Menstruation has been around on Earth for as long as humans have. So many myths surround this common bodily process –
Cramps are a punishment for women.
Periods are “impure”.
Here’s news: PMS is not normal - rather, a coded message from your body about your health. It is actually possible for a healthy woman to have a completely symptom-free period!
The handy guide to PMS
“PMS” has become such a common word that it’s often confusing as to what defines PMS, and what doesn’t. PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) is a cluster of symptoms that can occur from ovulation—usually around Day 14, counting from the first day of your period—until your period starts again. It can include anxiety, bloating, breast tenderness, constipation or diarrhoea, cravings, fatigue, irritability, insomnia, migraines and mood changes, all of which are related to your body’s response to hormonal fluctuations.
In short, it’s your body’s response to the additional stress of a changing hormonal environment during the second half of your cycle. During the end of your cycle, your body works hard to break down hormones still floating in your bloodstream. If all systems are in order, these hormones are efficiently processed and cleared by the liver, resulting in a PMS-free cycle.
When your body has a hard time dealing with these changing hormones, it causes stress on multiple body systems that send a signal to you: PMS.
Here’s a handy guide:
Do you tend to suffer from nausea, have cravings or bowel changes before your period? That’s a really good sign that your digestive or metabolic system is weaker than it should be.
How about breast tenderness, headaches, or irritability? That can indicate that your body’s detox system – liver and pancreas – are not doing a great job of cleaning up your hormonal leftovers. Even being overweight or not getting enough exercise can impair your body’s ability to cleanse itself of hormones and prepare for the next monthly cycle.
Do you have trouble sleeping, feel fatigued, or anxious and depressed? These are indicators that you’re running low on resources in general – poor lifestyle, too much stress, unhealthy food – and that your body is in desperate need of a helping hand.
This is why your PMS symptoms are unique to you, your body and your lifestyle.
Say goodbye to PMS
How can you understand and improve the ability of your body to deal with your monthly cycle? The factors that impact your body’s response to hormones can be summed up into three simple categories: body, mind and environment.
Body: Knowing the right foods that can work to boost your menstrual health, and adding them into your diet can often be a challenge. There are no good or bad foods – only the right foods for the right time. You know what this means - dark chocolate (in moderation) can actually be good for you at certain times of the month!
Exercise is a key factor in metabolizing toxins out of your body. But did you know that women are 5x to 7x more likely than men to suffer from muscle or ligament injury, particularly knee injury, in the first half of their cycle – before ovulation? Choosing your workout based on your menstrual phase can both boost your body’s ability to filter out hormones and toxins as well as prevent injury.
Mind: We don’t live in a perfect world, and in 2020, that is truer than any other time. The more things you do that add stress - not getting enough sleep, working too long, managing too many responsibilities, worrying about health and loved ones – the more your mind runs at a deficit and demands resources off your body.
If your mind is putting your body under stress, relieving the stress is the solution. You can do this in two ways:
Environment: Certain types of plastic contain hormone-disrupting chemicals known as endocrine disruptors, which can interfere with the normal function of your hormone system and cause a variety of damaging effects - harm reproductive organs, affect fertility and pregnancy, increase the risk of obesity (which is closely related to PCOS and PCOD), inflammation and even cancer.
Many brands of menstrual care products commonly contain harmful plastic components that can act as endocrine disruptors. So try switching to cotton-based, organic products - such as LUÜNA Naturals, or even a silicone-based menstrual cup!
Say Hello to Femcy
Your periods are constantly sending you signals about your body and its health. Many things about your period - how often you get it, how long it lasts, and how heavy your flow is - can be different for every woman.
Some of these can offer clues to what's going on in your body. Period problems like irregular or painful periods may be a sign of a serious health problem or even issues with fertility and getting pregnant.
Paying attention to what's normal and healthy for you can help you identify early signs of trouble. (But when you use a hormonal method of birth control or an IUD, you can't rely on your period to give you as many signals.)
Just listening and tracking your symptoms are only one part of the solution – it’s what you do with the data that really matters! That’s where Femcy comes in. At Femcy, we understand that keeping track of all the different levers that can impact your menstrual wellness can be complicated and confusing!
Femcy helps you understand what works for your body’s unique signals. Our AI-based, personalized recommendations make this simple for you by offering natural guidance based on your body and symptoms. And if you need more help, our expert team is always available to consult with you about your queries and offer specific guidance.