Real talk – the only thing worse than somebody accusing you of having PMS when you don’t, is actually having PMS and having to deal with life during this… ‘special’ time of the month.
While many of us probably blame many things on PMS (A.K.A yelling at your significant other for forgetting to buy your ice cream), many women don’t fully understand what PMS actually is and most importantly, how to deal with it. Here’s everything that you need to know, ladies. And to be honest, if all else fails, there’s always chocolate and Gilmore Girls to get you through.
1. What actually is PMS?
PMS is the short name for premenstrual syndrome and generally effects women 7-10 days before their monthly period. While symptoms vary between women, many women report having sore breasts, headaches, emotional outbursts and stomach cramps during PMS.
2. Does PMS actually make women emotional?
While people commonly believe that PMS makes women emotional and even angry, studies show that it does not necessarily impact women’s hormone levels and there is a degree of uncertainty around if this theory is actually correct. While many women do report feeling emotional during PMS, experts say that it could also be due to other factors including stress levels and other medical conditions.
3. Do all women experience PMS?
According to the National Library of Medicine, around 15 out of every 20 women will experience some symptoms of PMS. While this suggests that the majority of women will notice some symptoms, a lucky few may get off scot-free.
4. What’s the best way to get rid of back pain during PMS?
If you are experiencing back pain during PMS it is a ripple effect from the pain that you feel in your uterus. The best way to help back pain is to place a heat pad or hot water bottle on the affected area.
5. What’s the best way to deal with cramps?
Menstrual cramps are common and thankfully there are a lot of treatments to help you deal with this nasty side-effect of your period. Doctors suggest taking pain relief such as ibuprofen or naproxen in a low dose as soon as you feel yourself beginning to cramp to stop your symptoms before they really set in.
6. Why do some women experience breast pain?
During PMS many women report having tender, swollen or sensitive breasts – some so badly that they are unable to even wear a bra. According to doctors, breast pain is caused by an expansion of the breast tissue and it can happen up to two weeks before your period. To help with your breast pain, avoid caffeine, keep your breasts supported with a fitted bra (even if it hurts!) and try to stick to a low fat diet.
7. What should women do if they are experiencing severe PMS?
For some women PMS can be almost unbearable, with anxiety, insomnia, acne, and severe mood swings being less common but still very real symptoms of PMS. If you are finding PMS very difficult or are concerned about any of your symptoms, make sure that you make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as possible. While pain killers and heat pads will suffice for a lot of women, some women may need to go on medication if symptoms are severe.