Most women know their period is right around the corner when their usual uncomfortable symptoms pop up. You're not alone if you're used to headaches, bloating, and fatigue before your period.
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and its many unpleasant symptoms pose a real issue for many women who still get a menstrual cycle.
The expert team at New England Women's Healthcare is here when you can't control your PMS symptoms. Our team consists of eight OB/GYN specialists who get you the treatment you need for a less painful and disruptive menstrual cycle.
PMS encompasses several symptoms that sneak up on you before your period arrives. The symptoms related to this disorder may be physical, emotional, or a combination of both.
Although PMS isn't life-threatening, it messes with your life. Your symptoms usually start a week or two before your period and come back every month around the same time.
PMS is relatively common in women who have a menstrual cycle, although the symptoms vary from person to person. A more severe form of PMS, called premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), manifests as intense emotions and severe depression before your period.
Common PMS signs and symptoms
Your PMS symptoms may differ from those of other women, which is normal. Everyone experiences different things when it comes to PMS. However, there are familiar signs related to PMS, 10 of which include:
1. Acne flares
Before your period arrives, you might notice that a pimple or two pops out. Acne flares are standard, as your hormones change before your menstrual cycle.
2. Breast tenderness
A week or two before your period arrives, your breasts might feel swollen and tender to the touch. Breast tenderness happens due to the hormone swing as your body prepares for your period.
It's not a coincidence that your pants seem a little more snug before your period. Bloating and fullness in your abdomen are prevalent signs of PMS.
4. Mood swings
As your hormones change the week before your period arrives, you may snap at your partner or feel happy one minute and sad the next. Mood swings are an unfortunate symptom of PMS.
Feeling extremely tired in the weeks before your menstrual cycle is also very common. Even with a good night's rest, you may feel like you hardly slept.
Changes in hormones before your menstrual cycle trigger several types of discomfort, including headaches.
7. Trouble sleeping
It's often difficult to sleep as your menstrual cycle approaches, often because of the uncomfortable symptoms that pop up.
8. Food cravings
Right before your period arrives, you may notice that you're craving sugary or salty foods. It may even seem like you eat everything in sight. Food cravings are a common sign of PMS.
9. Joint pain
Joint pain is another manifestation of the changes in your hormones leading up to your period. The pain ranges from mild to severe but often subsides when your period arrives.
10. Depression or crying
As your period approaches, you may cry for no reason or feel highly anxious when you usually wouldn't. Depression and other emotions are some of the more common signs of PMS.
How to manage PMS
The New England Women's Healthcare team is here to help when you're struggling to manage your PMS symptoms. We take your symptoms seriously and offer several options to alleviate your discomfort.
One of the ways we help you manage your PMS symptoms is through specific lifestyle changes. Adding in regular exercise, improving your diet, and getting plenty of sleep are some strategies you can implement to tame your PMS symptoms.
We also recommend medications to keep your symptoms at bay. You may take over-the-counter pain relievers to manage pain or discomfort related to PMS. We may also prescribe hormonal birth control or antidepressants to ease your condition.
These approaches are usually enough to control PMS. Vitamin supplements can also help, but check with the team before starting any herbal remedy.
To get help managing your PMS symptoms, call the New England Women’s Healthcare team today or make an appointment online at one of our offices in Wilmington or Woburn, Massachusetts.