As I am a Feminine Cycle Consultant and help women understand, appreciate and track their female cycle to improve the quality of their lives, I thought it was time for me to speak about this much debated topic that affects so many women in our society: the Pre Menstrual Syndrome (PMS).
What is PMS?
In my research I came across the National Association for Premenstrual Syndrome (NAPS) and was shocked by reading some statements on their website: ‘PMS can occur in any woman during child bearing years. It is estimated that as many as 30% of women can experience moderate to severe PMS, with 5-8% suffering severe PMS/PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder), this being around 800,000 in the UK.’ To be honest, I wasn’t thinking that the situation would be as bad as that! Having been quite fortunate with my female cycle, as it has always been a pleasant experience since my menarche (first menstruation), I thought to look into NAPS definition of PMS:
‘PMS is a chronic condition experienced by menstruating women which is characterised by distressing physical, behavioural and psychological symptoms that regularly recur during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle (from ovulation to the onset of a period) and that disappear or significantly diminish by the end of the period (menstruation).’
I had never came across PMDD before, therefore I looked into this too:
‘PMDD consists of symptoms similar to, but more severe than, PMS, and while primarily mood-related, may include physical symptoms such as bloating. PMDD is classified as a repeating transitory cyclic disorder with similarities to unipolar depression, and several antidepressants have been approved as therapy.’
So what are the causes of PMS? This is what NAPS says:
‘The precise causes of PMS have still to be identified, but there is compelling evidence that symptoms are directly related to the fluctuation of hormone levels in the monthly cycle. As PMS is absent before puberty (onset of menstruation), in pregnancy and after the menopause there is clear indication that cyclical ovarian activity is an important factor in explaining PMS.’ (www.pms.org.uk)
I continued my research and read more information on different websites having a more or less medical background to get a real feel for the matter. What came up in all of these sites is that the fundamental cause of PMS is unknown!
I put on my Sherlock Holmes hat and did some thinking about this, as I really feel a deep desire to help women and make them aware of how wondrous and marvelous our feminine body is, including our female cycle. With what I know now about my female cycle, having tracked it and observed it for almost thirty years, some facts became quite clear in my mind. PMS generally hits after a woman has ovulated and is entering slowly into her luteal phase or premenstrual phase. In this phase a woman starts experiencing a very different energy from her follicular (pre ovulatory) phase and her ovulatory phase. She starts withdrawing from the outer world and her related activities to look more into her own inner world and see what is really important to her. From a very masculine and active energy (pre ovulatory and ovulatory phase) she goes into a more reflective and feminine energy that draws her attention to nurture her inner world and looks for what is not working in her life. This time of the month can be very useful and productive for a woman, if she doesn’t get distracted by everything else happening around her. Emotionally she becomes more sensitive and vulnerable, as clarity marches into her existence and sheds light on what needs to be shed and left behind. Considering all of this, I wonder if it might be a pure coincidence that in this phase women tend to experience more physical challenges than in the other phases of their cycle … In this time of the month a woman tends to say ‘no’ more than ‘yes’, if she is aware of herself and owns her own authority, rather than keep focusing on everybody else’s needs. Could it be that her body is simply trying to make her aware that she should pay more attention to herself? Also in this phase, a woman needs more rest. So, if she keeps doing business as usual, so to speak, she might feel drained and depleted and, as a consequence, more irritable. Could a bit more rest and a bit more self-pampering maybe help her to feel better, instead of keep ignoring the things that are not working in her life? What if she would just listen to that inner voice and start acting upon it? Just speaking out one’s own truth is not always enough and action is required to feel better!
What to do
What if collectively as women we would start accepting our own needs as important as those of the men and other people? Would we feel better? As a matter of fact, we all have been raised and educated in a male dominated society which demonstrably appreciates the so called ‘good girls’, ie women who always say yes and please others, rather than putting themselves first! Patriarchy has been ruling for thousands of years, therefore even if we have been living in a so called ‘liberated’ society where women have rights, I don’t see the effect of thousands of years of history being wiped out by few decades of feminist movement. Could this conditioning affect our female cycle and the wisdom of our body? Maybe it is time for women to start looking a little closer at their body messages, including PMS, instead of medicating their symptoms! Maybe instead of following what accepted medical practice prescribes, it might be more appropriate and healthy to listen to our bodies and give them some love! Wouldn’t this make you feel good? Women, it is time to wake up! PMS might be a cure rather than be a curse!
If you want to learn more about your wondrous body and inspiring female cycle, check out Flying Inspiration.