Almost all women experience some physical and emotional symptoms prior to their periods. Most of these physical and emotional symptoms arise about a week before a woman’s menstrual period actually begins, and usually disappear as soon as the period starts. These symptoms are collectively called as Premenstrual syndrome or PMS.
However blood and urine tests can be done to rule out the possibility of any other disease but unfortunately the PMS itself can’t be diagnosed by any tests.
The diagnosis of PMS is mostly done based on the fact that the pre-menstrual symptoms are consistently associated with the beginning and end of a menstrual cycle.
[Also Read: How to Stop Period Cramps]
Here, we have listed some of the most general physical and emotional symptoms of PMS that might occur just before your menstrual periods. Let’s look at a few period symptoms.
1. Water retention and bloating
Water retention and bloating is a typical symptom which indicates that your periods may start anytime soon. A number of ladies take it as a periodical inconvenience; however this premenstrual symptom might be so uncomfortable and annoying for many others that it starts hampering their daily life. The water retention before periods may give you a feeling of full, heavy and swollen stomach, a week or two before bleeding starts.
2. Stomach pain and discomfort
Mild to severe discomfort or pain in the lower abdomen may be experienced by menstruating women right before their menstrual flow starts. But this kind of stomach pain may also occur a few days earlier to menstrual periods.
Several reports indicate that this type of pain usually reduces with age and pregnancy, but if your pain is extremely severe, you can see a doctor. The cramps usually occur right before or at the beginning of flow and may last for 3-4 days.
The drop in your estrogens level prior to the onset of periods may give you headaches. Especially if you are suffering with migraines, your migraine pain may become even worse just before your periods.
Around 60-70% of all menstruating women feel mild to severe headache before their periods begin. Headaches usually begin in the third stage of the menstrual cycle and become severe right before the menstrual flow starts.
Women who take contraceptive pills are prone to sever headache than those who do not take these pills.
4. Changes in skin and hair
Other than headaches, cramps, and bloating, women who PMS may also notice some changes in their skin and hair.
An outbreak of premenstrual rashes and acne is very common in teenage girls and acne-prone women. Such skin related problems usually arise 5-6 days before the starting of menstrual period.
A lot of menstruating women experience back pain around the time of their periods. Mild back pain is very common during this time but if you are experiencing persistent pain, then you should consult your doctor.
You can also try taking some over-the-counter anti inflammatory medicine if your back pain is not too severe. Heating pads and hot oil massage can be a very effective way to reduce both tension and menstrual back pain.
6. Breast tenderness
Breast tenderness and pain has also been reported in many cases; mostly young women get affected by it. This symptom may come up a week before your periods. Swollen and lumpy breasts before periods sometimes become so painful in some cases that it starts hampering day to day life of a woman.
These lumps are smooth in shape and mostly harmless; they can move when you push on them, these symptoms usually go away as soon as your menstrual flow begins.
However sudden breast changes should not be ignored, contact a doctor immediately if you notice some brownish discharge from nipples or changes in breast lumps.
7. Mood swings
Due to the rise and fall of hormone levels, you might also suffer an uncontrollable moodiness and anxiety prior to your menstrual period. A woman with such symptoms may experience sudden anger outbursts, anxiety and depression followed by a stable emotional condition. These emotional mood swings can be categorized as PMS if they always arise few days before your period, and subside as soon as your menstrual flow begins.
There can be so many other signs of PMS beside the symptoms listed above; the symptom and their intensity may vary from woman to woman. In many cases, the PMS symptoms remain the same every month, but they keep changing their severity. The important point here is that the premenstrual symptoms may be different in every woman but generally they disappear when the menstrual period ends.
Hope this post on period symptoms all the women out there.