Getting a period on a special day is a nightmare. Right? But you can’t blame your body for it because it is possible that your body gave you signs of periods. The cramps, the mood swings, the anxiety of getting stains on your clothes, the itching; it is all so much to deal with in a single day.
Signs That Your Periods Is Coming Soon
Things might get a whole lot simpler if you could just predict the onset of your periods. In case you didn’t already know, these symptoms are collectively known as premenstrual syndrome or PMS. More than 90% of women experience one or all of these symptoms.
What Is PMS?
PMS or Premenstrual syndrome occurs around the time of periods. These symptoms include mood swings, cramps, bloating, fatigue, and depression. It takes a toll on your mental and physical well-being.
To some women, issues due to PMS are negligible while to some, they are an unbearable inconvenience. The primary cause for PMS is the mercurial(1) fluctuations in hormone levels. These symptoms gradually reduce in about 3-4 days after the bleeding begins.
Now let’s get into the details of the common signs of periods.
Common Signs of an Upcoming Period
Signs of periods vary from person to person because everybody is different. There must be women whose bodies show uniquely different symptoms than the ones that we are going to discuss in this blog. Here are the most common signs of an upcoming period. Let’s get started.
1. Signs of Abdominal Cramps Before Periods
Most women experience cramps around the time of periods. These cramps are clinically known as primary dysmenorrhea(2). The main reason behind cramps is the uterine contractions which make the uterus shed its lining when pregnancy doesn’t happen. Some women experience severe cramps when the period flow rate is at its highest.
Menstrual cramps can start from the lower abdomen and can spread to the lower back and inner thighs which can increase irritation.
2. Signs of Acne Breakouts Before Periods
Yes, the pimple that you get every month out of nowhere is a sign of a period as well. These are a result of hormonal changes too. Period breakouts happen anywhere on the body, especially the face.
The increased sebum production associated with menstruation makes the skin oily and triggers the formation of acne. These breakouts can be very painful and irritating. They usually disappear after a few days and don’t leave a mark behind.
3. Mood Swings Before Periods
Women and mood swings are a world-famous phenomenon. Even men experience mood swings. But as it doesn’t follow a pattern, it is hardly noticeable. Whereas 3 in every 5 women experience mood swings every month around the time of periods. This phenomenon can be extremely draining on one’s mental health. Mood swings as signs of periods can be a more serious issue than physical irritations.
You will experience an exponential change in your reactions and you’ll be hyper-sensitive. Low levels of estrogen can affect the production of the happy hormone, serotonin. You will cry for no reason, you will be angry and irritated for no reason and you will drench yourself in a pool of self-loathe.
4. Signs of Bloating Before Periods
We are all so doubtful about what bloating is. Well, bloating is the sensation that makes your belly feel heavier and bigger than usual. This happens again, because of the hormones. Changes in levels of progesterone and estrogen make the body retain more water and salt than usual causing the belly to bloat.
5. Signs of Bowel Issues Before Periods
Yes, you are not alone! Bowel issues are one of the common signs of periods in women. The loosies that wake you from your sleep every month can be a sign of periods. The contractions in the uterus can also induce contractions in your bowels causing more frequent and quicker bowel movements. In some people, this can result in diarrhea, nausea, constipation, or gassiness.
6. Signs of Fatigue Before Periods
As your whole body prepares for its monthly hardworking term internally, you may feel extreme levels of tiredness and weakness. The physical and emotional rollercoaster that your hormones put you in, can drain you of your energy.
You might have noticed that a few days before you get your period, you might feel sleepier than usual and you might have a hard time waking up too. It is all part of this whole drama; nothing else and now you know.
7. Signs of Headache Before Periods
The excruciating pain that you had the other day could be a sign of a period as well. This can occur before, during, and after a menstrual cycle. This is caused due to, again, yes you guessed right; hormones. Serotonin and estrogen interact with each other and cause migraine in some women.
8. Signs of Tender Breasts
Some signs of periods are unmistakable if you recognise them. An increase in estrogen levels can stimulate the growth of milk ducts(3). Mid Cycle, when progesterone levels increase, mammary glands swell.
All these changes can be quite painful for your breasts. While this is hardly noticeable in some, others experience high levels of discomfort.
9. Signs of Changes in libido
Hormonal changes during your cycle can increase or decrease your sex drive. The peak levels of estrogen and testosterone can trigger a rise in libido and can increase sex drive in women. So yes! That one time that you so badly wanted to get off and feel sexy, was a sign too.
10. Food Cravings
Changes in levels of the said hormones can also cause cravings for high-carb and sweet foods. So don’t blame yourself the next time you hog on chocolates and pastries. But mind you! Compulsive eating before periods can also be a sign of premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) which is a serious issue compared to PMS.
All These Symptoms And Still No Periods?
There are chances that you could have all or some of these signs of periods and still no periods. The reasons for this can be:
In these cases, do consult a doctor’s help. Don’t panic as stress could be one of the reasons for your delayed period.
Signs of periods are the body’s ways of reminding you of what is happening inside. Our bodies are the most beautiful machines and in most cases, it knows how to fix itself. Sometimes, it just needs some extra care and pampering. So when it asks for it, leave everything else and take care of yourself. Your body and your mind are the only assets that matter. Look out for the signs and get the help you need.