Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is very common among women, especially those in their 20s and 30s. If you or someone you know are experiencing these symptoms, such as bloating, headaches and moodiness, you may have PMS.
Read on to learn more about symptoms of PMS.
WHAT IS PMS?
PMS describes the symptoms that occur from several days to two weeks before your period. The symptoms of PMS can appear anytime between puberty and menopause, but the most common age for it to start and possibly become a problem is during your late 20s to early 30s.
PMS affects up to 75 percent of women in their childbearing years, although 20 percent to 40 percent have difficulties as a result.
DO I HAVE PMS? SYMPTOMS OF PMS
There are several symptoms of PMS, but most women only experience a few. These symptoms are mild for most women and can change throughout your life. There are both physical and emotional symptoms.
PHYSICAL SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF PMS:
- Joint or muscle pain
- Weight gain related to fluid retention
- Abdominal bleeding
- Swelling of hands/feet
- Breast tenderness
- Acne flare-ups
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Alcohol intolerance
EMOTIONAL SYMPTOMS OF PMS:
- Tension or anxiety
- Depressed mood
- Crying spells
- Mood swings and irritability
- Trouble falling asleep (insomnia)
- Appetite changes or food cravings
- Poor concentration
- Change in libido
- Social withdrawal
TIPS TO RELIEVE PMS SYMPTOMS
- Get regular physical activity throughout the month. Exercise can help with symptoms.
- Choose healthy foods most of the time. Avoiding drinks with caffeine, salt and sugar two weeks before your period. This may lesson PMS symptoms.
- Get enough sleep. Try to get eight hours of sleep each night. Lack of sleep can make PMS symptoms and moodiness much worse.
- Try vitamins. Vitamins, especially B6 and E, may be very beneficial because B6 helps to maintain a healthy nervous system, and act as a natural pain treatment. Women can use vitamin E to prevent complications in late pregnancy due to high blood pressure, PMS, and painful periods.
There is no specific laboratory test to determine if you suffer from PMS, and diagnosis can take awhile because symptoms are so varied.
You potentially could have PMS if you have symptoms that:
- Happen five days before your period for at least three menstrual cycles in a row
- End within four days after your period starts
- Keep you from enjoying or doing some of your normal activities
Timing and severity of these symptoms are key to a PMS diagnosis. An average menstrual cycle spans 21 to 35 days.
Follow these steps to determine if your symptoms fit the PMS pattern:
- Track your symptoms using the first day of menstrual flow as day 1.
- Have someone close to you (friend, parent, roommate) chart his or her impression and severity of your symptoms when they start.
- Chart your symptoms for at least three consecutive months to help you and your healthcare professional identify a pattern that may indicate PMS.
- Record the date when/if any of the following symptoms occur.
Menopause and PMS share some of the same symptoms, so depending on your age and health history, your healthcare professional may want to make sure that you are indeed ovulating and experiencing PMS symptoms and not menopausal symptoms.
To do this, you may be asked to use over-the-counter ovulation testing kit. This is a simple test you can do at home to tell you when ovulation is likely.
CAN BIRTH CONTROL HELP PMS?
If severe PMS is a problem for you, you may want to speak to a doctor about using birth control to alleviate your symptoms. There are different forms of birth control such as the pill, ring, implant and hormonal IUD. Your doctor can help you find a birth control method that can help you with PMS.
Some women use birth control continuously instead of the typical cycle to avoid getting their period, which can also reduce PMS symptoms. Although it can lead to breakthrough bleeding.
Download our in-depth guide on contraception to see which type works best for you.
Endometriosis can often be confused with PMS because it can cause severe premenstrual cramps and nausea. Read on to learn more about endometriosis.
PMS VS ENDOMETRIOSIS
Endometriosis is a disease where endometrium-like tissue, tissue that lines the uterus and womb, grows outside an individual’s uterus and on other areas such as a women’s ovaries, outer surface of the uterus, fallopian tubes or on the tissues that hold the uterus in place.
During one’s menstrual cycle, the tissue would normally be discharged. However, because it is on the outside of the uterus, the blood from the tissue has nowhere to go.
The tissue around the affected area can become inflamed, which results in scar tissue forming.
SYMPTOMS OF ENDOMETRIOSIS:
- Extremely painful menstrual cramps
- Chronic pain in the lower back and pelvis
- Pain during or after sex
- Intestinal pain
- Painful bowel movements
- Bleeding between periods
- Spotting between periods
Women in their 30s and 40s are more likely to have this disease; however, individuals who have never had children, had periods that last more than seven days, have short menstrual cycles or have had a family member who has it will be more likely to have endometriosis.
Read our in-depth blog to learn more about the symptoms, risk factors, treatment and prevention of endometriosis.
WOMENS HEALTHCARE OF MORGANTOWN | MORGANTOWN, WV
If you are experiencing headaches, abdominal bleeding or acne flare-ups, schedule an appointment with one of our doctors. These could be signs of PMS.
At Women’s Healthcare of Morgantown, we will make you feel comfortable and provide you with resources that you can trust. We are dedicated to the health of all our patients.
We provide total healthcare for women of all ages, from their teen years through post menopause, and will be there for all of your primary care needs.
Call us today to make an appointment: 304-599-6353