Does Having an Irregular Cycle Impact the Intensity of PMS Symptoms?
With each monthly period comes the dreaded premenstrual syndrome. It’s never a time you look forward to, what with the bloating, fatigue and depression. PMS can manifest itself differently from person to person. Despite this, there are still common symptoms that most women experience to varying degrees. Today we’ll look at why the intensity of PMS differs for each individual, and whether having an irregular cycle contributes to it.
Common symptoms of PMS
PMS is a combination of symptoms a woman gets one to two weeks before her period. Generally, the emotional symptoms are depression, fatigue, irritability and anxiety. The physical symptoms of PMS include bloating, skin breakouts, tender breasts and headaches. It’s also common for women to indulge in food cravings before their periods.
PMS symptoms also vary in intensity depending on your age, and symptoms are more extreme for teens since their bodies haven’t adjusted to the hormones as well. However, mood swings and irritability tend to be more common with women who are past puberty. PMS in early adulthood can be a rollercoaster of pain and emotion, which can be exacerbated when you’re in stressful situations.
Reasons for irregular cycles
Everyday Health says that at least 30% of women have irregular cycles during their childbearing years. Irregular periods can have several causes related to physical characteristics, lifestyle choices, hormonal imbalances, etc. For instance, Medical News Today notes how people who exercise excessively often develop abnormal absence or suppression of periods. This is also known as amenorrhea. Both being overweight and sudden weight loss can also lead to irregular periods because of the calorie intake and insulin levels. Chronic stress can be another reason for your irregular cycles.
Irregular cycles and PMS intensity
One of the primary causes of irregular periods is hormonal imbalance. Self explains that certain hormone levels change a week or two before our periods. When our bodies respond to these changes, we can experience the symptoms associated with PMS. However, people with hormonal imbalances may not experience these changes, hence the irregularity. Conditions like polymenorrhea (short menstrual cycles) and oligomenorrhea (long menstrual cycles) can create periods that are very heavy and painful. This may make PMS a little more intense for women with cycle irregularities. Moreover, people with irregular periods are often in stressful situations. Chronic stress coupled with PMS doubles the haywire that your body goes through during this time, which could make it a more severe experience than those with regular periods.
Seeking medical help
It’s important that women seek medical help if their menstrual cycle is disrupting everyday life more than usual. Many feel embarrassed to visit a medical professional or hospital when they have period-related problems, seeing that others may view these symptoms as trivial. This shouldn’t be the case since PMS can greatly affect our daily activities for a week or more every month. Luckily, these days, house visits from medical professionals are not at all uncommon. Maryville University notes that more nurses are visiting patients outside of hospitals with many now going to a patient’s home or office. This is another opportunity to seek advice on how to best manage PMS symptoms. Ultimately, this should help women in recognizing the relationship between their cycles and their physical and mental symptoms so that they can seek solutions and hopefully, lead happier, more productive lives.