Did We Answer Your Question About Pms
For more information about PMS, call the OWH Helpline at 1-800-994-9662 or check out the following resources from other organizations:
- Premenstrual Syndrome Information from the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
- Premenstrual Syndrome Information from the National Library of Medicine
What Is A Normal Menstrual Cycle
The menstrual cycle is a term used to describe the sequence of events that occur within a womans body as it prepares for the possibility of pregnancy each month. A menstrual cycle is considered to begin on the first day of a period. The average cycle is 28 days long however, a cycle can range in length from 21 days to about 35 days.
The steps in the menstrual cycle are triggered by the rise and fall of chemicals in the body called hormones. The pituitary gland in the brain and the ovaries in the female reproductive tract manufacture and release certain hormones at certain times during the menstrual cycle that cause the organs of the reproductive tract to respond in certain ways. The specific events that occur during the menstrual cycle can be described as follows:
Should I Take Vitamins Or Minerals To Treat Pms Symptoms
Maybe. Studies show that certain vitamins and minerals may help relieve some PMS symptoms. The Food and Drug Administration does not regulate vitamins or mineral and herbal supplements in the same way they regulate medicines. Talk to your doctor before taking any supplement.
Studies have found benefits for:
- Calcium. Studies show that calcium can help reduce some PMS symptoms, such as fatigue, cravings, and depression.24,25 Calcium is found in foods such as milk, cheese, and yogurt. Some foods, such as orange juice, cereal, and bread, have calcium added . You can also take a calcium supplement.
- Vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 may help with PMS symptoms, including moodiness, irritability, forgetfulness, bloating, and anxiety. Vitamin B6 can be found in foods such as fish, poultry, potatoes, fruit , and fortified cereals. You can also take it as a dietary supplement.
Studies have found mixed results for:
- Magnesium.24 Magnesium may help relieve some PMS symptoms, including migraines. If you get menstrual migraines, talk to your doctor about whether you need more magnesium.26 Magnesium is found in green, leafy vegetables such as spinach, as well as in nuts, whole grains, and fortified cereals. You can also take a supplement.
- Polyunsaturated fatty acids . Studies show that taking a supplement with 1 to 2 grams of polyunsaturated fatty acids may help reduce cramps and other PMS symptoms.27 Good sources of polyunsaturated fatty acids include flaxseed, nuts, fish, and green leafy vegetables.
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Emotional Signs And Symptoms
- Appetite changes that may cause food cravings
- Trouble falling asleep or insomnia
- Social withdrawal, even from parents, friends, schoolmates or colleagues.
- Increased tension or anxiety.
- Easily irritated causing crying spells
- Poor concentration at school, work, and other things.
- Changes in libido.
- Breast swelling and tenderness, especially the nipples.
- Increase in weight due to fluid retention in your body.
- Breakouts on chin, forehead, and other parts of your face.
- Abdominal cramps.
- Alcohol intolerance
In some cases, severe symptoms can interfere with daily activities. However, regardless of the severity of symptoms, they normally disappear within 3 to 4 days after the onset of your period. In rare cases, you may suffer from a condition known as a premenstrual dysphoric disorder
According to website Mayoclinic.org, PMDD symptoms are disabling. Such symptoms may include depression, anxiety, mood swings, anger, feeling overwhelmed, tension, irritability and difficult to concentrate.
A Word About The First Period For Teens And Preteens
It is important to know signs you’re about to start your period,but it is also true that some teenage girls will experience severe symptoms while others will have mild signs only.
When Does It Come?
It may also come at different times for different girls. Some girls have it when they turn 8-9 years old, while others don’t have it until they turn 16. However, the average age is between 12 and 13 years, but you may need to see your healthcare provider if you’re 16 and havent experienced your first period. This usually means you’re suffering from a condition called primary amenorrhea, which requires careful diagnosis and testing with therapy.
Signs of Your First Period
You can have a closer look at other signs of development to determine how long it will take your first period to arrive. You will notice your breasts become bigger and fuller before you actually have your first period. Noticing more hair in your armpits and on your pubic area usually means your period is around the corner. It is also not uncommon to notice a whitish discharge from your vagina as well as a few drops of blood a few weeks before your first period. You can also ask your older sister or mother to help you know about signs you’re about to start your period.
Heres one girl sharing her experience of first period:
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What Complementary Or Alternative Medicines May Help Relieve Pms Symptoms
Some women report relief from their PMS symptoms with yoga or meditation. Others say herbal supplements help relieve symptoms. Talk with your doctor or nurse before taking any of these supplements. They may interact with other medicines you take, making your other medicine not work or cause dangerous side effects. The Food and Drug Administration does not regulate herbal supplements at the same level that it regulates medicines.
Some research studies show relief from PMS symptoms with these herbal supplements, but other studies do not. Many herbal supplements should not be used with other medicines. Some herbal supplements women use to ease PMS symptoms include:
- Black cohosh.28 The underground stems and root of black cohosh are used fresh or dried to make tea, capsules, pills, or liquid extracts. Black cohosh is most often used to help treat menopausal symptoms,29 and some women use it to help relieve PMS symptoms.
- Chasteberry.30 Dried ripe chasteberry is used to prepare liquid extracts or pills that some women take to relieve PMS symptoms. Women taking hormonal birth control or hormone therapy for menopause symptoms should not take chasteberry.
- Evening primrose oil. The oil is taken from the plants seeds and put into capsules. Some women report that the pill helps relieve PMS symptoms, but the research results are mixed.29
Researchers continue to search for new ways to treat PMS. Learn more about current PMS treatment studies at clinicaltrials.gov.
Craving For Different Foods:
Cravings are common during pregnancy. Your hormones cause you to crave for certain foods when you are pregnant. This happens every month just before a few days when you going to bleed. You may crave very sweet or spicy food.
Women usually time their periods as they repeat a cycle of occurrence during the month. However, most women face problems of irregular periods in which it becomes difficult to determine which will be the exact day when the periods will give them a wake up call. For such women, the above list of symptoms shall serve the purpose of helping them to identify that day. The good part about these symptoms is that they are easily identifiable and are also very common among all women. One can easily ascertain when she will start to bleed and plan her day accordingly. Nobody wants to be surprised by the untimely or unexpected arrival of this inseparable friend of women. It may cause women to get embarrassed or feel uncomfortable. After reading this article, you can analyse if you have the signs your period is coming tomorrow.
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Things That Can Make Mood Swings During Your Period Worse
Although the cause of PMDD is unclear, there are a couple of theories as to why some women have worse mood swings and experience more severe forms of mood disorders around their periods, such as:
- having an underlying case of depression
- being very sensitive to hormonal changes
If you find your moods are extreme or you have suicidal thoughts, discuss your symptoms with your doctor as soon as possible.
The Growth Of Pubic Hair
Soon after the breast buds grow, your daughter may notice pubic hair growth.
At first, she may just see a few long, sparse, straight and soft hairs in the beginning. However, as the hair will fill in, they will become darker, curlier and coarser.
Over the next few years, the pubic hair grows up in the groin area. Further taking on a triangular shape, the hair finally spreads to the inner thighs.
It is important to note that underarm hair doesnt begin to grow until around when menstruation begins.
Make sure that you guide your daughter about the change she will be experiencing.
In this case knowledge of the menarche symptoms can help manage the stress and fear that comes with the uncertainty.
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Abdominal Bloating And Water Retention
If youve noticed your jeans are tighter than usual around your period, chances are its your period thats causing the snug fit. One common PMS symptom is bloating or water retention just before the period begins. This symptom can appear one to two weeks before your period is due, making it a good sign your period is coming.
Practical Preparation For Periods
Your child will need a supply of sanitary pads, period-proof underpants, tampons and/or a menstrual cup.
Before your child gets their first period, its a good idea to show your child:
- what pads, period-proof underpants, tampons and cups look like
- how to use pads, period-proof underpants, tampons and cups
- how to dispose of pads and tampons, or rinse period-proof underpants
- how to clean a menstrual cup.
You might want to suggest your child carries pads, underpants, tampons or a cup. For example, they could keep some in a small bag in their school bag and sports bag.
Pads, underpants, tampons or a menstrual cup? Its probably easier for your child to start with pads or period-proof underpants before they try tampons or a menstrual cup.
Your child can use tampons and cups at any age, but it can take some time and practice to get used to them.
When your child is first starting with tampons or a menstrual cup, it might help to practise between periods, to get used to inserting and removing them. For tampons it can help to put a bit of lubricant or petroleum jelly on the tip of a tampon so it slides in more easily, or use water as a lubricant for a menstrual cup. Looking at diagrams of the slope and shape of the vagina can also help, as can using a mirror while practising.
Being comfortable with using tampons or a menstrual cup can be a big help in these busy and active years.
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Do You Get Really Dry Before Your Period
Numerous ladies experience a dry vagina before their period. While this manifestation is apparently less talked about than period cramps, dryness is as yet a genuine concern.
Vaginal dryness can be due to a number of factors. However, changes in estrogen levels can be the main hormone that contributes to it.
In cases like this, it is strongly advised to seek a trusted expert to rule out other diagnoses.
My Period Just Started What Should I Do
If youve started your period and dont have something to use for the blood, try not to worry. You can fashion a temporary pad out of toilet paper to hold things over until youre able to get a proper pad or tampon.
If youre at school, you may consider asking your teacher or nurse for a pad or tampon. Theyve been asked before trust us.
Your first period may only last a couple of days. Your first period . .
It may take a couple of months for your period to settle into a regular schedule and consistency.
Once it does, your period may last anywhere from two to seven days each month.
Although a persons first few periods are often light bringing a few spots of red-brown blood throughout the week you may have a heavier flow.
Your monthly period will follow a more consistent pattern once your hormones stabilize.
Heavier bleeding isnt necessarily cause for concern. But if you feel like youre losing too much blood, tell your guardian or talk to the school nurse.
You should also tell a trusted adult if you:
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What If I Forget To Remove My Tampon
If you forget to remove your tampon, it can turn sideways or become compressed at the top of your vagina. This can make it difficult for you to pull it out. If you think you’ve left a tampon in and you can’t get it out, go to your GP or nearest sexual health clinic. They can remove it for you.
Read the full answer to What if I forget to remove my tampon?
Will I Smell While On My Period
Just like the colour of blood on a period, the way a vagina smells can vary at different times, too. Its perfectly natural and nothing to worry about, but if youre worried that other people will notice if they get too close, just keep up regular hygiene routines and washing. They wont be able to smell a thing.
Dont use strong deodorants, body sprays, or perfumes on your private parts to try and make the smell go away, though. The vagina is naturally acidic, and its supposed to stay that way!
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Mood Swings And Disorders
Mood swings, anxiety, depression and irritability are common signs your period is on its way. Mood changes are one of those classic PMS symptoms. Some women also experience whats known as enhanced mood disorders or premenstrual dysphoric disorder . This is essentially an extreme form of PMS.
With PMDD, emotions are heightened and mood swings are more severe. Both PMS and PMDD tend to hit around 7 to 10 days before your period starts, lasting until the first days of your period.