PMS Is Real, So Is Its Struggle!
Most of us feel uncomfortable talking about a woman's period or its associated effects. We generally avoid discussion around this topic, unless there is something urgent that we need to talk about it to our gynecologist.
Apart from the stigma around period, there are also jokes about women PMSing on days they are frustrated.
PMS is no joke, especially for some women!
For those who still don't know what PMS is:
PMS (or Premenstrual Syndrome) is a series of emotional and physical changes that women experience a week or two before their period.
So, how does PMS really impact women?
I probably didn't experience or perhaps didn't pay attention to PMS symptoms until these last few years, when the symptoms became stronger and more troubling. It helped me empathize with the women who were already suffering from PMS and had unpleasant experiences before and during their period.
Not all women experience PMS, and of those who do, the intensity varies.
EXPERIENCES SHARED BY WOMEN:
"I have started experiencing little mood swings lately. Otherwise, it is generally physical uneasiness like leg pain and bloating."
"I have major mood swings before my period. I am irritable most of the time."
"I rarely have PMS, and if I do, it's nothing major. Although I feel bloated and a little irritable at times, this does not happen every month."
"My breasts feel heavy and stiffened before the period. And they pain really bad at times."
"I have severe leg pain two days before my period, and my breasts also feel heavy at times. I also have sweet and chocolate cravings."
These are just a few of the many symptoms that women experience before their period. Other symptoms of PMS might include anxiety, fatigue, being upset or teary, unwilling to work, constipation, diarrhea, acne, sleep disorders, headache, and other body pains.
These symptoms tend to be influenced by the emotional or psychological state of women at that time in their lives. From my personal experience, I generally had physical pains and rarely mood swings before my period. However, because of a broken relationship, this past year was a bit stressful, and I experienced emotional roller-coaster once almost every month. I'd burst out in tears for no good reason, a day or two days before my period. It was new, and I didn't realize it was a PMS symptom until I saw the pattern.
Emotional as well as physical fitness plays a significant role in subsiding PMS struggle. Eat good, healthy food, keep yourself busy, indulge in an active lifestyle, and avoid stressful situations to have a less unpleasant period. When I eat well and exercise regularly, or when I am traveling, I don't generally experience extreme discomfort before my period, just a day of leg pain.
The busier you keep yourself, the less likely your PMS will be a trouble.
If you are down, instead of dwelling in your sorrows, talk to a friend, go for a walk, breathe in fresh air, and meditate.
Another woman said, "My periods are not as difficult if I am eating the right diet."
PMS symptoms and their magnitude are not predetermined or stay constant through different cycles. These might change, but once you start tracking them, the better it'll be for you to identify them, and consequently handle them.
If you are low, pamper yourself, take a break, wrap yourself in sheets, watch a good funny movie, and sleep, whatever keeps you comfortable. It was hard for me to let go of work initially. I'd be worried about not being as productive every time. But I learned it the hard way, instead of cribbing and repenting about not being able to concentrate on work, I made peace with myself. I accepted that it's okay to take a day's break to be able to cope up with the emotional turmoil and physical discomfort one goes through before their period.
Do you know there is a term PMDD?
PMDD (or Premenstrual dysphoric disorder) is an extreme version of PMS. The reason why most of us wouldn't know about PMDD is that only 5-10% of women experience this. The symptoms of PMDD are very similar to, but a lot more amplified than those of PMS. The treatment for PMDD is also taking good care of your mind and body, and not shying away from consulting a doctor if needed.
The more we talk about PMS, the better we'll know about it, and thus be able to create better solutions or treatments. So, my dear ladies, and gentlemen, PERIOD is not disgusting, PERIOD is not a problem, PERIOD is the process of life, so be okay talking about it. I wouldn't have been able to understand what I was experiencing this past year, had I not talked to my mother, sister, or friends about it.