Women’s health

Menstrual cycle, periods and PMS

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) usually begins two weeks before a woman’s period begins, during ovulation. It refers to the physical and emotional symptoms than many adolescent girls and women experience which vary from woman to woman and can range from mild to severe.

Hormones: The only cause of PMS? 

The exact cause of PRM remains unknown, but several factors are believed to contribute to the symptoms. The change in certain hormone levels seems to be the main cause, but there are others such as:  the function of certain neurotransmitters, a low level of vitamins and minerals, salty foods, alcohol and caffeine.Symptoms of PMS and ovulation indicators 

Emotional symptoms: 

  • Tension or anxiety
  • Feeling depressed
  • Crying spells
  • Mood swings, irritability or anger
  • Appetite changes and cravings
  • Trouble falling asleep (insomnia)
  • Social withdrawal
  • Poor concentration

Physical symptoms 

  • Pain in the lower abdomen
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain from fluid retention
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Breast tenderness
  • Acne flare-ups
  • Constipation or diarrhea

Periods in perimenopause and menopause

Perimenopause is a transition period that arises between four to eight years before menopause. Since the reproductive organs are slowing down, several women experience irregular menstrual cycles. The following symptoms can also appear:

  • Reduced blood flow during periods
  • Occasionally periods stop completely

To be in menopause, a woman’s periods must have stopped for a full year.

Treatments to reduce PMS symptoms

Several types of prescription treatments can be used to reduce PMS symptoms. You should discuss them with your doctor, since their effectiveness can vary from one woman to another.

Health professionals are increasingly recommending to women who suffer from PMS to take calcium and magnesium supplements, since studies have shown that these minerals can have a beneficial effect. As for natural products, only black cohosh has been recognized as useful in the treatment of PMS.

Your Accès pharma affiliated-pharmacist can answer all of your questions about PMS and help you to find an effective treatment for your symptoms. 

This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice and Accès pharma affiliated pharmacist-owners cannot be held responsible for this information. The information was true and accurate at the time of publication, but it is subject to change.

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