stomach pain - feeling discomfort and pain in the abdomen and feeling swollen due to fluid retention is another common symptom of PMS. You may also put on on extra weight in the week leading up to your period. You may find comfort with our Wearable hot water bottle on those days.

5. Sore breasts - many feel more sensitivity or experience pain in their breasts in the days before their period begins. It is also common to go up a cup size before your period.

6. Headache - a sore head or even a migraine headache are unfortunately also linked to the fluctuating hormone changes that happen during this point in the cycle.

7. Ance Flare Ups - your skin and menstrual cycle are linked. Many women, trans men and non-binary people with periods experience breakouts as part of PMS.

8. Changes in appetite - you may experience particular cravings, feel more or less hungry than usual. It’s important to remember to still ensure to eat a balanced diet during this time.

9. Increased/decreased sex drive - changes to libido are another common symptom of PMS that’s caused by the shift in hormones that happen before your period arrives.

Does everyone have PMS?

Most women, trans men and non-binary people with periods experience at least one of the above PMS symptoms each month but it’s not the same for everyone. Your friend may have all the above symptoms in a mind expression, whereas you may have one or two very intense symptoms. We all have different bodies and it’s important to practice self-care a little more during those times.

Does PMS change throughout your life?

PMS symptoms often change throughout a person's life. People may notice different PMS symptoms after their first pregnancy or when they get older. Many report their PMS symptoms getting worse in their late 30s or 40s and in the transition time to menopause, called perimenopause.

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What can you do to balance PMS?

  • Detoxing your body and having a healthy diet may help with balancing your PMS symptoms. Removing alcohol, caffeine, sugar, processed flours and inflammatory fats such as those found in full-fat dairy products and red meats and limiting salt can also help. Eating a balance of lean proteins and omega-3 healthy fats and complex carbohydrates every three to four hours during the day. This help to stabilise blood sugars and avoid stress and hormonal imbalance because of skipped meals.

  • It may seem obvious but boosting your exercise and reduce your stress can also help balance our hormones. The body is a complex machine and the various wonderful mechanisms are all connected, too much stress, too little sleep or not enough movement can have huge impacts on the endocrine system and in turn affect your PMS. Taking part in meditation, yoga or deep breathing can also help stress-related symptoms such as headaches, anxiety or sleeping troubles.

  • Particular supplements have been shown to help ease PMS symptoms by improving metabolic function and hormone metabolism. Magnesium citrate, evening primrose oil and Tautirne are but a few to name. If in doubt consult your doctor to ensure you are taking the right supplements for your body.

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