Understanding PMS

PMS is premenstrual syndrome— a condition that affects emotions, behavior, and physical health during a menstrual cycle. This condition is quite common as it affects over 90 percent of women who have periods. PMS can often be very painful and hard to manage, driving some women to seek medical treatment for relief.

Around 47% of women who experience painful PMS also have other health conditions. It’s not uncommon for women of reproductive age to suffer from health problems that can make menstruating, or even the time before menstruation, very painful. Worst of all, most of these health conditions share symptoms with PMS, so it’s easy to get confused about the direct cause.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME)

Some women say their symptoms often get worse just before their periods begin. Research has found that women with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis may be more likely to experience heavy menstrual bleeding, premature, or early menopause.

Anxiety disorders and depression

In most cases, depression and/or anxiety disorder might overlap with PMS. The symptoms caused by anxiety and depression are quite similar to PMS. However, it’s common for symptoms to get worse with time, but these symptoms usually subside as the menstruation cycle progresses.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Irritable bowel syndrome causes bloating, gas, and cramping. IBS symptoms can sometimes get worse just before menstruation. This is why it’s important to monitor symptoms closely during the menstrual cycle.

Bladder Pain Syndrome (BPS)

Women with BPS are more likely to experience extremely painful cramps when they get their period. Also, PMS may worsen other health conditions such as allergies, migraines, and asthma.

Does PMS Cause Nausea?

Some people with PMS may get nausea before their periods begin. In most cases, feeling nauseous before menstruation is quite common and isn’t a matter for concern. It could be caused by numerous other factors like increased hormone levels, cramps, or digestive issues. One of the common causes of this form of nausea is still PMS. As per studies, close to 50 percent of females having periods experience PMS almost 10 days before their menses begins.

If nausea symptoms are severe, then this could point out to one of the underlying conditions including endometriosis.

Are You More Likely to Get Sick When On Your Period?

For some females, period symptoms may easily go way beyond the conventional bloating. Periods have a way of making females bloated, messing with their skin, and affecting their moods. During their periods, some women may start feeling so sick that they mistake their period symptoms with common signs of the flu. Yes, like the flu, PMS can also cause fatigue, chills, full-body aches, and dizziness. That’s why periods are commonly believed to affect a body’s immune system.

But how does menstruation interfere with the immune system? It turns out that hormones could be blamed for weakening a female’s immune system, especially when she’s having her periods, or even before them. PMS symptoms typically begin 5 – 11 days before menstruation. However, in most cases, PMS symptoms recede once the menses begin. The cause of PMS is still unknown, but most researchers think that it’s closely linked to the changes in sex hormones and serotonin levels of the body. These changes commonly occur when the menstrual cycle begins.

The levels of progesterone and estrogen increase during a short period each month. Any increase in these hormones can cause anxiety, mood swings, and irritability. The ovaries modulate brain activities that are usually associated with premenstrual symptoms. The female immune system is susceptible to any cell change during this time. When those changes take place, a woman will likely start feeling unwell; usually whenever she’s approaching her period.

How To Prevent Getting Sick When Menstruating

During menstruation, women shed blood, however some woman may shed more than others, leading to anemia or fatigue. These symptoms of PMS can affect motivation to maintain a healthy lifestyle, thus increasing the risk for illness.

The United States National Library of Medicine notes that the most common changes that a female can experience during her menstrual cycle include immune system changes and stress. During menstruation, the body goes through a sort of cyclic repair; when this repair work is ongoing, the body undergoes cellular and molecular interactions. That’s why it’s important for a woman to keep her body healthy and immune system strong—especially when she is close to menstruation.

Health Conditions that Can Affect PMS

If you have any reproductive health conditions like Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis, or uterine fibroids, PMS is likely very painful, inconvenient, and overall debilitating. Many women with PCOS or uterine fibroids experience heavy or irregular periods. This is why it’s important to get treatment when you start experiencing symptoms.

At USA Fibroid Centers, we specialize in uterine fibroid embolization, a safe, non-surgical, effective treatment for fibroid pain. The uterine fibroid embolization treatment is an outpatient procedure—meaning no hospital stay, and a quick recovery. Don’t wait for treatment if you have fibroids. Schedule an appointment online or call us at 855.615.2555. 

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