Signs Your Period Is Coming
The body works in mysterious ways to alert you that your period is coming. We dive into some of the different signs so youre never caught off guard.
Even less fun than your actual period is the week or two of symptoms that many of us experience leading up to it. Premenstrual syndrome, which most of us know as PMS, is very common. In fact, nearly half of women experience PMS at some point in their lifetime. And while it looks different in everyone, PMS is thought to be caused by the same thing: fluctuating hormone levels throughout the menstrual cycle.
The signs your period is coming arent the same for every person, and they can even change for an individual from month to month. For some, PMS symptoms are a minor annoyance, but for others, they can be debilitating.
Lets delve into some of the signs your period may be on its way and what to look out for so you dont get caught short without your menstrual product of choice.
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 Are The Signs You Are Getting Your Period
Women usually start noticing physical and mood changes about 1-2 weeks before period bleeding starts. Ninety percent of women have premenstrual syndrome symptoms at some point in their reproductive life. Some women have more severe PMS signs and symptoms than others.
Changing hormones are to blame for many uncomfortable or unpleasant period signs and symptoms like cramps and tender breasts. Brain chemicals are also involved, but itâs unclear to what extent.
Period signs and symptoms usually end about 3-4 days after bleeding begins.
Common signs that your period is approaching are:
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Menstruation And Quality Of Life
The symptoms of menstruation can affect your quality of life. Its important to take note of whether your period is impacting any aspects of your life. Talk to your doctor if your period is causing you to:
- Miss work or school
- Not be able to participate in activities that you usually enjoy
- Struggle to carry out your usual daily activities
- Accomplish less than you would like to
- Have difficulty in your relationships with your family or friends
- Have severe pain
- Lack energy or feel very fatigued
- Not exercise when you normally do
- Choose not to go out when you normally would
When Do Periods Stop
Your periods will continue until you reach the menopause, which usually happens when you are in your late 40s to mid-50s. In the UK the average age of menopause is 51.
Your periods may start to become less frequent over a few months or years before stopping altogether. In some cases they can stop suddenly.
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Things That Can Make Period Fatigue Worse
Period fatigue could also be caused by:
- Low iron levels. Sometimes heavy bleeding during a period could lead to anaemia due to an iron deficiency, and this can cause weakness and fatigue because iron is so important for carrying oxygen in the blood.
- Sudden changes in blood sugar. Some women may get certain cravings around their periods which can lead to eating too many sweets or food with added sugar. Eating food like this can cause a spike in blood sugar, followed by an energy crash.
- Disturbed sleep. If your period pain keeps you up at night, or mood changes make it hard to stay asleep, its natural to feel tired the next day.
If your fatigue is debilitating or interferes with your daily activities, or it doesnt go away after your period, talk to your doctor to get it checked out.
Its Also Possible To Manipulate Your Period With The Birth Control Ring And Patch
The ring is a donut-shaped piece of flexible plastic you insert into your vagina, the Mayo Clinic says. It essentially works the same way as the combined birth control pill: It has estrogen and progestin to suppress ovulation, thicken your cervical mucus, and thin your uterine lining. The patch also contains estrogen and progestin, and you wear it on your butt, upper outer arm, stomach, or back, per the Mayo Clinic.
Like the combined birth control pill, both of these methods involve using the respective devices for 21 active days and taking seven off days, so youd simply take your ring out or your patch off when you want to get your period, then start back up again with a fresh ring or patch after seven days. Again, its important to talk to your doctor about this before trying it so that you can make sure youre fully protected against unwanted pregnancy and you arent putting yourself at risk of any side effects.
When it comes to long-acting reversible contraceptives like the IUD or the implant, you cant really use them to reschedule your period, though they may make your period lighter or shorter over time.
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When Do Most Girls Get Their Period
Most girls get their first period when they’re around 12. But getting it any time between age 10 and 15 is OK. Every girl’s body has its own schedule.
There isn’t one right age for a girl to get her period. But there are some clues that it will start soon:
- Most of the time, a girl gets her period about 2 years after her breasts start to develop.
- Another sign is vaginal discharge fluid that a girl might see or feel on her underwear. This discharge usually begins about 6 months to a year before a girl gets her first period.
Drink Some Herbal Tea
It has been speculated that certain teas can stimulate the start of menstruation, particularly, parsley tea. Apparently parsley has been used to induce menstruation for centuries. While parsley tea is the most likely to be helpful, any tea that relaxes you and warms your belly is going to be useful in starting menstruation .
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What Is A Period
A period, also called menstruation, is when your body removes the buildup of the lining of your uterus. This buildup of menstrual blood and tissue flows out of your vagina. The day your period starts is the first day of your menstrual cycle, which lasts until the first day of your next period.
Recognizing the signs that your period is coming helps you prepare to deal with the symptoms your body goes through during your menstrual cycle.
When To Speak With A Doctor
People may wish to see a healthcare professional if they have PMS symptoms that affect their daily life, if the symptoms occur outside of their period, or if they experience any sudden or dramatic changes to PMS or period symptoms.
If a person expects to have a period, but it does not arrive, it is best to speak with a healthcare professional about the potential causes. They may recommend a pregnancy test if someone could be pregnant or other tests if pregnancy is not the cause.
Heavy bleeding and severe abdominal cramping can indicate pregnancy complications, such as pregnancy loss or ectopic pregnancy. Contact a provider immediately if a pregnant person experiences any of the following symptoms:
- heavy bleeding
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Factors That Induce Menstrual Period
Your menstrual cycle is regulated by an intricate balance of hormones in the body. Your menstrual period starts when there is no fertilized egg that makes you pregnant. If no implantation occurs, the lining of your uterus is shed and menstrual bleeding starts.
Dr. Jennifer Knudtson, an expert in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at the University of Texas, says that hormones stimulate the ovaries to produce estrogen and progesterone. Just before ovulation , there is an increase in hormones, and that stimulates the growth follicles which contain eggs. If no fertilization takes place, levels of estrogen and progesterone drop and this results in the start of your next period.1
According to Obstetrician and Gynecologist Dr. Sarah Marshal, various factors can affect your hormones and have impact on your period. For example, stress, being overweight, strenuous exercise, or losing a lot of weight can all influence when your period comes.2
Your Discharge Is Dry
Vaginal discharge changes during different parts of your cycle and is often a good telltale sign of the most fertile time in your cycle. Around ovulation, your cervix produces more cervical mucus, and your discharge may have a raw egg white texture to increase the chances of conception, explains Dr. Kallen. But right before your period, it generally looks different. Youll have no discharge at all, or it may be sticky because this is when youre least fertile.
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So Should I Induce A Period
Its up to you and totally dependant on your body, period, and cycle.
Whether its to ensure your sporting event, wedding day or holiday goes off without a hitch, thanks to modern technology and a shift in how doctors approach female health issues, period induction is now something that you can definitely have done, with your GPs support, according to the matron.
The take-home message for inducing your period? Any controlling of your time of the month whether that be inducing, delaying or totally omitting isnt an exact science, explains Lythgoe. Natural remedies are not recommended and can have their own consequences, so if controlling your periods is of interest, do talk to your GP, make sure you give yourself planning time and dont despair: the vitamin C and orgasm regime isnt your only option, she concludes.
Doctor Lee asks you to think before you make any rash decisions. Ask yourself, why do you feel like you need to bleed? Perhaps you feel that once youve bled, all will be well? In my opinion, forcing yourself to bleed is not the answer. When you think about it, just making yourself bleed does not explain whats been happening.
Book a GP appointment and see what they have to say. Theyll be able to guide you from there.
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Medication And Hormone Treatments For Pms
There are different types of medications and hormone treatments available to help you manage your symptoms.
Treatments that have been proven to relieve symptoms include:
- SSRIs : fluoxetine, sertraline, paroxetine and escitalopram these medications are mood stabilisers and antidepressants. They can improve PMS symptoms significantly by boosting brain chemicals . They may be prescribed just in the premenstrual phase, or taken continuously
- combined oral contraceptive pill preparations
- agents that suppress ovulation including GnRH analogues and danazol might improve symptoms, but it has not been shown to be consistently of any advantage but may help if there is fluid retention.
Treatments that have not been proven to relieve symptoms include:
- progesterone and progestogens
- intrauterine devices
- Depo-Provera .
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Breast Swelling And Pain
This period symptom is one of the first to occur in fact breast pain usually coincides with ovulation, beginning just a few days before you ovulate, and sometimes lasting up until a day or so into your period.
During this time your breasts can feel swollen, tender, and uncomfortable even in your most comfortable bras.
Normally, breast pain isnt so severe that you actually need to seek out medicinal relief. Wearing a looser bra or one that does not have an underwire can help keep you more comfortable. A bra that is lightly lined may also feel more comfortable and provide a protective barrier against the abrasion from your clothing.
When Do Periods Usually Start
You may get your first period when you are around 12 years old, although anytime between 10 and 15 or 16 is also considered normal. Parents can typically expect their child’s first period to occur around two or three years after breast development.
Not everyone will have symptoms before or during their period. Even for those who do, their symptoms may be very different. Period symptoms can also change over a person’s life, so you may not always experience the same symptoms when you have your period.
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Mood Swings Before Periods
One of the most evident PMS symptoms is a fluctuating mood. It’s due to the lower secretion of serotonin hormones during your menstruation. If you feel overly emotional or cranky, it’s a sign that your period is coming. Some women even experience severe mood swings. Your mood swings can trigger irritability, anxiety and depression.
When Is My Period Due
Before your period starts, the hormone levels in your body fluctuate causing physical and emotional changes. This is known as PMS. You might notice certain physical indicators like feeling bloated, your skin breaking out, your hair appearing greasy or your boobs feeling tender to touch. Some women see a difference in their emotions, such as experiencing intense mood swings or feeling irritable which indicates that their period may be round the corner.
It can be useful to write down your pre-menstrual symptoms so you can recognise your bodys signs and spot patterns throughout the different stages of your menstrual cycle. You can use our period tracker to better predict when your period is due.
Although the signs your period is coming can tell you a lot, it is far from an exact science! There is no definite way to work out when you will start your period, and worrying about it wont make it come any quicker! Chill out, do something to take your mind off it, and make sure youre stocked up on sanitary items just in case.
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