As someone with a uterus, it’s one of those days where you feel exhausted, anxious and suddenly tears come out of your eyes as soon as you see something sad. You want to be alone and you crave junk food like crazy.
WELCOME to the Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS), a phase of the female* monthly cycle. Almost every other person with a uterus is affected by this, so it’s something we should try to understand and figure out how to deal with!
To understand PMS, it’s important to first understand how the menstruation cycle works. The cycle includes several phases that are controlled by a complex orchestra of hormones. The Premenstrual Phase, as the name suggests, is the phase right before menstruation. The way women experience this phase can be different and can change over time. Once we hit puberty, the uterus prepares for a possible pregnancy once a month. If this does not take place, the body needs to release this process in the form of bleeding, which is known as menstruation.
The PMS phase can last between a few days to two weeks, and only says “Goodbye” once the period says “Hello”. Since a lot of fertile women* have symptoms that the PMS phase causes, it’s so important that you know you are not alone in experiencing that. There are a lot of things that can help you get through it and accept it as a part of you!
Another way of seeing the female* cycle, including PMS, is with the help of seasons. In the spring we feel good, bright, full of energy and want to spend as much time outside as possible and can’t wait for summer to be here. This is where we are in the first phase of the monthly cycle, it’s called the follicular phase. A happy vibe surrounds us and we are full of creativity. Then the ovulatory phase takes place, or our summer. Feeling confident, balanced, and trusting our instincts are things that we experience. Then, the luteal phase begins, and the sunny days get colder. That's where to place the premenstrual syndrome phase. Getting ready for winter and the coming period, autumn is when we want to be extra gentle to ourselves. Putting on warmer clothes, seeing the color of the leaves changing, and taking it slower, in general. Here we can experience mood swings, food cravings, and feeling unbalanced. Winter is the menstruation time where letting go of everything and often spending time alone is what we want. Energy levels are low and all you might want to do is rest from all the seasons you just passed through.
Since there are a variety of symptoms you could be experiencing, it’s important to ask your doctor about your specific experience. A few things that help to calm the body and mind are regular physical activity, yoga and meditation, minimizing sugar intake, etc. Everyone goes through their autumn season differently.
It’s important to accept that we all experience PMS differently, and being extra gentle and patient with ourselves can improve our well-being a lot.
PMS as part of being a woman* is something we all should be curious about, in order to understand each other’s needs better. Let calmness and Love rule the female* autumn, because it’s a season with way more than dark and stormy days. It is colorful, warm and different – so let’s embrace the PMS phase!
this article is written solely from the author's own experiences, and is in no way indicative of all menstrual or PMS experiences. We also acknowledge that PMS and menstruation are issues not just for women*, but for anyone who has a uterus and identifies otherwise.
drawing by annalipski