Pre and Post Menstrual Syndrome

One Future Collective
Posted November 5, 2019 from India

There’s a subject that has been taboo for a long period of time, and unfortunately, continues to be so — Menstrual health and hygiene. This very taboo has prevented women and others from discussing the important concerns of menstruation, and the effect it has on their health.

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is the name given to the physical, psychological and behavioural symptoms that occur two weeks before a female’s menstruation cycle. It’s also known as Premenstrual Tension (PMT) and was described in 1931 as a “state of unbearable tension”. Some women experience PMS from the time they begin having their menstrual cycles, but for most, PMS begins in the pre-menopausal years — around the mid-thirties — and becomes increasingly severe as the years go on, till the women achieve menopause.

Post Menstrual Syndrome is not as well-known as Pre Menstrual Syndrome. Post Menstrual syndrome is defined as physical, emotional and behavioural symptoms that take place 1–2 weeks after the period has ended. The only difference between pre and post menstrual syndrome is that post menstrual syndrome occurs after the menstruation cycle has ended for the month.

Symptoms of Pre and Post Menstrual Syndrome can be categorised into physical and emotional changes. Physical symptoms include joint pain, weight gain, food cravings, breast tenderness, headaches, fatigue, cramping, bloating, cramping, acne flare-ups, bleeding, constipation, diarrhoea, headache, migraine, nausea, lower back pain, discharge, etc. Emotional changes or emotional symptoms include tearfulness, anxiety, irritability, mood swings, anger, mental fatigue, poor concentration, change in libido, cravings, insomnia, etc.

1 in every 20 women have symptoms that are severe enough to stop them from living their normal lives. This is often the result of a more intense type of PMS known as Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD). Current estimates are that severe Premenstrual Syndrome occurs in 2.5 to 5 % of women, and mild PMS occurs in 33 % of women. Indian studies that discuss the prevalence of PMS are few. However, one study conducted by Raval et al. (2016), in Gujarat, says that the prevalence of PMS was 18.4%. Moderate to severe PMS was 14.7% and PMDD was 3.7%.

There are several myths about Pre and Post Menstrual Syndrome which are held by conservative society, and that are prevalent even today, thereby affecting different women in various realms of their lives. Some of them are –

“All women suffer from Premenstrual syndrome” — According to the Journal of Women’s Health, 20% of women need medical aid due to PMS, but it is not a universal problem for all women.

“It is the same as the Menstruation Cycle” — Despite the words, Pre and Post in it, some people tend to believe that it is the same thing as menstruation.

“It just has one form” — As mentioned above, Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) is a severe form of PMS.

“Women need to get accustomed to it since there is no cure to it” — It can be treated with various medical treatment and with lifestyle changes.

“All pain that women have before their menstrual cycle is due to PMS” — For a condition to be considered as PMS related, women should have symptoms present for at least three consecutive menstrual cycles.

“Women suffering from PMS just have mood swings ‘cause of the hormones” — PMS is a lot more than fluctuations in hormones. They are just one of the causes of the different symptoms of PMS.

There are many causes and factors that contribute to the conditions of Pre and Post Menstrual Syndrome. Some of them include:

Different symptoms are caused due to hormonal changes. However, these symptoms disappear with menopause or pregnancy.

Fluctuations in serotonin, which is an important neurotransmitter, could trigger various symptoms of premenstrual syndrome since this neurotransmitter plays an important role in mood changes.

Many women who suffer from Premenstrual Syndrome have undiagnosed depression

Going through a stressful life event can also trigger symptoms of Pre and Post Menstrual Syndrome.

According to Nicole Jardin, who is a certified women’s health and nutrition coach, insulin dysregulation or resistance is one of the major symptoms and causes of imbalances.

Some of the most opted for and advised treatments and cures for Pre and Post Menstrual Syndrome:

Regular exercising

Yoga

Massages during and after one’s menstrual cycle

Low caffeine intake

7 hours of sleep

Ample intake of calcium, minerals and vitamins

A healthy diet which includes ingestion of different fruits and vegetables

Intake of omega six fatty acids and

Yoghurt

Sufficient intake of water

Herbal remedies

Healthy lifestyle

Acupuncture therapy

Medical treatment from a certified clinician

Feature Image Credit: Janos Richter on Unsplash

Riddhi Panchal is a Research Associate at One Future Collective.

First published at One Future Collective

 

Comments 6

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Hello, One Future Collective,

Thank you for sharing this information and recommendations about Post-Menstrual Syndrome. It's my first time to read about this. It seems like women are facing different symptoms every month. How strong we are to be able to carry out our responsibilities despite the physical issues we feel.

Anita Shrestha
Nov 06
Nov 06

Dear Sis
This is really new information for us. Thank you for sharing. Again share this types of amazing things

Jill Langhus
Nov 06
Nov 06

Hi One Future Collective,

Thanks for sharing Riddhi's informative post. I have known a lot of women that have had PMS throughout my life, myself included. I've never heard that more women get them in their thirties, or that most women that have it are depressed. That's very interesting. From my own perspective, most of my PMS and cramping issues stemmed from childhood trauma and abuse and once I addressed those issues, a lot of it was alleviated, but now that I'm in peri-menopause and starting to actually not menstruate I'm having different challenges off and on that seem to help with herbal remedies for the most part... at least the aching in my reproductive area. And, yes, acupuncture helped me quite a bit in my thirties to take a huge amount of pain out of my cycle caused by cramping. I think this article will help a lot of women to inform them more about these challenges, and maybe even to accept them, rather than ignore them, which I think a lot of women have a tendency to do, like I have done in the past; the whole pushing through thing.

Beth Lacey
Nov 07
Nov 07

Very informative

Usha K.C.
Nov 13
Nov 13

Hello
thank you so much for sharing informative article about pre and post menstrual syndrome with useful tips to cure.
keep sharing such useful information.

IjeomaSO
Nov 14
Nov 14

This is really a brilliant work here. This really is a challenge. Wow, first time reading about pms. I am really fascinated and educated from your write-up. Keep up the good work team!