This is a collaborative post by Ellie Jo.
Sometimes being a woman really sucks and it feels a lot like Mother Nature is out to get us. Whether you are feeling tired and irritable with PMS, sore and spotty with your actual period or you are now going through perimenopause, there’s always something going on with your body from your first period as a youngster to menopause in your middle age.
For lots of women, hormones have a massive effect on health and wellbeing. They make us feel tired, frustrated, elated and energized. Sometimes they make us feel completely crazy!
Fortunately, there are some things you can do that can help you through and keep you going – at least until your cycle either resumes usual business or settles down for good.
Dealing with PMS
Premenstrual syndrome is really common and is usually nothing to be concerned about. You might be feeling down and socially withdrawn during this time of the month and you could see changes in your body too. Many women experience bloating and get acne flare-ups, others get joint pain, headaches, and fatigue. You might get any number of these symptoms and they may change month to month and as you age.
For most women, PMS just means that you spend a couple of days eating chocolate under a duvet with a hot water bottle while crying at a romantic movie. This is fine and completely normal. Give yourself the freedom to do what makes you feel good. A warm bath will help with any aches and pains and NSAIDs like ibuprofen will relieve any aches too. Going on the pill may also help to relieve PMS symptoms by regulating your hormones.
Working Through Perimenopause
The menopause is when you stop having periods completely and is usually confirmed after you haven’t had a period in 12 months. The perimenopause is the transition period from regular menstrual cycles to no menstrual cycles.
There are many different symptoms associated with perimenopause and you are unlikely to get them all. However, you will find that your menstrual cycles will become irregular. Many women also experience spotting between menstruation or after sex, heavier bleeds and periods may last longer and occur closer together. While these particular symptoms are not necessarily a problem, you should see your doctor to rule out any other causes.
There are lots of good pieces about dealing with other symptoms of perimenopause like hot flashes and nausea. Like PMS, the important thing is that you take good care of yourself and don’t put too much pressure on yourself to act normal (whatever that means).
Staying Healthy and When to See Your Doctor
Women who are a healthy weight, who don’t smoke, sleep well and take regular exercise are more likely to feel better throughout any hormonal changes but even with a healthy lifestyle, you may encounter problems. If you feel that you are suffering unduly through either PMS, period pains or perimenopause, you must see your doctor to get advice. There is no shame in feeling depressed or anxious, or admitting that your cramps and pain is too much.
Being a woman might be tough sometimes, but that doesn’t mean you can’t live your life to the fullest.