Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
While it may be joked about or taken lightly, premenstrual syndrome (you might know it as PMS) is an official syndrome that comprises a list of symptoms linked to your monthly menstrual cycle. The symptoms can be physical, emotional and behavioural and occur as a result of the hormonal changes in your body that happen after ovulation and before menstruation (your period). PMS is extremely common; it affects three out of four women. The symptoms of PMS usually start to appear a week or two before your period and then go away within a couple of days of when you start your period.
There are over a hundred different symptoms associated with PMS. You may experience emotional and behavioural symptoms such as irritability, anxiety, depression, sugar cravings or sleep problems. You may also experience physical signs and symptoms such as bloating, hypersensitivity, breast pain and acne. Each woman experiences PMS differently, and certain symptoms may be more pronounced during different stages in your life. For example, you may experience more PMS symptoms when you first reach puberty, or when you reach your thirties and forties.