Pre-Menstrual Syndrome

Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS), or Pre-Menstrual Tension (PMT), as it’s sometimes known is what women experience in the week before their period begins. It is your body’s way of reminding you that your period is due to begin.

The symptoms

The first thing to know is that nearly 90% of women experience some kind of Pre-Menstrual symptoms in the week or so before their period begins so it is perfectly normal. Some women are really lucky and don’t suffer any symptoms but, as most women do, it is important to know what symptoms you may experience so you know what to expect each month.

PMS is caused by the imbalance of hormones in the body during the run up to your period and there are two types of symptoms to Pre-Menstrual Tension. These are:

  • Psychological symptoms such as irritability, tiredness, depression and anxiety
  • Physical symptoms such as sore or tender breasts, some weight gain, greasy skin and hair, clumsiness constipation and stomach cramps

It’s also worth remembering that once your period actually starts you will begin to feel much better. If you find that you are suffering badly from certain symptoms each month it may be worth going to see you doctor, who will be happy to help.

How to deal with PMS

PMS is something that many of you will have to live with. Being aware of what you may experience each month and what you can do to make life more comfortable will help you. There are many things that you can do during the run up to your period:

  • Try to avoid drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes. Many women find that drinking and smoking makes their PMS worse
  • The caffeine in tea and coffee can also make your symptoms worse. If you find this to be the case, steer clear of drinking both in the run up to your period
  • Some people find that taking regular exercise helps them to not only keep in shape but also relieve stress and help them deal with their PMS
  • Eating healthily and regularly also makes a difference to some people. It is also believed that keeping your blood sugar at a steady level can ease PMS symptoms
  • Many women find that taking Vitamin B6 is the best way to beat the symptoms of PMS, including depression. Vitamin B6 can be found in whole grains, bananas, meat and fish

Who can help?

Talking to a family member or teacher that you can trust may also help you. They will all have experienced PMS and will be able to tell you what to expect and help put your mind at ease.

The Being Girl website gives teenage girlslots of information on PMS. Visit (URL). Read more at www.beinggirl.co.uk/yourmind/pms.php

NHS Direct provides further information on the symptoms and treatment of Pre-Menstrual Syndrome.