What is PMS?

Premenstrual Syndrome (more commonly known as PMS) reportedly affects over 90% of people who menstruate. It can be understood as a mix of emotional and physical symptoms, which occur after ovulation and before the start of menstruation. It is believed that PMS is caused by a significant drop in progesterone and estrogen when your body realises it’s not pregnant. Symptoms should pass after hormone levels rise again and balance out, once the period starts.

The most common physical symptoms of PMS are constipation or diarrhoea, cramping, headaches, tender breasts and bloating. While the most common emotional symptoms are struggling with sleep, mood swings, anxiety, food cravings and a drop in libido. None of which are great, we think that people who menstruate should get a medal (or a massive bar of galaxy chocolate) every month.

So, what can we do to help with PMS?

There are a few methods which can help relieve the symptoms of PMS,

  • Eating a healthy balanced diet and avoiding caffeine.
  • Taking regular exercise throughout the month.
  • Managing stress (yoga and mediation are a great way to start on this).
  • Top up on calcium and vitium B6.
  • Ibuprofen and Paracetamol for pain relief.
  • Getting a regular 8 hours sleep.

Everyone’s body is different it may be a case of experimenting and finding what works for you.

What does this mean for you?

It’s not all doom and gloom, for most people PMS tends to fluctuate, so while one month may be awful, others may be hardly impacted. When PMS hits bad – don’t be afraid to book out some ‘me time’ in your schedule and remember that what your feeling is completely valid and isn’t trival. Look after yourself and try some of the above methods. Binging ‘Ru Paul’s Drag Race’ in bed is also fully endorsed by us as a PMS prescription. However, if you find that PMS is having serious effects on your daily life then please check in with your doctor for advice. No one should be disadvantaged because of their period.

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