May 14, 2019

Period Symptoms: What They Mean and How to Deal With Them

We’re all familiar with the common symptoms that accompany our period, such as cramping, bloating, and mood swings. However, many things come about during (and before) our menstrual periods that we may not even realize are happening, let alone why they’re happening in the first place. Our monthly cycles represent so much more than just letting us know we’re not pregnant.

Prior to the onset of our periods, our bodies encounter pre-menstrual symptoms, or PMS, which indicate that Aunt Flo is coming to town. During our actual periods, we may experience symptoms similar to PMS, but there are also some distinct differences.

Pre-Menstrual Symptoms

PMS symptoms occur roughly a week to two weeks before your typical period (hence the “pre”). These symptoms are a combination of physical and emotional factors that are due to a rapid drop in progesterone and estrogen levels. These hormones begin to balance as you approach your period, which can help alleviate some of these PMS symptoms.

Menstrual Symptoms

Menstrual symptoms begin once your period officially begins and can occasionally be confused with symptoms of pregnancy. With the leveling out of your hormones during menstruation, your symptoms may differ slightly from pre-menstrual symptoms but many remain the same.

Common symptoms you experience with both:

  • Breast tenderness or soreness
  • Bloating
  • Cramping
  • Dizziness
  • Irritability
  • Feelings of sadness
  • Fatigue
  • Acne breakouts
  • Difficulty concentrating or with memory
  • Sleep problems (too much or too little)
  • Change in sex drive
  • Clumsiness
  • Headaches (worsened especially for those who experience migraines)

These are merely the most common symptoms women experience from menstruation, although there are more that can occur. Symptoms can range in severity, causing some women to have difficulty participating in everyday activities. Although there are many remedies out there for menstrual symptoms, here are our top pointers that can help you regain control of your reproductive health!

Best Tips For Combatting PMS

Switch to Organic Products

Choosing organic is more important than just the food you purchase at the grocery store. If we are making a conscious effort to choose organic when deciding what we put into our bodies then shouldn’t organic tampons be a consideration too? Tampons will be in you for hours at a time over the span of a week. Regular tampons contain dyes and pesticides, which can cause long-term effects when used over a long period of time. The way our bodies react to these chemicals can throw off our pH balance and disrupt our body’s natural process. Switching to organic tampons can make a big difference in how you feel during your period. Birth Control

Birth control is not a “one size fits all” solution. There are a considerable variety of birth control options on the market today, and they all work differently, so it’s essential to find the one that works best with your body and lifestyle. Birth control containing a combination of hormones can help balance yours out and alleviate common period symptoms by lightning periods, reducing cramps and headaches, and eliminating acne. If you’re interested in starting birth control to manage your period symptoms, there are several options to choose from such as implants, the shot, the ring, or the traditional birth control pill. It’s important to consult your doctor about your symptoms to help determine which is the best option for you!


Going to the gym may be the last thing you want to do when you’re crampy and bloated. However, remaining active can help reduce symptoms such as fatigue, moodiness, and anxiety. Exercising doesn’t have to be anything rigorous or time-consuming; thirty minutes of physical activity a few times a week is sufficient! There is even yoga for period symptoms that can really help alleviate the pressure on your stomach and back as well.

Adjust Your Diet

Foods high in sodium, as well as caffeine, can increase water retention in the body causing more bloating and cramping. These types of foods and beverages can also worsen headaches and affect your energy levels. Instead, try incorporating more water, fruit, vegetables, and whole grains into your diet to keep yourself balanced and hydrated. A positive diet change will not only affect your physical period symptoms, but it also will help with your emotional symptoms as well. For more diet changes that help fight PMS, go here!