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PMS: Understanding the Symptoms

PMS05.05.21 4 min. read

The hormone changes between our ovulation and menstruation can lead to physical discomfort  and psychological distress. Depending on the definition and severity, this may involve premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or even a premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).

It is not only difficult to distinguish PMS from other diseases, such as depression or endometriosis, but the causes of PMS have also not yet been conclusively clarified. 

In addition to genetic predisposition [1], there are indications of some environmental factors that could be associated with the onset of PMS. But how can it be that we suffer from PMS symptoms despite taking the pill or even during menopause?

At a glance: PMS: Understanding the symptoms

  1. Stress and other environmental factors
  2. PMS symptoms despite the pill?
  3. PMS symptoms during menopause
  4. A holistic approach
  5. Sources

 

Stress and other environmental factors

According to one study, there may be a significant correlation between stress symptoms and the occurrence of PMS. For example, researchers stated that in one experimental group, almost one in three women who reported suffering from mild stress struggled with PMS - among those with moderate stress, the figure was already over 90 percent [2].

Another study suggests that stress may indeed play a decisive role: women who felt stressed in the second phase of the menstrual cycle were more than twice as likely to report suffering from symptoms before menstruation [3].

In addition, there might also be a link between excessive alcohol consumption [4], smoking [5], obesity [6] and the occurrence of PMS symptoms.

PMS symptoms despite being on the pill?

The hormones found in the contraceptive pill cause ovulation to be suppressed: The processes in the luteal phase, the period between actual ovulation and menstruation, are thus also altered. For example, the progestogen in the pill ensures that the uterine lining builds up much more weakly than is usual in this phase. Strictly speaking, our bleeding is also not a regular period, but an interrupted or hormone withdrawal bleed.

In some cases, the pill is therefore used specifically to alleviate severe PMS symptoms - so why should we suffer from PMS in spite of, or especially with, it?

Possibly the cause could lie in its composition: In tri- or biphasic pills, the level of hormones is less constant than in monophasic ones. This is intended to replicate the hormonal cycle in as nuanced a way as possible and reduce side effects. However, the more pronounced hormonal fluctuations could in turn promote PMS-like symptoms.

Conversely, the pill itself is also suspected of leading to mood changes [7] and depression [8] - but whether this is actually the case or has to do with other factors is disputed.

Thus, especially with multiphasic preparations, PMS-like symptoms could occur despite the pill. A possible connection between the pill and psychological symptoms cannot be completely ruled out either. If you take the pill and suffer from symptoms before your period, it is best to talk to your doctor about it.

PMS symptoms during menopause

Once we no longer have a period, PMS symptoms naturally disappear. However, they may worsen again shortly before that. Because, strictly speaking, menopause consists of three essential phases:

  1. Perimenopause
  2. Menopausal
  3. Post menopause.

The first phase begins with reduced estrogen production and ends one year after the last period. Here, PMS symptoms may worsen or appear for the first time [9]. When perimenopause begins and how long it lasts varies from woman to woman. Menopause refers to the time of the last period, while postmenopause is when the hormones settle into their new constellation.

However, in addition to possibly experiencing increased symptoms during the first phase, there could be another link between PMS and menopause: If we suffer from PMS symptoms during our fertile phase, the likelihood increases that our menopause will also be accompanied by (more severe) complaints [10].

A holistic view

Not only our mind, but also our body is exposed to changes day by day - throughout life. Particularly around menstruation, we perceive how body and mind can influence each other. And in the same way, how we treat ourselves today can also contribute to how we feel throughout our cycle.

No matter what phase of life, or cycle, you are in, The Hug invites you to embrace yourself in your entirety. Treat yourself to a little massage and let the CBD do its work. Especially in the days and weeks before menstruation, you can do something good for body and soul at the same time and provide more well-being before the days.

 

 

 

Sources:

[1] The heritability of premenstrual syndrome

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21962135/

[2] A study of impact of stress: examinations on menstrual cycle among medical students

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/337609390_A_study_of_impact_of_stress_examinations_on_menstrual_cycle_among_medical_students

[3] Prior stress Could worsen premenstrual symptoms, NIH study finds

https: // www .nih.gov / news-events / news-releases / prior-stress-Could worsen-premenstrual symptoms-nih--study finds

[4] Premenstrual syndrome and alcohol consumption: a systematic review and meta-analysis https : //bmjopen.bmj.com/content/bmjopen/8/3/e019490.full.pdf

[5] Tobacco consumption and premenstrual syndrome: A case-control study

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6588233/

[6] Obesity as a risk factor for premenstrual syndrome

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15962720/

[7] A prospective study of the effects of oral contraceptives on sexuality and well-being and Their relationship to discontinuation

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11535214/

[8] Association of Hormonal Contraception With Depression

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27680324/

[9] Perimenopause: The Complex Endocrinology of the Menopausal Transition

https://doi.org/10.1210/edrv.19.4.0341

[10] Premenstrual syndrome as a predictor of menopausal symptoms

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15121571/

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