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Thrive+

Girl talk: What is PMS?

ThriVe+ is pro-woman, through and through —and that’s why we talk about women’s health. Have you been googling, “PMS meaning?” Your health is super important, whatever stage in life you’re in. Terminology around women’s cycles can get confusing, and it’s normal to have questions about it. So, what’s PMS, and how might it affect you?

What is PMS?

PMS stands for Premenstrual Syndrome. It’s something many girls and women (up to 3 out of 4!) experience before their menstrual period.1 It is not the same thing as your period — it happens in the days before your period (and sometimes continues through the first several days).2 PMS can make you feel different, both physically and emotionally.

What Can Cause PMS?

Scientists don’t know exactly what causes PMS, but it’s at least partly due to changes in your hormones and chemicals in your brain. In the days before your period, these hormones can cause a mix of physical and emotional symptoms, including fatigue, mood changes, breast tenderness, and appetite changes.1 Getting PMS doesn’t mean you’re sick or pregnant. But some PMS symptoms can be similar to pregnancy symptoms.3

If you have missed a period and you think you might be pregnant, learn more about early pregnancy signs and come see us for a no-cost pregnancy test. Check out the symptoms of PMS below to get an idea of what’s happening:

PMS meaning: Common Symptoms

– Physical symptoms: Fatigue, bloating, headaches, and tender breasts.1

– Emotional symptoms: Mood swings, feeling more emotional, irritability, and anxiety.1

Curly haired woman experiencing the pms meaning of cramps.

Self-Awareness

Understanding how PMS affects you is part of self-awareness. Pay attention to your symptoms and how they change each month. Keeping a diary or using a period tracking app can help you see patterns in your symptoms and feel more confident understanding your cycle.

PMS Meaning: Communicating with Loved Ones

You can choose to talk to the people you’re close to about PMS. It’s totally up to you. But it can help your friends and family understand what you’re going through. Going through PMS doesn’t mean you’re crazy. Sometimes the word “hormonal” is used as an insult to describe women who are just going through something totally natural!

Even if your hormones are causing some disruption, you still deserve respect and care. So if you decide to talk to your village, here are some tips:

1. Share in a calm setting: Find a time when you’re feeling calm to talk about how it affects you.

2. Use “I” statements: Say things like, “I feel tired and cranky when I have PMS.” Remember that your feelings might feel more intense than normal during this time.

3. Explain how they can help: Tell your people what you need. Maybe you need some alone time or a bit of extra help with chores. Or maybe you just want them to know it’s that time each month, so they can extend extra care to you.

4. Keep a sense of humor: Sometimes a dash of humor while discussing your experience can help you feel better and make the conversation lighter.

Supporting each other

When your loved ones or your partner know what you’re going through, they can support you better. Knowing the actual PMS meaning is a start, and how it’s different from a period. This might mean giving you space, being patient, or just listening when you need to talk. When you share what you’re going through with PMS, they can support you by:

1. Listening: Sometimes, you just need someone to listen to you. Without trying to fix anything. Share your feelings to feel understood and less alone.

2. Helping out: If you’re feeling really tired or uncomfortable, say something! Have someone help with chores or tasks. It can make a big difference.

3. Giving space: Sometimes you might need some alone time to rest or relax. It’s okay. Ask for space when you need it.

4. Offering comfort: A kind word, a hug, or even just sitting quietly together can help. It’s okay to be vulnerable with a person you feel safe with.

5. Being patient: PMS can make you more irritable or emotional. It’s important for your loved ones to be patient and understand that these feelings are part of PMS.

Advocating for yourself

Being pro-woman means standing up for your needs and taking care of yourself, and knowing the PMS meaning helps you care for yourself. Here’s how you can do that:

1. Recognize your needs: Pay attention to what you need, whether it’s rest, help with tasks, or emotional support.

2. Speak up: Don’t be afraid to talk about your needs. Use clear and calm language. Talk about how you feel and what you need.

3. Be consistent: Regularly remind your loved ones or partner about your PMS patterns and needs. This helps them understand and remember how to support you.

4. Set boundaries: It’s okay to say no. Ask for what you need. Set boundaries to protect your mental health.

5. Self-care: Take time to do things that make you feel good and relaxed, like taking a warm bath, reading a book, or going for a walk. Exercise can actually help some PMS symptoms feel better and lift your mood!4

Helping your partner or friends understand

Educate your loved ones about the PMS meaning so they can better support you:

  • Share info: Explain what PMS is and how it affects you. You can share articles or videos if that helps.
  • Be honest: Talk openly about your symptoms and how they make you feel. Honest communication helps them understand you. If they’re good friends, they’ll care about what you’re saying.
  • Offer suggestions: Tell your loved ones how they can help. Maybe you need them to remind you to take breaks or to be extra kind during certain times of the month.

Friends connecting through shared pms meaning.

Connect Through Laughter

PMS is no joke, but finding humor in your situation can lighten the mood and make dealing with PMS easier. Laugh together. Share funny stories or jokes about your experiences as women. Trust us, we’ve all got stories. Laughter can make you feel connected and less stressed. Try to stay positive. Focus on the positive aspects of your relationships and how you support each other.

Knowing the real PMS meaning and supporting each other through PMS should be the standard. You shouldn’t ever feel ashamed about it. At ThrIVe+, we’re working on removing the stigmas around women’s health. Advocate for yourself so your needs get met. When you and your loved ones work together, it’ll strengthen your relationships and help everyone feel more understood and supported. You deserve to be respected, even during PMS.

When to Seek Professional Help

If your PMS symptoms are very severe and make it hard for you to do everyday things, you might have a condition called PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder).2 If you think you have PMDD, talk to a doctor. They can help you find ways to feel better.

Try to be transparent about your PMS meaning and how it affects you. It can help your relationships grow stronger and have more understanding. Let’s break down the stigmas about PMS and build a more supportive world

Sources:

1https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/premenstrual-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20376780 

2https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/premenstrual-syndrome/expert-answers/pmdd/faq-20058315

3https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/getting-pregnant/in-depth/symptoms-of-pregnancy/art-20043853

4https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/premenstrual-syndrome/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20376787

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