Do not let some people with half-baked knowledge tell you that your mood ‘swings’ during your period because “you’re just PMSing”. Instead, tell them they’re misinformed and that PMS stands for – Premenstrual Syndrome – which means, as the name suggests, that PMS occurs before one gets their period.

PMS is all about mood swings and being cranky and happens during menses: this is rather a misconception than a myth.
Reality engulfs a much wider truth. For starters, PMS is a combination of both physical and emotional symptoms caused by the imbalance in estrogen and progesterone levels due to ovulation. The phenomenon affects ones emotions, physical health, and general behaviour during certain days of the menstrual cycle, usually on the days before one gets their period.

Although PMS seems to be ubiquitous , it is not necessarily experienced by everyone who bleeds. While 90% of the menstruating population experiences PMS regularly, there is a lucky 10% who don’t. (Sucks, I know!)

The signs and symptoms of PMS are not what you think they are. The physical and emotional changes experienced with PMS vary from being barely noticeable to intense symptoms. A little discomfort is a common affair; but one must not overlook the complexity of this phenomenon i.e. menstruation.

Mood swings and irritability are only the most severe PMS symptoms which can be a sign of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) – and are experienced by a very small menstruating population. These symptoms have the potential to get so severe that they can hinder one’s daily activities, while others may experience negligible symptoms.
For the majority, the symptoms of PMS faced are very mild and manifest themselves in the form of food cravings, fatigue, bloating, acne flare-ups, headaches, muscle pain, and breast tenderness. Poor concentration, insomnia, change in libido and social withdrawal are some of the emotional and behavioural symptoms.

Unfortunately for some (those with PMDD), depression and anxiety can also be a consquence. However, the good news is that PMS is treatable. Lifestyle changes and medication can help reduce or manage the symptoms.

So, pull up your socks menstruators, it is time we take control of our bodies!

|| By Ipshita Gogoi ||

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