Scientifically Proven Struggles You Can Totally Blame on PMS
Much has been said and reported about the menstrual cycle. Advertisements for sanitary napkins and tampons like to believe that periods are a great time for women to swim, wear whites, or even ride horses. While we’re all for doing away with the taboos surrounding menstruation, it remains to be said that no amount of sugar-coating is going to take away the sheer discomfort and pain that periods come with.
How often have you joked about getting rid of your ovaries during your periods? It’s almost like you’re being punished by nature for NOT getting pregnant! If you’re like a lot of women, your period likes to make an “entrance”. Even before that lovely time of the month swoops in, your body might throw a welcome parade in its honor— As if that wasn’t enough, the days leading up to your period can be just as annoying. In fact, for some, the days before the third-degree torture begins can be absolutely unbearable. Yes. Premenstrual Syndrome, also known as the PMS struggle, is so freaking real. So, if you just feel like crawling into a hole and howling yourself to sleep for a few days every month, then honey, you ain’t alone!
This typically includes the usual suspects like cramps, bloating, and headaches. Perfect! But what about those other weird and pesky symptoms you feel around this point in your cycle? Most research suggests that the spike and drop in the hormone’s estrogen and progesterone during days 21 to 28 of your cycle (aka the week before your period), can cause the annoying physical symptoms we know and despise along with some other random ones. Some researchers hypothesize that the hormonal roller-coaster can even affect neurotransmitters in your brain—which could explain your spacey, emotional self at this time.
Has it Begun Yet?
How often have you wished you were a bottle of ketchup so you could just whack the bottom to get it all done and over with? If there’s anything more annoying than periods, it is a late period! The prolonged PMS symptoms can drive you nuts.
Your Emotions Are on Steroids!
“I like you. I hate you. I want ice cream. Go away. Come here. Bring food.” All of a sudden, everything sucks, and you overreact to simply everything! It’s almost as if your emotions are on a Roller-Coaster Ride. You can cry at any moment. Chances are, you may not even know why those tears are running down your cheeks. Just about anything can annoy you. People you normally like may annoy you by just breathing next to you. Your boyfriend and friends have your menstrual cycle saved in their calendars, so they know which days to avoid you on.
Not to forget, all that passive aggression you didn’t even know you were capable of (hidden talents that could win you an acting career in some horror movies). If you’re not diagnosed with depression but feel really bummed before it’s time to break out the tampons, this could also be caused by the fluctuation in neurotransmitters like serotonin.
Responding to the Dreaded “How Do You Feel?” Question
Ok, so you wanna know what it feels like to have PMS? Well, it feels like an elephant is sitting on top of your uterus. It feels like nothing in the world can stop this one week of torture every month. WHY ARE YOU ASKING ME THIS RIGHT NOW? The question may also trigger tears. Aww, how sweet of you to ask about my health. Darn you, hormones!
When Someone Asks You to Stop Complaining
If you could only get away with murdering anyone who says the words, “Relax, it is only periods”. This may even make you more upset than you were. As Rachel Green said: “No Uterus, No opinion”.
Breast Pain and Tenderness
Your boobs go all gargantuan and look so stunning. But they hurt like crazy and therefore touching is strictly forbidden. It’s like mother nature is playing a cruel joke on you. It’s one of the main signals for many women that their period is about to arrive: breast tenderness. Breast pain – also known as cyclical mastalgia – can feel like anything from a dull ache, right the way up to throbbing ‘don’t you dare touch my breasts’ pain.
And as you’ve probably guessed, it is commonly down to hormonal fluctuations. Tender breasts usually occur in the second half of the menstrual cycle (also known as the luteal phase) in the week leading up to a woman’s period. Oestrogen, which increases throughout our cycles, can cause the breast ducts to enlarge; progesterone production causes the milk glands to swell, and high prolactin levels can add to swelling.
Those Irritating Zits
Ah, hormonal acne—those bothersome, gut-wrenching, and painful pimples that show up at the worst times imaginable (right before a long-awaited vacation or just before your sister’s wedding). Your face practically looks like a vegetable farm. No, not a picturesque one. Your oil glands go into overdrive, your pores blow up, and cystic zits emerge. Ugh! Weren’t we supposed to shake off acne in our teen years along with our braces and boy band posters?
Focusing on Your Work is a Job in Itself
Do you know those moments where it takes more effort to focus on what you’re doing than actually doing it? You suddenly feel completely undervalued at the job you usually love. Again, there are times you might just hate everyone who looks way too happy. You’re so cranky that you might want to quit your job and go to a land far, far away. Sometimes your well-meaning colleagues and their pats of empathy don’t go down well either. Then there are those awkward moments where you bond with the colleagues you barely talk to over your shared period woes. Only to forget all about them once your week is over. But they understand, right?
Don’t Fret! Food is Your Savior!
You’re basically a binge-eating maniac for a few days. Junk food, jars of Nutella, Mayonnaise, ice cream, grapes, regular homemade food, or even scoops of salt, anything will do! You want to eat anything and everything in your way. The threat level is so high that if you don’t get your hands on something to munch on soon enough, someone may get hurt (or killed)!
You Never Get Used to It
Just like your periods, you never really get used to your PMS either, no matter how old you’re. You may have your hot water bottles and pain killers and comfort food to fall back on, but while they help soothe the pain a bit, no one seems to know how to control your raging emotions, courtesy PMS. No matter how closely you track your menstrual cycle, PMS will hit you in the gut every month and will manage to take you by complete surprise. Thank you, Mother Nature!