When I was growing up, I remember being in a bad mood and some stupid boy saying, "Oh, you must be on the rag!" That really pissed me off. Just because I'm not happy does not necessarily mean I have or am getting my period!!
Although the truth is, right before my period, I really do feel crappy and not myself. It's not just a dumb joke between guys - it's completely REAL, but why does it happen?
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) happens because your body goes through a series of hormonal changes in the 2 weeks leading up to your period. The female hormone estrogen starts to rise after menstruation and peaks around mid-cycle (ovulation). It then rapidly drops only to slowly rise and then fall again in the time before you finally get your period. These crazy changes can trigger disruptive symptoms that affect you both emotionally and physically.
PMS affects women differently, and its effects can also vary from month to month. For most women, symptoms include mood swings (1 minute you're happy, 1 minute you're mad), uncontrollable crying, feeling depressed or anxious, and feeling "out-of-control."
Want to know what else PMS causes? Then read more
You can also experience headaches or migraines, dizziness, abdominal pains, backache, constipation, fluid retention (that's my fave right there), acne, breast tenderness, weight gain, heart palpitations, painful joints, cravings for certain foods like chocolate, or fatigue. Fun stuff.
The severity of your symptoms may be hereditary, and some women experience symptoms that disrupt their ability to function. If you're concerned about your symptoms, keep a calendar and write down how you feel each day. This way, when you see your gynecologist, your doctor may have some ideas for treatments.
Fit's Tips: Going on the Pill may help to regulate your hormone levels, and because you're not ovulating, your symptoms may become greatly alleviated. Monophasic birth control, like the Nuvaring or Seasonale may be a better option since they deliver an equal amount of hormones to you each day.