Menstruation & Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
If you aren’t keen on taking medication for your menstrual symptoms, Sassy La Femme is here to help. We understand how difficult it can be when period woes persist. By supplying a hormone-free option, we want to move towards openly discussing symptoms and alternatives for these complications, tackling matters in a sensitive and empowering manner.
Menstruation, or more commonly called ‘a period’, is
when a woman bleeds from her vagina. Bleeding starts during the transition known as puberty and lasts usually for 3-8 days. It will continue to happen every 28 days or
so until the time in later life when periods will stop.
This second transition is called the menopause.
When do periods start?
Period’s are a girls’ natural transition out of childhood
and into adolescence. It happens at puberty when a
girl’s body becomes able to have a baby. And it
usually happens between the ages of 12-14, but can
start as early as 8 or 9 and end later.
This is the time when children experience physical
and hormonal changes which will mark the transition
from childhood towards adulthood.
There are many common changes happening at
puberty and every girl goes through it. The most
common signs of puberty for girls are growth spurts,
breasts start to develop, becoming ‘curvier’. Also hair starts to grow under the arms and in the pubic area.
Around the ages of 14-18, when growth spurts stop puberty ends. Normally about 5-6 years after it starts, but it can start and stop earlier or later.
Why does my body
Periods are part of your monthly menstrual cycle, as your
body prepares for the possibility of becoming pregnant.
Every cycle one of your two ovaries releases an egg which
travels down the fallopian tube and into your womb.
Your womb lining thickens so if the egg is fertilized by
sperm, and you become pregnant, it will be able to grow in this lining.
When the egg isn’t fertilized, then the lining of the womb breaks down and passes out through your vagina as blood.
This is your period.
What is PMS (premenstrual syndrome)?
For some women periods come and go with no noticeable side effects apart from the natural monthly bleed.
But for many women the changes in the body’s hormone levels before a period can cause noticeable physical and emotional changes. These changes can last for a day or up to two weeks before the period starts. PMS symptoms may be mild and hardly noticeable, or more severe and disruptive to monthly wellbeing.
These changes are known as PMS – Premenstrual Syndrome. Common symptoms experienced are outlined below and should go away once menstruation has started:
Common PMS Symptoms
● Abdominal cramps
● Acne – Spotty skin
● Breast pain or tenderness
● Feeling bloated
● Feeling irritable
● Feeling tired
● Food cravings
● Greasy hair
● Increase in appetite/excess hunger
● Joint and muscle aches and pains
● Mood swings
● Reduced libido (interest in sex)
● Social withdrawal
● Tension or anxiety
● Weight gain
Should I be concerned if I have other symptoms or if my periods stop?
There are a number of potential reasons if your periods stop altogether. You may be very underweight which can alter your monthly cycle.
Pregnancy will (normally) stop your periods and you can confirm this with an over-the-counter pregnancy test. Or, depending on your age, this potentially indicate you are entering your menopause.
As with any changes to your wellbeing, if you are concerned for any reason, you should consult your GP or other healthcare professional.