Have you ever considered what the worst thing about being a woman could be? Last night I found myself crying while I vacuumed the playroom rug. My tears fell out of frustration, not sadness, over a very insignificant situation. It’s that time of the month again when I know I’m going to act like a nutcase for a few days. Unfortunately, moments such as this are uncontrollable, but common. The worst thing about being a woman is PMS.
The first time I experienced any pre-menstrual symptoms was during middle school. Not only did I have the worst period of my life (I stayed home for three days), but I also sobbed uncontrollably and lashed out on everyone I encountered. For years I’ve struggled with the hormonal imbalance that occurs during the week before and during my period. It doesn’t help I’ve always been an emotional girl, but during my time of the month, everything is intensified.
From anger to sadness, from my energy level to sleep quality, things change as my hormone levels change once a month.
I’ve tried countless birth control pills to regulate my crazy PMS symptoms and I’m currently on my fourth type since I had Ailey. I do see a difference in how I have felt in the last two months, a little less manic. However, I’m still crying for no reason, angry for no reason, and battling bloating/cramps/sore breasts.
There are a lot of things we don’t know about PMS, such as what exactly causes it and how to gain control of the symptoms. All I know is that it SUCKS. While three out of four women experience symptoms, 3-8% suffer from an extension of PMS called Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). About nine months ago I was evaluated by my OB-GYN for heightened symptoms (mood swings, fatigue, anxiety, cramps) I was experiencing that closely mirrored PMDD. My doctor concluded I did not have at least 7 out of 10 symptoms to be diagnosed with PMDD.
I find a little bit of humor in the fact that the worst thing about being a woman is linked to the best thing about being a woman – our ability to have babies. I’ll take all the imbalanced hormonal issues once a month for my two beautiful daughters.
Do you struggle with PMS once a month?
In addition to taking a low dose of estrogen in the form of birth control to regulate my hormones, I also take B6 daily. Exercise, extra-hydration, and even caffeine can be useful if you struggle with extreme pre-menstrual symptoms of fatigue. Magnesium supplements and natural calming aids (like Lavender) help me through the difficult emotional days before my period too.
Do you know any other ways to treat PMS?