Debunking Common Myths About PMS – Separating Fact from Fiction
By Dr. Eman Kasim from the Saudi Obstetrics and Gynecological Society (SOGS)
When it comes to the premenstrual experience, there is an abundance of information floating around about what women should be feeling, expecting, and dreading at this specific time of the month. Unfortunately, however, not all of it is true – which means some women are actually basing their understanding of their own bodies on unfounded ‘data’ and inaccurate ‘facts’.
To ensure that women across the Middle East are arming themselves with the right knowledge, we have rounded up the five most common misconceptions and truths surrounding Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) symptoms.
Here they are:
- PMS happens while a woman is menstruating: this is categorically FALSE. In truth, PMS symptoms occur seven to 14 days before the menstrual period begins. For some reason, this is still not widely known!
- You can ease PMS symptoms without medication: this is TRUE. Women who experience discomfort during PMS can alleviate their symptoms in a natural way by making small tweaks to their diets, exercising more and boosting their vitamin intake – especially Vitamin E, B6, folic acid, calcium, and magnesium. Essentially, this helps by releasing ‘feel good’ endorphins, kicking up your energy levels and balancing out fluctuating hormone levels. That is precisely why leading feminine hygiene brand Always has long promoted the importance of eating a healthy, well-balanced diet and remaining active all month long, even during PMS.
- Every woman experiences PMS in the exact same way: In reality, not every woman exhibits PMS symptoms – and those that do manifest them differently depending on the anatomy and physiology of their bodies. In some severe cases, PMS symptoms can be somewhat debilitating and interfere with a woman’s daily life. In parallel, other women don’t feel a thing!
- Sleeping better can help curb PMS symptoms: this is SO TRUE. Getting a good night’s sleep can help relieve PMS fatigue – which is a result of plummeting energy levels – and in turn reduce your levels of stress, anxiety, mood swings and nervousness.
- Premenstrual water retention is not connected to hormones: this is FALSE. Hormones, your diet – especially if it is high in sodium – and even your genetic make-up can cause excess bloating. To help overcome this, drink plenty of water and cut back on dehydrating drinks and foods.