So do you really know what is happening to your body in the days leading up to your period? There's actually a lot more going on inside your body that you probably don't realize! Let's get down to business, shall we? So, PMS stands for Premenstrual Syndrome, a term to describe the symptoms you feel in both the days leading up to your period and during your actual period. We are going to talk about some of the most common symptoms that women can experience.
About one week before your period starts you’re going to feel a cramping sensation in your abdomen. Don’t freak out, everything is fine! Cramps are super common around your time of the month. The reason for this cramping is that your uterus is contracting to get ready to shed the menstrual lining. This lining builds up when it gets ready for an egg to be fertilized. If an egg is not fertilized during ovulation then the lining sheds, giving you your period. But in the meantime, you might be cramping a lot which is totally and completely normal. A good way to combat this gross cramping feeling is to use a heating pad or a hot water bottle. The heat helps to calm down the muscles when they are contracting, which in turn will make the pain subside.
This is another very common symptom many women face. According to a study published in the Archives of Dermatology, 63% of acne-prone women experience acne in the days leading up to their period. The reason for this is simple. Those raging hormones! Your hormone levels start to go crazy which makes your skin (unfortunately) break out. Even though there isn't anything you can do about the relationship between your skin and your hormones there are a few good skin hygiene routines you can do to prevent worse breakouts. If you have oily skin try an oil-free cleanser to manage the overproduction of oil. Clean your cell phone regularly as it can harbor tons of bacteria and avoid touching your face as your hands can introduce dirt and bacteria to your face. If you keep these things in mind you have a good shot at not worsening any existing breakouts.
Something else you might feel in the days leading up to your period is breast tenderness. The amount of tenderness or soreness varies from person to person. The reason for this soreness is once again due to your fluctuating hormones. Estrogen is known to make the breast ducts enlarge while progesterone can make the milk glands swell. Both of these hormones can make your breasts feel sore and uncomfortable. Some natural ways to help ease this pain is to cut down on caffeine, alcohol, and high-fat foods. Try to opt for foods high in vitamin E and magnesium.
Mood swings are something that happens to so many women. Sometimes it's a little tough to admit that you have mood swings because it feels like society has made women out to be “crazy” during their period. The reality is, our period sometimes makes us feel so run down that we aren't ourselves for those few days of the period. But we have to live with it every month, so let us have our mood swings!
There are lots of other PMS symptoms to look out for like fatigue, bloating and maybe a little weight gain But it’s important to remember that all these symptoms are normal for you to have in the week or two leading up to your period. Nothing to worry about at all.