PMS stands for Pre-menstrual Syndrome, though you may also hear it called PMT (Pre-menstrual tension) as feeling tense and stressed out can be one of the main symptoms. People may joke about it, but it’s a real condition that affects women and girls of all ages.
PMS is really a term covering many different physical and emotional symptoms that can occur in women after ovulation up to menstruation, though usually it happens a few days or up to a week before a period starts. Symptoms can include irritability, moodiness, perhaps feeling easily weepy, sore breasts, bloating, and feeling tired. Some experience all of the above, others just one or two symptoms, and for some the effects are mild while for others they can really throw their lives off course for a few days.
Many symptoms recur each month, making it easier to diagnose them as PMS. Pinpointing the symptoms and linking them to the menstrual cycle can make it easier for you to come to terms with behaviour that seems unlike your normal self, and know this is a phase that will pass.
If PMS really messes you up each month, a pharmacist can advise on supplements that may ease the problem, or keep a diary of symptoms and ask your GP for help.
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