You can’t become a period expert without first understanding the basics. You’ve likely heard of PMS, or Premenstrual Syndrome, but now you’re wondering what is PMS? PMS stands for Premenstrual Syndrome, which is the combination of symptoms that women may develop a week or so before their period begins. PMS can take a toll on your emotions and your body 5-7 days before you start your period.
This may sound miserable but don’t worry as Tampax can be a helpful resource for you every step of the way. Here are some of the PMS symptoms that you may experience. Most people do not experience all of these!
Physical Symptoms of PMS
You may have similar PMS symptoms every month that vary in intensity and it’s important to remember that PMS tends to vary for every woman. When it comes to the physical symptoms of PMS, you may experience some of the following:
- Breast tenderness or swelling
- Changes in sleep habits
- Chest palpitations
- Increased appetite
- Increased thirst
- Joint or muscle aches
- Muscle spasms
- Swollen ankles or swollen fingers (from fluid retention)
- Upset stomach
- Weight gain
Emotional PMS Symptoms
Unfortunately PMS can occur with both physical symptoms as well as emotional ones. Take a deep breath and take solace in knowing that you’re not the only one going through this and your body is not out to get you. Additionally, these emotions often pass quickly, especially if you keep in mind you may be experiencing them due to your period rather than your environment. Some common emotional PMS symptoms include:
- Anger, irritability
- Anxiety, tension
- Changes in libido
- Crying spells
- Decreased interest in usual activities
- Depressed mood, feelings of hopelessness
- Difficulty concentrating
- Low self-image
- Social withdrawal
- Sudden and dramatic mood swings
PMS usually includes at least 5 of the above, each ranging from mild, to moderate or severe. And every menstrual cycle isn’t the same. Just because you have horrible mood swings and acne during one period, doesn’t mean you’ll have them again next month. It might be a completely different combination—or no PMS at all. Remember to contact a doctor as soon as possible if you’re feeling extreme discomfort.
Don’t feel as if there is nothing you can do in terms of PMS. Now that you are familiar with PMS and its symptoms, here are a couple ways in which you can alleviate your discomfort.
- Cut down on caffeine and alcohol
- Eat well
- Get enough sleep
- Try to reduce your stress level
- If you’re interested in taking vitamins that may help, talk to your doctor about Vitamin B6 and Vitamin E
- For cramps, talk to your doctor or parent if you are under 18 about taking pain medication
There you have it, not only do you now know what PMS is, you know the most common physical and emotional PMS symptoms and how to get some relief. Whether it’s your first period or just a particularly difficult month, we hope that this been helpful. Don’t forget that Tampax is there for all your period tips and advice!