Many women experience physical and emotional changes just before and during their period. These symptoms, which usually begin 7-14 days before a period, are known as either Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS) or Pre-Menstrual Tension (PMT).
Did you know that approximately 1 in 3 women suffer mild or severe symptoms of PMS/PMT?
If you’re looking for further information or advice, find the answers you’re looking for here. At Home Health UK, we have pulled together the most frequently asked questions surrounding PMS and PMT to provide a comprehensive guide to symptoms and more.
Plus, you can find a variety of feminine care products from our collection with free UK delivery.
The menstrual cycle varies in every female. However, most women have cycles that last 25 – 35 days, though having a slightly shorter or longer cycle is still quite normal. Every month, it is common for your cycle to vary by a couple of days. To calculate the length of your cycle, you count the first day you begin bleeding as day one, and then the last day you count is the day before your next period starts. Find more information on the menstrual cycle in our guide at Home Health UK.
PMS stands for Premenstural Syndrome.
PMT stands for Premenstrual Tension.
There is no difference between PMT and PMS; they are the same things. However, some argue that PMS better describes the range of symptoms women can experience. Usually, the terms are interchangeable.
It is unknown why some people get PMS and others don’t or why some suffer more than others. The general view is that monthly hormone changes trigger all the symptoms. In severe cases, doctors say it could be the woman’s body that is over-sensitive to their own progesterone. Other theories are based on the individual’s lifestyle and social pressures.
PMS is more common in women who have had children, eat a diet high in salt and sugar, don’t take regular exercise or those with high-stress levels.
All women are different, and some women may suffer many painful symptoms. In contrast, others have such minor symptoms that might even go unnoticed. These symptoms tend to disappear or greatly improve once the bleeding actually starts.
To be sure that PMS is the cause of your symptoms, you should keep a record of your symptoms over three months, what they are and when they occur. If there is a pattern to your symptoms, e.g. they happen around the middle of your menstrual cycle, then PMS is the likely diagnosis. You can use this record to show your doctor.
Some of the symptoms you may experience with PMS could include one or a few of the following:
If you have noticed that passing anger is a common symptom you face with PMS, understandably, you may be looking for ways to control it. To deal with PMS anger, in particular, you should try and avoid triggers which may worsen your mood swings. For example, try and cut out alcohol and monitor how this affects your mood.
Alternatively, why not look into classic stress management tools, such as meditation and breathwork?
Doctors can prescribe certain drugs (e.g. Prozac™ – an antidepressant drug) to help reduce some symptoms. However, the majority of these may have some side effects. The contraceptive pill is also very effective in controlling a woman’s period and is suitable for women who require contraception. To help relieve the symptoms yourself, try the following:
Unfortunately, as you age and begin the approach to menopause, PMS symptoms may worsen. You may begin to notice these symptoms get worse in your 30s and 40s, which is, on average, the premenopause stage for most women.
As you approach menopause, your hormone levels are erratic and even more unpredictable than usual as your body slowly transitions to this new state. However, you can look forward to your PMS coming to an end once you are menopausal.
If you’re worried about your experience with PMS or any related symptoms, speak to your GP or Doctor for further advice on any concerns you may have.
Alternatively, find more information on periods and the menstrual cycle from our helpful and handy guide. Plus, look for pain relief to ease your symptoms and more feminine care products, like menstrual cups, available at Home Health UK today.