The Truth About PMS
Every woman comes to have her own relationship with her menstrual cycle. Some of us give our period a nickname – “Aunt Flo” being a particularly popular one. It’s shown on TV all the time, but in a very strange way. An inaccurate way, if we’re honest. Indeed, the way TV comedy shows a woman’s period indicates that most TV shows are written by male writers.
For example, if a woman is menstruating in a sitcom, they are often shown as being angry and sad in equal measures. A cursory understanding of the menstrual cycle will show these mood swings as being characteristic of the days before a period. That’s why they call it “PMS.” Pre-Menstrual Syndrome.
Here, then, are a few useful things for people to know about PMS. Feel free to send any men in your life a link to this. Just in case they have gained most of their understanding from sitcoms.
P Is For Pain
If there is one thing – aside from the blood – men know about periods, it’s the pain. What they probably don’t realize is that the pain of a menstrual period is different from that suffered just before. During the pre-menstrual phase, joint and muscle pain are more common. These are best managed with NSAIDs such as Ibuprofen and – in more severe cases – Naproxen.
Consult with your doctor before taking Naproxen, as it can have some harsh side effects. If you’re taking Ibuprofen, however, the best advice is to never take it on an empty stomach, as it will damage your stomach lining.
M Is For Mood
It’s unfair to categorize all men as being clueless when it comes to menstruation. The truth is, though, that they often aren’t taught very much about it and, as they don’t go through it, don’t learn from experience. So it’s fair to say that many think the mood swings of PMS are related to the pain. While the pain may make it worse, that’s inaccurate.
Doctors confess to not knowing the full story of why PMS brings on such mood whiplash. It is thought, however, that the fall-off in estrogen production and simultaneous rise in progesterone are at fault. So what can be done?
Light exercise is considered beneficial, as it releases endorphins which are beneficial for mood. Supplements – of vitamins and hormonal treatments such as pregnenolona – are also useful. Also, sometimes you’ll just want to be left alone. Make sure people understand this.
S Is For Sex
It’s increasingly common knowledge that sex during a woman’s period can be beneficial. It will limit the pain of the process and can even shorten the duration of the period. While some men may be grossed out by the idea, they may also turn the knowledge to their advantage when it comes to PMS.
Here’s where a quick refresher is needed. PMS and the period are not the same things. While sex can reduce the pain of menstrual cramps, it does not have the same effect on aching muscle pain. Women are tender in some areas that can make sex during PMS very unpleasant for them. As noted, sometimes you will just want to be left alone.