Disclaimer: This article is entirely factual, and is intended specifically for sceptics (read: husbands) of PMS. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely deliberate.
Ladies, let’s face it. PMS is real. It isn’t some condition that we concoct, just so we can gallivant around town with a sorry excuse for a bad mood. The struggle is real, and it is time the world knew about it. PMS, or Premenstrual Syndrome affects 1 in 4 menstruating women, and it can manifest in a broad spectrum of symptoms. That said, not all the blame for a bad mood before your period can be pinned on PMS. In fact, there are clinical guidelines that encompass the condition, like the recurrence of physical and emotional PMS symptoms that affect normal functioning in the second half of the menstrual cycle. By this definition, PMS is known to affect only 30% of menstruating women.
PMS could affect you by way of mood swings, food cravings, depression, social withdrawal, anxiety and irritability. There are also physical symptoms such as abdominal bloating, fatigue, joint pain, acne, constipation and tender breasts. The symptoms of PMS are usually fairly predictable, so if you find yourself snapping at your husband more than usual during the same interval every month, you may well have two things: PMS, and an unfortunate husband feeling rather sorry for himself. The degree to which PMS affects you could be drastically different to how it affects the woman next door. Its intensity can vary largely from woman to woman.
There are certain segments of women who are more susceptible to PMS. Those between their late 20s and early 40s, for example, are more likely to develop the condition, as are those who have children. Other probable groups include those with a family history of mood disorders or depression, and those with a personal history of postpartum depression.
For some women, the effects of PMS can severely affect daily life. If the symptoms of PMS are extreme enough to cripple you, you most likely have a condition called Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD). This disorder, which affects between 3% to 8% of women, exhibits the symptoms of PMS multiplied manifold. Unlike PMS, however, PMDD entails only emotional symptoms, and the intervention of a doctor is recommended.
PMS usually recedes within four days of the start of the menstrual cycle. However, if you find that you need help to manage your condition, speak to your doctor. PMS is manageable, and your doctor is most likely to offer you a birth control pill to control its effects. Birth control pills are effective ways to normalise your hormones, thereby controlling symptoms of PMS. In some cases, when a birth control pill is inadequate to tackle PMS, your doctor may prescribe an antidepressant. There are specific methods to treat individual symptoms of PMS. To counter breast tenderness, restrict your intake of caffeine. For menstrual cramps and heavy bleeding, take non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory medications. If you have specific symptoms, seek advice from your doctor to know what measures you should be taking. PMS is frequently swept under the carpet by sceptics and husbands alike. It’s time we aired that carpet and spread some awareness.
Most often, PMS isn’t anything a hot water bag, a little rest and a lot of laughter can’t cure. Try them, you’ll see.
If you found this article interesting and have more questions, book an appointment with a Cloudnine expert today!