So, since this is happening at the moment, I figured now is a good time to write this. PMS really should stand for Please Make it Stop. This is a female problem. To any women lucky enough to not have PMS issues, you are envied. I'm not really sure any woman is symptom free entirely, but I think for others it certainly is less destructive.
I think many from the opposite gender assume we all go through the same things at this time of the month, but that simply isn't true. We are all unique and as such our female bodies choose to torment us each in unique ways.
Let's talk about those symptoms. Some are emotional and behavioral. I imagine some women just have these. Then there are the physical signs and symptoms. I'm sure some women only experience these. I do, however, believe that most of us experience a variety from both of these categories.
I went through puberty at 12. I was already around 5'7" or 5'8". I can't even explain how horrible this experience was. My PMS and period symptoms were horrific. The were so bad to the point that I begged my mother to please let me go on birth control at the age of 13. Apparently I didn't explain the symptoms I was experiencing to my mother, so she thought I had other motives. I just wanted the pain to stop.
So this is more to do with PMS than a period, but it's hard to talk about one without the other. When I was a teenager, my main symptom was crippling pain. I don't mean like a little pain. I mean screaming on the floor in a ball pain. Every time. Multiple times a day. For extended periods. You try sitting in English class in middle school while this is happening. I can literally remember clenching my desk and trying not to scream or cry.
This doesn't even factor in the mood swings. I can't really remember the mood swings hitting until high school. One minute totally fine, next minute upset or wanting to scream.
So, it’s been a few days and now things are in full swing. This time, however, most of my symptoms are far milder. I think this has to do with my dietary change, which is up on my other blog on this site.
Now back to my previous topics. Not all symptoms remain or stay the same. Going onto birth control got rid of my cramps. It also made me regular. This was something that I hadn’t been before. My period could come every two weeks. It could last for a month. It followed no pattern whatsoever making me totally miserable. The pill for me was fantastic.
In college, my PMS symptoms started changing. All of the sudden I became nauseous. Now it can get to the point where I can’t physically move without thinking I am going to be sick. This doesn’t always happen, but when it does it’s certainly not pleasant.
The pain has moved from cramps (which I do still get on occasion) to headaches and shoulder pain. Lower back pain also happens. Some symptoms other women get like breast tenderness don’t really happen for me. I suppose I should be thankful for small favors.
A few times I’ve tried switching the prescription. All of these were disastrous attempts.
I attempted to go onto continuaous birth control pills, which did not go well. My mood swings became out of control. Most times everything makes me cry. I’m ok with that. Yes, I get easily annoyed too but that’s easier to control. What this pill did to me was turn me into someone with no control over my emotions. One minute I would be crying. The next minute I was normal. The next I was screaming. Mild emotional swings are typically easier to process and go through for me. This wasn’t something I had any chance with. My ex-husband didn’t help. I was always his punching bag. He made fun of me constantly and would exacerbate any situation. He typically called me the “dragon” during these time periods. Not helpful.
Then I decided to try the Nuvaring. Mood swings were still there; but, not so drastic, however, bring on the pregnancy symptoms. I don’t mean one or two. I mean almost all of them. Nausea, dizziness, hunger, fatigue, beast soreness, etc. Now at this point I had been on birth control for about 10 years. I contacted my doctor who told me that he was 99% sure I wasn’t pregnant but I had to come take the blood test. It was negative. Not a fun experience.
This time around, I’ve had nausea and a lot of muscle pain. I’ve gotten a little annoyed and I’m bloated; but, thanks to my new diet I don’t actually feel bloated. Not to mention I haven’t had food cravings. Overall I’m feeling better than I normally do.
The point of all this is that I would really rather not have to go through all this. I’m sure most women would prefer not to. Many period pain medications and symptom stoppers don’t work for most women. They almost never work for me. It’s not fun.
I think that more awareness needs to be brought up about these issues. I think we, as women, need to come together more and open up more to share our issues. Our bodies torment us over something that is supposed to be so positive. After all, if we work with, hang out with or are generally around a group of women for a period of time (pun intended) we sync. It happens. My entire college volleyball team seemed to have the same schedule even with a chunk of us on birth control. If our bodies sync, we should sync our minds and move forward to share our issues and come together to support each other in our body positivity conquest.